APW Happy Hour


Hey Mamas!

by Meg Keene, CEO & Editor-In-Chief

hey apw,

It’s been a blessedly quiet week over here, after a storm of a first quarter. Spring is springing, Marketing Coordinator Kate is making me jealous of her vacation in Israel, and I got to go on a mid-week date night (and buy a vintage #EverydayFur). Add to that the fact that I finally got to meet long-long-long-time APW contributor Manya over drinks in the city last night, and you have a damn good week.

Plus it’s Mother’s Day this weekend, which these days is my VERY favorite holiday (even if I always feel behind after a day of doing no chores whatsoever).

If you’re not pre-gaming APW’s new lifestyle publication The Compact with us over on Instagram already, come join! We’re talking adult friendship, postpartum fashion, body acceptance, and fuck the patriarchy earrings, just to name a few things we’re running our mouths over.

To the mamas in the house, HEY MAMA, I see you. Happy weekend.

xo

meg

link round-up

Let’s help this woman make her movie.

The 2020 census is in big trouble.

John McCain may have killed an anti-environment bill out of spite.

What would a modern day version of Friends look like?

Dwayne Johnson for President!

Trump’s firing of Comey could be an impeachable offense.

For Mother’s Day, activists are bailing Black mamas out of jail.

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. #NASTY

Staff Picks

[Read comment policy before commenting]

  • Megan

    Oh. My. God. I got in. I wrote a few weeks back in a HH comment that I had applied to an international rotational program at my company and had made it to the final round of interviews… well I GOT IN. FOR REAL.

    CONTEXT: This program will send me to international offices on two, one-year rotations to try out different types of roles in the company. After two years, they will help place me (internationally) into a permanent role.

    I hope this is a safe space for bragging but this is a super selective program. Only 9 people in the whole company (like a hundred thousand employees – I work at a Fortune500 company) got chosen. To be fair, it’s restrictive criteria to apply (only been at the company 2-5 years, been in your current role for more than a year, got a really high score on last year’s review, etc.) but nonetheless, it was LONG. SHOT. I feel like that guy who makes the full court basketball shot at the halftime to win a new car or something.

    I have been dreaming about leaving NYC for many years now and hadn’t figured out a way to do it yet, so this is the perfect opportunity to not only get out, but to explore the world while getting paid and having a lot of stability and moving my career forward. And, although I haven’t seen the specifics yet, I believe I’m going to get a living stipend to defray housing and other costs, so I might actually save money! (Well, moving out of NYC to pretty much anywhere else should likely save me some money…)

    We’ll be getting married and moving abroad within the span of 6 months. My FH is going to have to quit his job and become a “trailing spouse”. He likely will not be able to get a work permit so he’ll be refocusing himself on building new skills that will hopefully lead to a more fulfilling career. (Right now he thinks this is going to be video editing… something he’s good at but not good enough to focus solely on it.)

    tl;dr: Yay! Amazing career opportunity for me!! My husband and I are moving abroad (to an as-yet unknown location) for 2-5 years, about 6 months after we get married. He likely can’t get a work permit for the first two years while I do my work program.

    Now, questions for y’all:

    1. Any advice for spending our first two years of marriage as expats?
    2. Any advice for communication (or other) issues that might come up as we transfer bread-winning power solely to me?

    • Ashlah

      This is totally a safe space for bragging! That sounds like a huge deal, congratulations and good luck! (I’ll leave the advice to others who’ve got relevant experience)

    • Jessica

      Congratulations!! No advice, but so excited for you!

    • Kaitlyn

      Ahhhh this is amazing! Congrats!

    • Em

      Amazing! CONGRATS! This is super exciting. Any idea what the options are in terms of locations? Always fun to day-dream!

      In terms of the expat thing (as a current, just married expat whose marriage plans were also accelerated by international moves) – my advice is:
      1) make sure that you know what sort of things you both need around you to help you feel at home and make sure you get those in place as soon as possible after you arrive;
      2) you will find it much easier to make friends in your new location than your trailing spouse, because you’ll meet people through work (and this will be especially bad if he can’t work, and a little bit less bad if he needs to do some job hunting on arrival, etc). It would be worth you both spending some time thinking about non-work hobbies and social clubs that either both of you or just him might be interested in joining when you get to where you’re going. Or is it possible that there might be distance education programs he could do remotely, so he’s building skills (but perhaps this is what he might be doing through the video-editing thing?)
      3) I think it is worth having a very explicit conversation about division of labour in a shift to a single income house – I found myself really frustrated by issues that arose in that context when my husband wasn’t working and I was studying (and our only source of income was my student stipend) and yet still doing the bulk of the cooking / meal planning / food shopping etc, and it was a real problem for awhile – I was really resenting that I felt he wasn’t pulling his weight, and he had no idea that I felt like that, etc.

      • Megan

        Super helpful, thank you! We’ll be given a list of options later this month/early next month and we get to rank them. Based on places previous participants have gone, I think our top ones are Singapore, Mexico City, South Africa, anywhere is SW Europe (Spain, France, Italy), and Japan. Honestly I’m’ just guessing at this point!

        Did you find the language barrier to be something that’s more easily overcome while working or do both a working and non-working partner have the same kind of difficulties?

        And thanks for the advice on #3. I can DEFINITELY see that happening with us, especially with things that I place greater importance on than he does (like a clean kitchen!). Gotta get out in front of that stuff!

        • Amy March

          My parents have done this a couple times and the language aspect was much much easier on the working spouse. The office ran, by and large, in English. The world doesn’t, and it is hard to be alone all day, in a new place, unable to even make chit-chat with someone in a grocery line.

          • Sosuli

            Definitely. My mom really struggled with not speaking the language and didn’t connect with the other company spouses well.

        • Em

          Oh, super exciting – all of those places would be incredible! If you end up in Hong Kong, get in touch – that’s where I’ll be from August onwards (currently in the UK). I actually don’t have any experience with doing the expat thing in a non-English speaking country, although my husband has lived in two non-English speaking countries and is much better at languages than I am… I would imagine though that if we were somewhere non-English speaking that he would probably still do better than me as a result!

          • lindsay

            Hong Kong and Singapore are actually quite easy to navigate in English. Being former British colonies played a big part in that, of course. Comparatively, I think Singaporeans are more confident in their English, simply because it’s more diverse and English is a lingua franca. Though it never hurts to learn a little Mandarin!

        • MC

          I looooooove Mexico City as a tourist, and I have a friend who lived & worked there for two years and also loved it.

          • Alison Monahan

            I live in Mexico City now, and it’s pretty expat friendly (with all the normal hassles, of course, but there are lots of expats here and it’s easy enough to get by with English if you have to). Also, housekeepers are considered totally normal, which can cut down on arguments about chores. If you end up here, let me know!

        • BSM

          We were placed in a Spanish-speaking country, and my husband’s company offered us both weekly language lessons. If yours doesn’t, I’d *highly* recommend asking them about it, since, like Amy March says, it’s really fucking hard to even pay for groceries when you don’t speak the same language as the cashier.

          • Em

            Duolingo is also a great, free way to get a headstart on picking up the language ahead of time (even if you are as bad as learning languages as I am….!)

          • I just mentioned Duolingo before I saw your comment! :) It’s a part of my breakfast routine…

          • Yael

            All I can say is OMG grocery shopping in a foreign language is the worst (as is all other shopping).

        • Perhaps your soon-to-be-spouse can take language classes? When I lived abroad (on a work permit) I qualified for free language lessons from the government. But perhaps your company might even offer free or reduced rate classes for spouses that follow? If he takes language classes (especially intensive ones, mine was four days a week), that would give him some schedule structure and social interactions, which could lead to friendships. Plus he’d be acquiring the practical skills of learning the language of the place he lives…

      • Hope

        I agree a lot with 2. When I moved overseas I found a football/soccer supporters club and made friends with expats and locals. I’d never have done that in my home country. Attending church has also been a place I have made good friends, no matter how short my stay or theirs in the area.
        And to add onto what others have said about it being rarer for the trailing spouse to be male, your FH may find it difficult to meet other men during the day. This has been an issue for my husband as a stay at home dad.

        • In my experience overseas, it seems like lots of people were way more likely to attend the local international/English-speaking churches than they were in their lives in their home countries. It’s a good way to meet people and have a community…

        • Megan

          Good point – we joined a church in NYC and would likely look for one where ever we move.

          Any pointers from your husband on how to meet other men during the day?

          • Hope

            My husband’s a creative type so he frequented coffee shops where other creative types worked. I also had to understand that he needed to go out without me in the evenings to make his own friends.

    • JSK

      This sounds amazing! Congratulations!

    • Lisa

      Omg, congratulations on this amazing opportunity!! Totally a safe bragging space here. You know we’ll all be excited for you! (And maybe a little jealous in my case. ;)) Best wishes on the big move!!

    • Mer

      OMG!! Major Congratulations to you! This program sounds like an amazing opportunity professionally and personally. So EXCITING. SQUEEE!!!

    • MC

      Eeeeeeeeee, CONGRATS!! Sounds like such a perfect and amazing opportunity.

    • Violet

      Get it! Oh wait, YOU GOT IT!

    • CMT

      Congratulations!! Brag away!!

    • Alli

      That is incredible! I’m so happy for you, and I agree this is a really great time for your husband to refine his skills and move into a career that works for him. Wow! No advice as this is completely above my pay grade but I’m just so excited for you!

    • Kalë
      • Megan

        OMG i literally ran around the office singing Eye of the Tiger!

    • LindseyM

      That is amazing! This is the kind of thing people should throw parties for themselves for, especially as women :)

      My husband and I have flip-flopped on bread winner over our eight-year relationship. I was in law school for the first three years, then when I got out and started clerking he went back to school. I’ve been our sole income for four years now, and will be for two more years while he finishes his Masters’ degree. its definitely been hard for him I think—not that I am the one making the money, but that he isn’t making any. Not making money really hurts some people’s self esteem, while I think for others it is no big deal. I think definitely each having a set amount of “fun” money each month, regardless of working status is important. And for him it was really important to have a hobby that we could afford that brought him joy. He has seriously expensive tastes in hobbies–his favorite things are flying and paragliding–so we had to dial it back a notch since my clerking salary clearly could not support those!

      Let us know when you hear where you’ll be sent! I’m sure some people on here worked in foreign countries at different points. I’ve got Beijing covered if you get sent there.

      • Megan

        Thanks for the advice – he seems pretty laid back in the states and has repeatedly expressed an interest in becoming a “house husband” but he has never lived outside of the US before so you can never tell how those kinds of stressors will impact his self esteem in not working…

        • LindseyM

          Thats good! Beware though, because my husband also said he thought it would be great to be a “house husband,” but turns out for him that means working in his shop all day and not doing chores. So make sure to hammer out what “house husband” means to different people.

          • AmandaBee

            Gonna second this point. I’ll also say that when I had my stint as sole earner, I think we were both surprised at how much that bothered my now-husband. Like, gender roles can sneak up on ya. Making sure that he had something that felt important to work toward was really important, for us.

    • theteenygirl

      CONGRATULATIONS! What an incredible experience this is going to be for you two! I can’t really give much advice, but my FH and I actually met while we were both doing a semester exchange at the same university in France. We became friends when we were there, but didn’t start dating until two years later. No matter where you end up going, it’s amazing you will have each other.

      As for your second piece of advice, my FH moved to Toronto a couple weeks ago to be with me while we work on spousal sponsorship (we were legally married last month but official wedding is Sept.). He had to quit his job to make the move, so right now I am the sole earner. It is a bit weird for both of us. We had MANY discussions about all aspects of this decision. First and foremost was how we were going to support each other. Not only am I supporting him financially, but he is supporting me emotionally and at home. He is taking on more cooking and chores responsibilities, as I’m going to be negotiating a raise soon I’m working longer hours. He also had to ‘get over’ the gender-norm idea that men bring home the bacon. He found it has been a harder mental hurdle for him to get over than he thought it would be.

      Overall we’re really happy we made this decision. He is able to move to Canada so we can be together permanently, I am able to stay in a job I love that is going to allow me to fast track my career, he got to leave a company he felt he was outgrowing, and as long as we keep checking in with each other we feel really confident that this was the right choice.

      • SLG

        I don’t have experience being an expat, but I do have experience getting over mental hurdles with the help of my spouse. And as the person doing that mental work, it’s been hugely helpful for my spouse to (a) acknowledge and respect that it’s sometimes hard, (b) acknowledge the valid reasons why I ended up with this mental frame for the world that I’m now trying to overcome, and (c) find out specifically what I need to hear from them as I do that mental work, and keep telling me that thing when I need to hear it.

        So if your husband ends up working through mental hurdles as part of this transition, consider having some very specific, practical conversations about what meaningful emotional support means FOR HIM, and what support you might need in turn.

      • Good luck with your immigration process! I found the waiting time between submitting the app and receiving the decision to be unexpectedly challenging (emotionally). But it all turned out well…it was just feeling so much in limbo that was hard.

        • theteenygirl

          Thank you! We got our marriage certificate last week so we’re putting in the paperwork hopefully tomorrow or Wednesday. I’m so nervous.

    • Emily

      THIS IS SO EFFING EXCITING! Congrats!
      I can only comment on question 2, but: Make sure you have some long talks about what the long-range goal is. Do you think that you want to live abroad indefinitely and does he? If yes, does that mean you expect him to start working during this rotation or the next? How about in 5 years when you’re done with the rotations? What does this mean for babies? What does this mean for family obligations in the US–do you expect to go home once a year or less or more?

      • Yael

        Yes! These are all excellent questions, and I say that as the spouse who is being trailed.

    • BSM

      CONGRATULATIONS!!! That is so exciting!

      My husband and I were temporary expats for about 8 months a few years ago. He was on a rotational program for work, and I too was a trailing spouse (well, significant other – we weren’t married at the time).

      Does your company have a decent-sized office in the locations you might be placed in? Are there other expats in those offices? If so, I’d try to plug in with those groups as soon as you find out where you’re headed. Also, talk to whomever is managing the program about resources for spouses/family that accompany employees on these rotations; they likely have some established program that they follow to help you guys figure out the personal side of things (local transportation, where to shop for groceries, gyms, internet, etc.).

      Also, this may not be true for you, but I think it’s more likely that it is: most of the trailing spouses will be women.

      Even though we were in a… less desirable location, the experience was ultimately positive (and made bearable) by the other amazing expat spouses I had around me. They were super active, welcoming, and friendly, which was soooo helpful while trying to figure out where to find toilet paper in a foreign country. I hope the same thing for you and your husband, even if you’re in a great place!

      • Megan

        Super helpful advice, thank you!

    • Sosuli

      Congratulations! Finding expat communities once you find out where you’re going may help you build contacts and prepare for specific things. Facebook has a lot of stuff. Just be pre-warned that they often are places long-time expats go to vent about problems, so don’t let that dampen excitement!

    • Totch

      Congrats!! As another kind of trailing spouse (immigrated and moved to my husband’s hometown to help support his family), make sure your husband finds ways to build his own community and make friends not from your work. It can be lonely and hard to feel like you have a purpose both of your own. But please also don’t feel too guilty if it’s a rough transition for him, just kick ass in your new role and make the move worth it (or… It’ll be worth it regardless. It’ll be great. But when I’m low I respond better to my husband showing me why the move was important rather than apologizing for it. I’m not sorry we’re here as long as we make the most of it.)

      • NolaJael

        Yes! And don’t fall into the “it’s only a year, why bother” trap. There are short-timers all over the world who need and want friends. Find them in hostels or expat bars / forums, ask the people who are out-going from your position, etc.

    • AGCourtney

      Congratulations! I’m so excited for you.

    • CP2011

      Congrats!

    • PurplePeopleEater

      I remember you! Congrats!!!!

    • Dess

      That. is. awesome. Way to go, you!!!!
      My husband and I moved abroad literal days after our wedding. As far as spending the first two years of marriage as expats: patience patience patience. Both marriage and life abroad are exciting, and an adventure=all good things! But also, it’s a lot of adjusting, all at once. Patience with each other goes a loooong way.
      Oh, and I was the breadwinner initially after we moved–one thing that kind of surprised both of us was how much it bothered my super “gender roles schmender roles” husband to not be financially contributing to our household. So that’s maybe something to discuss.

  • Alli

    My mood from last week has completely shifted. I took my exam on Monday, pretttttty sure I failed but I don’t even care. I’m just happy it’s done.

    I’m trying to think of where to go in my career from here. I’ve been an actuary for a few years and it’s really not working for me. I don’t hate the work I’m doing, but I don’t like the company (or most insurance companies for that matter) and I hate the exams. I can’t see myself taking them for another 5+ years.

    If anyone can think of jobs where I can utilize my math degree and amazing excel skills, let me know! I also know a little bit of programming from making VBA macros in excel, and my fiancé is teaching me SQL.

    • Kaitlyn

      Check out tech companies for Data Analysts positions. I know my company hires a lot of people with Math degrees for these roles across the company (Marketing, Business Intelligence, etc).

      • Alli

        I’ll do that! I imagine I’ll have to look for entry level positions, I’ve noticed a couple data analyst ones and they all wanted 5-7 years of experience with systems and languages I haven’t even heard of.

        • Kaitlyn

          If you in/near the Boston area, I’m happy to send you a few postings for my company since we’re always hiring them (I work in Recruiting in an Operations role, I’m always scheduling our Data Analyst interviews haha)

          • Alli

            I’m not, but thank you!

        • Natalie

          They may WANT 5-7 years experience with a bunch of systems/languages, but people with good data analysis skills are in short supply, so they may not be able to find those people, and may have to hire someone who’s great, but will need to learn those things on the job. That might as well be you.

    • Arie

      Also maybe doing a little teach-yourself python and tableau would make you very marketable in other analysis-type positions. Good luck!

      • Alli

        I’ll look into those, thanks!

    • BSM

      You sound like my husband! He’s an excel master (he then taught himself python and SQL and knows some visual basic, javascript, and tableau) and was in finance for 10 years. He switched jobs earlier this year and is now a sales operations analyst for a tech company with a huge sales force. He spends his time pulling data out of a bunch of systems, plugging them into excel reports he’s created, and answering questions for the higher ups about which reps are really pulling their weight, whether they’re going to hit their sales/revenue goals, and anything else they can come up with. He LOVES it! His last role was more about accounting policy, which he found hella boring, so getting to spend everyday fiddling in excel and making dynamic reports is basically a dream come true. Maybe check out all types of data analyst roles, even if you don’t have experience in what the company or subject matter of the role does?

    • orangie

      Informatics? Maybe Health Informatics?

  • Lisa

    So happy to be back after being out the past couple of weeks! I swung by late on Friday to post the picture of my husband’s graduation, but I’m looking forward to catching up on everyone’s lives. Here’s a brief update:

    France
    Holy cow, guys, this trip was amazing. The festival staff really rolled out the red carpet for us while we were there. We got to stay in a giant villa two minutes away from the beach, and I spent all of my free time (which I had a lot of since everyone was in rehearsals) walking around the storybook town center and reading by the water with a glass of Normandy cider. I learned how to cook au gratin potatoes from one of our French hosts and drank so much wine.

    In Paris we walked all over creation and ate so. much. food. Joël Robuchon’s restaurant was spectacular (and our dining experience happened to fall on our 7th dating anniversary!), we ate lunch at a place specializing in souflees (guys, it was my first, and it’s true love), and the last dinner we had felt like I had walked straight out of the café scene in Rent. I am so sad to be back!

    Graduation
    Husband is 99% a doctor now! He’s planning to defend his dissertation by the end of the month, which means he’ll receive his diploma in August, but August graduates walk in May. Our in-laws were around for a week, which was fun but also exhausting since I was sick and tired the whole time.

    Life Plans
    Nothing definite yet, but we’ve been having talks in between dissertation writing sessions, and I feel like we’re getting closer. Possible major life changes are hard.

    Fill me in on your lives now! So what’d I miss? (a la Thomas Jefferson in Hamilton)
    https://d12edgf4lwbh8j.cloudfront.net/photo/image/Jefferson.gif

    • Ashlah

      That trip sounds amazing! Congrats to your husband on his 99% doctorship! That Hamilton gif makes me super impatient for its 2018 run in Portland. It looks so goood.

      • Lisa

        Oh, yes. I can’t wait to be in the room where it happens! One of my friends has a friend who works with the show and got to see it both in off- and on-Broadway productions. I am so jealous of her luck!

    • Totch

      Glad you had a great trip and good luck with your husband’s defense! I, uh, think you’re caught up on me.

    • Rose

      Hah, I’m also defending at the end of the month, and graduating in August, and probably not going to come back to walk next May. Even though I did a bit want to wear those ridiculous robes. . . Good luck to your husband!

  • Ashlah

    Am I the only one whose reaction to The Rock claiming a presidential run was a massive UGH? The dude is a likeable guy, but seriously, enough with celebrities running for office. I want someone with relevant experience and qualifications, please. Our president is not just a figurehead, they have a real job requiring real decision-making skills. (Is it all a joke? Am I taking it way too seriously and just being a grumpy gus party pooper? Help me.)

    • Jessica

      100% agreed. No further comment.

    • Kaitlyn

      Nope, had the same reaction. I think The Rock is hilarious, but I want a president to have qualifications and jump through hoops like I have to for jobs that are way less important (and pay way less haha).

    • Kalë

      Yup. Like why. WHY. Stop. You’re not qualified. We don’t want you. Maybe we don’t want you less than the other celebrity that recently ran for president… but we still don’t want you.

      • Emily

        Exactly! He’s not as bad as the current celebrity sitting in the highest office of our entire government, but he still has 0 political experience.

        • Kalë

          You know who I want to run for president? Sally Yates. Elizabeth Warren. Joe Biden. Kamala Harris. Al Franken. Michelle Obama. (okay, the last one is maybe mostly pure fantasy) NOT some guy who played the Tooth Fairy. No offense to actors or tooth fairies but are you fucking kidding me why is this a thing

          • Emily

            Dude same same! I think there are plenty of celebrities who might make great politicians… FOR LESSER OFFICES. How about The Rock runs for senate or governor or school board lol?

          • MC

            omg how great would it be to see The Rock on a school board!! Also I would watch that movie.

          • Emily

            And what do you think it takes to get Michelle Obama in an office? Please, I will sign all of the petitions!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • CMT

            I feel bad for Michelle Obama. How many times does she have to say she doesn’t want to and is not going to run for office for people to believe her? I know she would be amazing, but we should let her do her own thing.

          • BSM

            Mhm.

    • MC

      I loved that profile – like, it was written so excellently and made me want to be BFFs with Dwayne Johnson – but the part about his presidential run definitely gave me pause. On one hand, celebrities becoming politicians isn’t exactly new (Ronald Reagan, Al Franken), but one should probably have some other political experience before going straight to president. Also I am giving major side-eye to any celebrities right now who don’t explicitly come out against Trump. (Taylor Swift, I’m also looking at you.)

    • BSM

      Hard pass.

    • K. is skittish about disqus

      I assumed it was a joke because my brain can’t process him being serious, but it needed to be more explicit regardless. There’s too much of a cult of celebrity worship in this country and I’m a grumpy gus about anything that stokes those fires, even if it’s just clumsy self-satire.

      Plus I would have thought Donald Trump *actually* becoming president was a joke 5 years ago…

      • BSM

        Antonio Sabato Jr. is running for Congress in LA. The Dem rep he’s challenging narrowly won in 2014 but won by 20 points in 2016. Good luck, assholes.

    • Natalie

      “I want someone with relevant experience and qualifications, please.”

      ONCE MORE FOR THE PEOPLE IN THE BACK.

  • Brynna

    We did it!!! So grateful for this site for encouraging us to throw out what a wedding SHOULD be and make our https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/03930bac1d285a049390ae297e3bf41b3a2a688c2b11cbcafd94912ced487924.jpg wedding what we WANT it to be.

    • Jessica

      Heart eyes for how happy you look and heart eyes for the heart backdrop!

    • Kaitlyn

      Congrats! There’s so many details I love here: your dress, his suit, those chairs the guests are sitting in, and that backdrop!

    • Violet

      YAY! So excited to see the backdrop in action and how happy you two look!

      • Brynna

        Thanks! We ended up painting it gold, as recommended here!

        • Mim86

          Ahh im so glad you posted. Im also making our backdrop. Do you have any trouble transporting it/how did you handle that?

          • Anna

            Seconding those questions. We’re trying to figure out the logistics of our chuppah, which are presumably not altogether different from the logistics of a backdrop like that :-)

          • penguin

            Is your chuppah going to be assembled on site? Assuming (and hoping) yes. We haven’t started thinking about our chuppah yet so I’m always trolling for ideas :)

          • Anna

            Yep, that’s the plan. We’re getting a bunch of poles from Home Depot and umbrella stands, and one of my bridesmaids is making the canopy for us. Finding appropriate poles seems to be weirdly difficult, though – I think the ones we’re going to end up with are actually intended to be curtain poles. We’re also waiting on our venue coordinator to tell us how high the ceiling in the space is, so we know whether we’ll need to cut down the 8 foot poles (weirdly, I could find a ton of six-foot options – which would not work for 6’1″ fiance – and a couple 8-foot options, but nothing in between).

          • Brynna

            I linked the one we got below. It comes apart and fits in a small bag, so it was super easy to transport. The hearts and string we bundled up individually, wrapped with rubberband, and put into a small cardboard box! Super easy! With the help of my mom and sister, it took about 15 mins to put together at the venue.

            Tip: Start super early! Our wedding was in April and I started this in October…

            https://www.amazon.com/LimoStudio-Adjustable-Background-Backdrop-AGG1112/dp/B00E6GRHBO/ref=pd_lpo_vtph_421_bs_tr_t_2?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=NHZCN8V8ASD602PAWYQP

          • Anna

            Oh man, maybe I should just get two of these as chuppah poles instead of four separate poles + umbrella stands.

          • Brynna

            This thing was really easy to work with, but it’s pretty big (but adjustable). Might be worth just buying one to check the size and returning if it doesn’t work out!

          • Engaged Chicago

            Omg this is a great idea. My florist first quoted me $1000 for our chuppah! Gahhhj

          • penguin

            Wow!! Our rabbi warned us about that, so we’re looking into DIY or possibly borrowing something from the congregation. Good luck!

    • InTheBurbs

      The happiness!!! And ya’ll look amazing!

    • Ashlah

      Beautiful! Congrats! Love your backdrop!

    • Jane

      Love how your bridesmaids are all in different colors! Goes so well with the multi-color heart backdrop. Congrats!!

    • Lisa

      Congratulations! I love the hearts backdrop, and you both look so beautiful and happy! I’m getting married in a month and my bridesmaids chose dresses with a similar aesthetic, so it’s really exciting to see it done so well here. :)

      • Brynna

        Thank you! I had written here a few weeks ago that my fiance decided THREE WEEKS before the wedding that he wanted the bridesmaids to have matching dresses. So these were super last-minute orders from David’s Bridal (the only dresses we could find in bright colors!), but I think ultimately, he was right. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ebea3f05728faa485103ea4db9c1c6142405f9bba0f45b77b2e15be8460e01c2.jpg

        • Jessica

          cute!

        • Lisa

          Love it! I can’t believe you found these at 3 weeks out. Totally awesome.

        • Lisa

          I like that the dresses are the same style but that each maid got her own color!

        • sofar

          Such a great look! Love it.

          If my husband had made that request 3 weeks out, I would have wanted to kill him.

          • Brynna

            Yep.

        • Katelyn

          This might seem creepy but is that the Fabienne gown from BHLDN? I love it!

          • Brynna

            YES! Not creepy at all, by the way; I can totally spot (and name) a BHLDN dress every time I see one!

    • Oo, that backdrop though… Congrats!

    • Totch

      Congrats!!! Did you end up doing gold paint on the bars in that backdrop? So cool to see it in use and remember when you made it.

      • Brynna

        Yep! We painted it gold with gold glitter – it was also our photobooth backdrop.

        • penguin

          Ahh I knew it looked familiar! It looks awesome, congrats!!

        • Jess

          It turned out so good! Gold Glitter is the way to go!

    • cml

      It’s the backdrop!

    • amazing backdrop!

    • OMG that backdrop!

    • You two look great–so stylish! And I love your dress!

  • CMT

    I’m sitting at the vet’s office waiting to check out after a routine check up and some vaccinations. After getting my precious little baby into her carrier this morning, I don’t know that I have energy left for anything else.

    • Cellistec

      Aw, that’s rough. Hope everything turned out ok and you get to relax later!

  • Kaitlyn

    Any tips on finding motivation for work again? I’m having a hard time finding any meaning in my job which is affecting my productivity, etc etc. I just don’t want to DO anything womp womppp

    Also, taking last minute gift ideas for mom’s that like technology and cost less than $50 and that hopefully are sold in a mall haha

    • Jessica

      In the same boat work-wise, but check out Amazon’s deals today for tech gifts https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=gbps_img_s-3_287c_abedafee?fst=as%3Aoff&rh=n%3A172282%2Cp_6%3AA294P4X9EWVXLJ%2Cp_89%3AAnker&bbn=172282&hidden-keywords=B01HTH3C8S|B01DZ56MX0|B016Y8XJCW|B01IUP89LS|B017JY0UTU&ie=UTF8&qid=1493922373&rnid=2528832011&ajr=2&smid=A294P4X9EWVXLJ&pf_rd_p=05ffb6af-f379-4d0d-9cd0-72d74708287c&pf_rd_s=slot-3&pf_rd_t=701&pf_rd_i=gb_main&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=XCA9R9GCXKXDXJ8Z2HMP

    • Emily

      Seconding the no motivation thing. I am hoping a vacation will re-focus me…otherwise I am going to need to find more youtube videos of puppies being cute.

      • Lisa

        I am two weeks of work out from being back from vacation, and…my job is still super boring and not challenging, and I still don’t have a lot of motivation.

        • Emily

          shit, I should start a video queue now probably

          • Kaitlyn

            Can you make it public and share with all of us hahaha

    • theteenygirl

      Hmm I’m not sure about your job / your situation, but one thing that may help would be to take on a project that your boss/company approves of that you find interesting and that still somewhat relates to your role. I realize that’s like, really vague. But for example I was getting REALLY BORED at my office so I talked to The Big Boss and she encouraged me to head the office’s social committee! So now when I have down time I look up cool things for the office to do and plan events. I love event planning, The Bosses love that people are becoming a team, and I don’t get bored with the staleness of office life.

    • Rosie

      I got my mom a fancy pink-with-gold-polka-dots ipad case a few years ago and she loved it!

      • Lisa

        Yes, I’m thinking tech accessories like cases, car stand/charger, etc.

        One year for Mother’s Day, my dad got my mom a picture frame that she could plug a memory card into, and it cycles through the photos. That way instead of displaying just one family picture, you essentially have a screensaver of your whole vacation in the living room.

    • Jess

      I struggle with that a lot. Recently, I have struggled with in relationship to my depression, where things felt Too Big and also Too Meaningless.

      I actually grabbed one of those tiny spiral-topped notebooks and make a “bullet-journal” style list of to-do’s, including stuff like “Send X E-mail” and “Schedule Y Meeting” and “Drink Water” it helps when I’m feeling like not doing anything.

    • Natalie

      Chromecast or Amazon Fire TV stick? They’re on my mind re:moms because my mom just got herself a Fire TV stick so she could easily watch her prime tv show (one. she has one show that she wants to watch, & is unexcited by everything else on prime, but that one show was worth buying the Fire tv stick for). I personally prefer the interface of Chromecast & it works seamlessly to play youtube videos and Netflix on my tv via my phone, which makes me so happy.

      Audible subscription (if she likes audiobooks/you think she might like audiobooks if they were foisted upon her)

      Kindle books (if she owns a Kindle; you can easily buy Kindle books as gifts)

  • Jessica

    So the only advantage to working on Friday afternoons is Happy Hour! I missed a few weeks, here, and it kind of sucked (but in a way where I could go play outside and do things not in front of a computer screen).

    Husband Update: He completed an 8-week treatment program for his mental health issues, and is about 85% back to being himself! We have a long way to go as a couple, but it’s just so nice to have him be normalish again! I’ve mentioned before, but I have made friends with someone at my gym (who is a straight, single dude–he and his wife split up because of the problems caused by intense long-term depression from both of them), and Husband got Insecure and Jealous, telling me he was scared I was going to leave him. It was frustrating because I felt like I should take care of him, since he was fragile. Then at therapy last week my therapist gave me permission to show Husband my anger (or ANGER), and that same day I was provoked into showing him the emotions I’ve been carrying caused by his infidelity and breakdown, and how much it sucks to be told that he is scared I’m going to leave him, or that it’s hard to be alone in the house (when I work evenings), and feel like he’s watching me constantly, waiting for me to make some sort of mistake. Ya’ll, it helped so much to be able to say things that have been circling my brain for the last 2 months (and some longer than that). I look forward to couple’s counselling when I can get the rest of it out in a none-yelling manner.

    In other news, work is nuts, Minnesota finally has nice weather, and I’M SEEING HAMILTON IN CHICAGO NEXT WEEK I’M SO PUMPED!!!

    Here’s a photo of Maybe! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ac057aca2c27964412605968f7be45dfd80b613d9a1db9d7b6585c6f2fe5ad6b.jpg

    • Katharine Parker

      Everything in this update is good, and that is a beautiful cat.

    • BSM

      Is it weird that I’m really glad that you were able to express some ANGER? Also, I love your kitty’s goatee!

      • Jessica

        I’ve been bottling it in for a long time, I’m absurdly happy that I got to express anger.

        • Yael

          Good for you!

    • Katherine

      Expressing anger can be so constructive, and it sounds like even more so in the context of therapy. So glad for you.

    • Gaby

      Glad to hear the positive update! Also, Hamilton!! My husband has been listening to the cast album almost daily since we got back from seeing the show two weeks ago and it makes me so happy haha.

    • Jess

      Congratulations on expressing ANGER. There is so much that is so good and freeing about saying the things you are afraid of expressing.

      I’m really happy that husband went through the whole 8 week program – that is HUGE.

    • Violet

      I find it weirdly encouraging that you were able to share your own feelings. It seems like now your husband is stable enough to be back in this partnership, which includes you and your own thoughts and feelings. That’s a ton of progress for him and for you!

    • Mjh

      So glad that he’s making progress and you’re able to get some of your anger out.

      It’s been 6 years since the storm of my husband’s mental health struggle, breakdown and trustbreaking, and I’ll never forget my feelings from that time. I know you’re shouldering a *lot* Sending tons of vibes your way for healing as a couple and for dealing with all the hurt and rage along the way.

      Maybe is so cute! 🐱

      Hope you enjoy Hamilton. I live in Chi and haven’t made it to Hamilton yet, though my teenage brother who lives with us was lucky enough to go on a class trip.

    • Maybe is absolutely adorable.

  • penguin

    Anyone else estranged from their mother (or otherwise on really bad terms with them) and SUPER tired of hearing about mother’s day? I understand that a lot of moms are great, and people want to honor them and that’s great for them. But. I swear that every article or advertisement or marketing email is 100% “buy stuff for your mom!” or “your mom did so much for you, do something for her!” or “aren’t you so thankful for your mom in your life??” etc etc.

    I just recently decided to not invite my mother to our wedding, and the timing’s been a little rough. Since we don’t talk (I haven’t heard from her in over a year), I’m leaning towards just not sending an invite (or a save the date), and letting her figure it out on her own. My fiancé is 100% behind me, and even my grandma (my mom’s mom) is supportive, although initially she was suggesting that I be the bigger person and invite her, and she probably wouldn’t come anyway. I was leaning that way initially but the thought of her possibly being there was stressing me out. This will exclude my younger half-brother, but hopefully he understands some day. Any advice or commiseration is appreciated.

    • Em

      I get the mother’s day thing. I am dealing with a whole lot of really conflicting feelings towards my mum, after the very acrimonious breakdown of my parents’ marriage. I generally avoid dealing with either of my parents, and I know I will find it super hard to see ALL the social media stuff on Sunday about Mother’s Day, blah blah blah – because I don’t really trust my mother, but I do still love her – but it’s just really, really, really hard sometimes. So – sending hugs.

    • Arie

      On father’s day I privately celebrate “protect yourself day” which is, obviously, made up. It helps me focus on what I do have (a happy life & safe boundaries, thanks to a few decades without my dad being present in my life), instead of what I don’t have (a dad, especially one who might appear in a commercial in cargo shorts, mowing a lawn). It’s tough – I wish you the best.

      • emilyg25

        That’s awesome that you were able to reframe it that way.

    • Lisa

      That’s so rough. I think you can have a conversation with your half-brother and maybe think about ways that you can touch base with/include him leading up to or after the wedding. My friend went the same route as you by not inviting her father, and she was so happy that on her wedding day she didn’t have to focus on the issue of her strained relationship with him. I hope that you have the same peace at your own!

    • emmers

      Post-miscarriage, I’m also over mother’s day. And I’m sorry about your wedding situation. That sucks. We invited my husband’s dad to our wedding, but he didn’t show. It’s not the same, obviously, but my husband is currently trying to decide whether or not to totally cut him out of our lives. He keeps wavering back and forth. It just sucks, and is complicated, and no fun.

      • Violet

        My partner’s father missing our wedding (cause he was, you know, in jail) really was the final straw for my partner in severing ties. It was not an easy conclusion to come to, but enough was enough for him.

        • emmers

          We got married 3 years ago so it’s not so much that, though I think it has been illustrative of the relationship for him. For him it’s more the lies, which are connected with addiction issues. I think he’s getting to the enough is enough phase. It is just very sucky.

          • Violet

            It so is, and hard to watch your partner suffer for years in trying to handle it. Hugs.

          • emmers

            Exactly! Because I always privately think how much of a dick his dad is, but I definitely can’t say that too his face, other than affirming whatever husband says. Hugs to you too! Partner dad solidarity!

    • Henri

      YES.

      I’ve been estranged from my parents for 2 years, and this holiday, Father’s Day, and Siblings Day (?!?!) are, frankly, pretty terrible. As I plan a wedding they are definitely not invited to, and struggle with all the feelings surrounding that, these holidays are hitting even harder.

      So, yeah, massive I-feel-you on this, and also solidarity for being in the Bad Family Club (which is a semi-joke club with my friends (who also have rough families)).

      • penguin

        Thank you so much! I have a pretty distant-relative sort of relationship with my younger half brother, but he can be a sweetheart and I feel a little bad leaving him out. In the end I think it’s for the best. Originally my plan was going to be to invite them, and just assume that she wouldn’t go (would be typical), but the idea of having her there, and her acting like we were close and she’d done so much for me, was making me feel sick. So I decided to just skip giving her the option. At this point I’m a little worried about what assorted relatives/great-uncles/etc will think/say, but I’m just hoping it will be fine. I figure she isn’t a part of my life at this point, and I’m tired of her pretending otherwise for the sake of appearances.

    • Rose

      My feelings are less complicated, but we just lost my grandmother (my mom’s mom) a couple of weeks ago, so every Mothers Day thing I see just makes me sad and worried about my mom and her siblings and my grandfather this weekend. And it’s definitely not like you can just avoid it, with all the spam coming right into your email and everything. I don’t have any advice, but I’m sorry you have to deal with it at a particularly difficult time.

    • JC

      I’m so sorry. I can’t relate directly, but two years ago when planning for Mother’s Day, my boyfriend’s brother told him that I wasn’t part of their family and didn’t deserve to be because I was making my boyfriend’s life worse, and by extension, the whole family. (I was living with them at the time.) It was the first time I really grappled with the fact that families are messy and complicated and don’t fit into our Hallmark card boxes. My relationship with my mom is fine, my relationship with his mom is fine, but I hate Mother’s Day. I hope you can find some peace this weekend and know that you’re looking out for yourself, and that’s the most important thing. Internet hugs.

    • crock-pot-of-doom

      100% I literally asked the lady restocking cards “do you have any that don’t say how great a mom she is?” Like all I want is a happy Mother’s Day with a pretty front. I haven’t cut her out of my life yet but she isn’t exactly a part of it either? I make sure to celebrate the people I have in my life who have filled that role: my dad, my friends’ moms, etc. it helps a little, but seriously I HATE all of societies “but mom’s sacrifice everything you should be so greatfull” messaging. Because from what I’ve experienced no mom’s aren’t all that great and simply giving birth to me should not entitle you to a life time of me putting up with your shit

      • Anna

        Yeah, Mother’s Day messaging is all pretty one-dimensional, in a way that even seems to go beyond just ignoring bad parental relationships to outright judgement of them… One of my best friends/former roommates/bridesmaids was basically not raised by her parents at all, and has a kinda iffy relationship with her mom these days (although infinitely better than her relationship with her father, who refuses to acknowledge that his brother abused her repeatedly as a child), and she was saying that Mother’s Day is tough because she does want to express that she cares about her mother, but all the “thank you for caring for me” shit just makes her feel bad and weird about never having had that support.

      • Maura

        Oh man, in our family it’s our dad who was the problem. Us siblings have joked about how hard it is to find a Father’s Day card that strikes the right balance. I know how you feel! I stand at the card rack saying, “Nope, nope, nope” to 90% of the cards that talk about what a great dad you are because you did all these great things. It’s hard. Sometimes I just resort to the jokey cards.

        • Lisa

          Ooof, yes, I feel you. Throw in my dad’s personal preferences on cards, and it makes it incredibly difficult to find one that balances what I feel like I can accurately say with what the greeting card industry says I should feel. Dad gets a lot of cartoon cards because those don’t have as much of a poetic message.

      • erika22

        yeahhhh I usually actively look for a very basic “happy X” for my mother – I know it’s just a card, but reading all of the ones that gush over love and sacrifice and stuff make me feel super uncomfortable and disingenuous. like i realize she gave birth to me and did the best she could, but her best wasn’t actually that great and actually probably wasn’t her best. idk, i wish my relationship with my mother was more like my relationship with my father, because at least my father and I have a very respectfully distant yet amicable relationship, and it feels much more authentic to me.

    • Jess

      I am on very strained terms with my mom, though I have not been able to make a transition from “talk every month but don’t tell you anything sensitive about my life” to “don’t talk”. It can be… difficult to hear about all the Fantastic Moms ™ and their Wonderful Lives ™, and how much they Have Done for their Children (and how we should be grateful… because… that’s exactly what she used to tell me – She gave me life and I’m so ungrateful).

      I agree that you shouldn’t invite her if you don’t want to.

      • penguin

        I totally understand that transition period. For a lot of years we were in that limbo where she’d (sometimes) call me on my birthday and we’d have a strained 2 minute conversation and get off the phone. Repeat for her birthday, mother’s day, and maybe Christmas, and that would be it. Then those started becoming less and less frequent, until I decided that I wasn’t going to make the effort any more. So I’ve stopped calling, and we haven’t spoken since last summer, when I saw her in person at a family reunion thing. She acted like everything was fine, and she was “so happy” to see us (my brother and I), and isn’t it great to all be together, etc. We were all polite, played games, whatever. She left after the reunion, and my brother said “that’s the last we’ll hear from her until the next one”. And of course he was right. I got engaged right after Christmas, and didn’t call her. I let her find out when we posted it on Facebook – she liked it and commented, and that’s all I’ve heard. I’m mostly fine with it, and once I decided to not invite her to our wedding I just felt so much better.

    • EF

      YES.

      that’s all i have to say because this is just fucking exhausting.

  • Totch

    Hey everybody! Happy happy hour.

    I mentioned this in the comments yesterday, but last night we had dinner with my MIL to clear the air and establish firmer boundaries after his family pretty seriously overstepped and messed up our wedding.

    It was rough. His family is the type that does something shitty and when you call them out they say “that’s in the past, nothing can be done. the real problem is that you’re still talking about it.” But after our objections on the wedding day, a conversation the next day, two phone conversations, and dinner last night, she finally understands that what they did was wrong, a big deal, and emblematic of other long-term issues we’ve got.

    So we genuinely believe she gets what went wrong, and is remorseful, but we’ve also got our eyes open and know she likely won’t change much? The important thing is that next time it happens it’ll be easier to call it out as a team, because things have been tense between my husband and I since it happened and that’s the relationship that really needs to work.

    • theteenygirl

      I was hoping you’d update us today with how it went. Glad to hear things are out in the air but also that you and your husband are working on things as well.

    • Lisa

      So glad to see an update. You’re right that you can’t force people to change, but you’re also right that now you can reference this conversation if/when she exhibits the behavior again. Hopefully she’ll remember how much it upset you guys and will want to try something different in the moment.

      • Totch

        Yeah, I mentioned above to SoFar that the conversation isn’t new. But this is definitely the most hurt it’s caused so I’ve got to hope she heard us.

    • sofar

      Finally caught up on your previous post and just gotta say I’d be quaking under anxiety and pressure if I were in your shoes (supporting your MIL and then having her second-guess you guys at every turn).

      I’m glad the conversation went as well as it possibly could have gone.

      Always easier to reference past conversations when bringing up future issues, and now I’m glad you have that basis to fall back on, if (and when) she behaves the same way in the future.

      • Totch

        Yeah, it was really hard around the wedding because we’ve had conversations similar to this one before. And we put in a lot of prep work (on both sides) to make sure our families knew what the boundaries were and didn’t overstep. So it’d already been an anxious, carefully constructed thing.

        The thing they fucked up wasn’t even on our radar as something that needed clearly stated boundaries! So last night one of my MIL’s defenses was “you didn’t specifically tell us about this one thing in advance.” It’s frustrating because we’re constantly trying to relate things back to the bigger picture, and because she’s so the-past-is-the-past about everything she refused to see the pattern. Everything is an isolated incident. Ugh. Now I’m just frustrated again.

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      I’m proud of you guys for persisting and holding your ground.

  • LindseyM

    We just got our pictures back from our wedding, and there are some amazing ones! We did an alternative to a bouquet toss where you throw the empty box from a nice bottle of whiskey, and whoever catches the box gets the bottle. Pandemonium ensured, as you can see in this picture. I would highly recommend it for anyone looking to do an alternative to bouquet toss.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1cd17ad75a91835c6a3fc2275fbcf973a521d99c8462a6263409f95f13219e4f.png

    • Alli

      That is an incredible idea!

    • Kaitlyn

      This is amazing

    • Lisa

      Brilliant. Love it.

    • sage

      So many disco balls!

      • LindseyM

        Haha yes… we got married in Argentina. No venue comes without them.

    • LindseyM
      • Jessica

        That skirt!

      • Ashlah

        That dress! It looks like peacock feathers!

      • Totch

        That lace is amazing!! (You look good too 😛)

      • Engaged Chicago

        Omg beautiful dress!

    • Eve

      That’s fantastic.

    • Lisa

      This is the best idea ever.

    • Violet

      The intensity on that one guest’s face is priceless.

    • Brynna

      I love that idea!!

    • rg223

      I LOLed at this – it’s so perfect.

    • Yael

      I may have to steal this!

    • Dess

      EXCELLENT idea. I want every wedding I attend to have a whiskey toss!!

    • Jess

      10/10 would fight for whiskey.

    • nosio

      This is a FABULOUS idea. I wasn’t planning on doing any kind of toss, but I might have to steal this.

    • Engaged Chicago

      This is brilliant .: I love it

    • I got/stole all our good wedding ideas from APW, but now I feel like we missed out big time on not doing this. SUCH A GREAT IDEA!

    • Hannah

      this photo is everything!

  • Katie

    IT’S HAPPENING! By it I mean our wedding. By the date set we’ll have been legally married for 2 years, so it’s not like I’m a blushing bride but I kinda feel like one!

    Some things are pretty much nailed down – date, my wedding dress and rings. Now I’m in the pain of finding vendors and fitting them in our still kinda vague budget. I messaged four photographers, and three of them replied already. I really wanna book them as early as possible because the photos are one of the biggest priorities for me. The sad thing is, my absolute dream photographer is available on our date, and the other one, who’s just a solid okay photographer, is available too. But the price difference between them is $1700. I know it will be easier to consider when we have a venue booked and all other big items picked, but I know it’s gonna take a while and I’m torn whether I should decide now.

    Also, if you know an affordable venue in Austin, TX or were/are planning a wedding with an approx 10k budget, pls shoot me a message! We want a vibe that would be glamorous, Hollywood, vintage feeling, and for that the best place would be a restaurant and coffeeshop. While they both would be in the city, the drawback is the lack of natural light and no kids allowed (almost all guests of ours have kids and I don’t think they will all be able to find a babysitter, unfortunately). The second choice is a cheap venue 30 mi from Austin, and while it’s got a backyard wedding vibe which I also like, we feel like a lot of guests will feel “stuck” there and thinking about driving all the way back. So, again, I’m torn.

    Please send me some positive thoughts. If you’re a planning bride, too, I’d really appreciate your 2c of advice! I hope everyone is having a great week and I wish you a great weekend!

    • penguin

      I’m planning too! It sounds like you have a date but no venue? I’d get the venue nailed down first before you book any other vendors for sure.

      • Katie

        Awesome! Are you in Austin? Yes, date set but no venue so far. I was looking at Casa Rio De Colores but it’s more Mexican fiesta vibe than a Hollywood one. I’m fine with it though, only concerned that it’s a little too far from the city BUT it can accommodate our large crowd with kids. Backyard weddings are my favorite weddings anyway!

        • penguin

          Ah sorry nowhere near Austin – Boston area! It’s great that you have a date in mind, but I would just caution you that you don’t really really have a date until you have the venue booked. Or in my case, until your future MIL throws a fit and permanently damages your relationship…

          I’d focus on the venue first, and once you have the contract signed and a deposit put down, move on to other vendors. That will also help you with the budget – if the venue is cheaper than expected than you may have extra money for the photographer you want!

      • emmers

        Plus one to this! If it turns out you can’t find a venue that works for your date, then your date may shift. We were set on XYZ dates in Sept/Oct, but ended up moving to Nov because our perfect venue only had dates available then. First venue. Then other stuff (unless you have some kind of fall-back venue available on your chosen date!).

    • Amy March

      Yeah it’s way too early to commit to spending over $1700 out of your 10k budget on a photographer.

      • Katie

        Correct me if I’m wrong, but do I hear judgement? Not booking anyone yet, just shopping around. Photography is priority for me, so I was allowed to at least ask my dream photographer how much her services cost (she’s in high demand, so)

        • penguin

          Is the photographer $1700 total or is the difference $1700? $1700 total sounds super low priced to me (in a good way), but if that’s just the difference then I think you’d want to see how the costs of things like food/drink/venue shake out. Totally understand asking around (that’s a good idea), also gives you an idea of who is responsive, which for me has been a BIG deciding factor.

          • Katie

            the difference, not the cost. Yes, 1700 would be a dream!

        • Amy March

          No? You said you were torn on deciding now! I think it’s too big of a chunk of your overall budget to tie up before you’ve found a venue.

          • Katie

            Okay, that’s exactly what I was wondering, thank you. On all the APW checklists photographers went hand in hand with venue (the time to book them).

      • sofar

        Wanted to co-sign this. Also, until a venue is chosen, one cannot say they have “a date” yet. So I’m firmly on Team Book-the-Venue-First. If you book the photographer that’s already out of your budget and then find out your venue is more expensive on one day than another (or only available one day in the next 2 years), you’ve got big problems trying to move that photographer to another date …

        • Lisa

          Yeah, unless you’re unwilling to compromise on the date, it might end up changing with the venue selection. Ours was “sometime in fall 2014,” and we didn’t finalize the date until we had venues that both had availability on the same day.

        • Katie

          Don’t think we can compromise on the date…

          • penguin

            Have you booked something for it or are we missing something about the date? I’m just kind of confused here.

          • Katie

            Oh, sorry, short comment cuz I’m at work. I meant, I don’t think we can pick another date because I want a meaningful one, not the one that fits the venue. It’s gonna be our meeting anniversary (we met online). Plus it works well with other people’s birthdays, vacations, etc. Most people live in Austin anyway, my family has to travel but they’re up for it.

          • sofar

            Ah. I see. And you’d hate to miss out on your dream photographer because you waited too long to book him/her.

            Does your photographer require you to have a venue before you book? Ours did. It determined his arrival time, travel fee, equipment he brought, and tons of other details that were baked into the contract. Since our venue was downtown, we had to have an addendum where we paid for his parking.

          • Katie

            Exactly, I’d hate missing out on her (she has all weekends in booked except for ours!). She doesn’t require a venue booked. She travels here anyway, and there’re no travel fees.

      • Mostly agreed — If photography is 100% your top priority and you’d ultimately be fine with, say, a pizza party in a park as long as the pictures looked dope, then by all means book them now and get creative with everything else!

        But since at most weddings the venue + food are the lion-share of the budget, locking those in before becoming emotionally invested in spending 20% or upward of your budget elsewhere is going to save you grief.

    • Alex K

      I went to a wedding in Austin a few years back that was about about 30-45 mins outside of the city. Everyone took ubers to/from the wedding. I don’t remember it being that expensive (and it was Labor Day weekend). I think there is some way to alert uber/lyft that a bunch of people will need rides and a somewhat further out area (could be wrong)? It was really a very easy wedding to attend. I really don’t think 30 mins will concern anyone too much!

      • Katie

        Thanks, I needed to hear that! Although it’s 30 miles away, not 30 min

        • Alex K

          Hill country? I think you’d need to be pretty far from Austin for 30 miles to be a big deal.

          • Katie

            Liberty Hill :)

    • Katharine Parker

      I would try to nail down your budget before committing to a photographer, and I’d probably choose a venue and caterer first, too–or at least have a clear sense of those numbers. How is the extra $1700 going to affect all of your other plans?

      I would say that the difficult thing about booking the more expensive photographer now is that you can’t scale that cost down in any way–if you realize your budget is getting out of hand, there are usually places you can trim (e.g. chicken instead of steak, or limited bar instead of full bar). Those are choices you can make down the road. But with the photographer, the contract you sign will probably not be alterable. The cost may be totally worth it to you, and you may work your whole budget around it, but I would want to be aware of how your whole budget looks before booking the more expensive photog. You could also reach out to the photographer about options for less coverage, if that makes sense for your wedding, although she may not want to do that.

      Good luck with planning! It’s work, but it’s a lot of fun, too :)

      • Katie

        Thank you! In our case, the concern is not about steak or bar, but other costs that are very vague for now (venue not booked, DOC not found, etc). So I hear you. And thanks! It’s already fun and work))

    • emilyg25

      We got married about 40 miles from where we and most of our friends live, and pretty much everyone got a hotel room for the night near the venue. I don’t think it was a big deal–or at least, I didn’t hear anything about it.

      Photography was our top priority too and we spent about almost half our budget on it. But do try to secure the venue first just in case you end up backing yourself into a corner budget-wise.

      • Katie

        Yes, my dream photographer is almost 50% of our ball parked budget, too… I’m torn, I really want cool pictures but afraid that other costs will add up.

        • Lisa

          If you’re willing to compromise on coverage times, you could see if she’d be willing to lower her rates a bit in exchange. (For example, one of my friends didn’t really care about getting ready pictures so she paid for a few hours less coverage.) Or if she’s including an engagement package that doesn’t interest you, that could also take a few hundred dollars off as well.

        • anon

          We had no flexibility on our date, which meant we had less flexibility on the venue. That was fine for us, but was, of course, a tradeoff.

          I was really obsessed with some more expensive photogs, but ultimately, even lower priced ones are still quite excellent, so I wouldn’t view it as a trade off of “cool, expensive pictures or cheap, mediocre pictures”, especially in an area with a decent arts scene, like Austin.

    • LadyJanee

      To go against the grain of advice here, we booked our photographer before we had our venue booked. They were our dream photographers and so we asked what dates they had available in the few months we were considering and picked our date based on their availability. Then we looked for a venue that was available that weekend. But that reflects our priorities – we didn’t have our heart set on a particular venue but we did have our heart set on the photographer and so that’s what we based our decisions around.

      Also, regarding the distance, we got married in my hometown, about 3 hours from where we currently live and where all of our friends/most of our family lives and everyone just booked a hotel for the weekend. We didn’t have anyone say they couldn’t come because of the distance. My SIL got married about 45 mins from where we live and we also just booked a hotel. It’s nice to have an excuse for a night in a hotel! But if we didn’t do that, we were happy to pay for an uber (which a lot of people did). So I don’t think people will feel stuck – 30 miles is not very far/expensive to travel if people don’t choose to get a hotel.

  • Eve

    In honor of Mother’s Day, my dear mother deserves a shoutout.

    She purchased my wedding dress for me a few weeks ago. Yes, it’s really way too early to have a dress when we don’t have a date set, but whatever. I love it. It’ll sit in my closet for ten months until it’s time for alterations.

    I also hate surprises and keeping secrets, so my fiancé saw pics of my dress and helped me try it on at home after I picked it up. Keeping the dress secret from him just isn’t something I care that much about. He’s going to marry me and think I’m beautiful anyway, whether he’s seen the dress or not. My mom, on the other hand, apparently has Feelings about him seeing the dress. She figured out that he’d seen it and went off on me about how he’s not supposed to see it. I informed her in no uncertain terms that idgaf and think the tradition is silly, and we left it at that.

    WELL. A week later, she says she has something to talk to me about, and says that she’d been thinking about what I’d said about him seeing me in the dress, and has decided that we’re doing things our own way and she’s really excited and wants to be supportive of that. She didn’t stop there, though; she amended her original one-thing-she-cares-about (which was walking me down the aisle) and told me she thinks I should walk down by myself instead of with her and my dad, and while she originally used the phrase “giving me away,” she’d been thinking about how I’m an adult taking myself to my marriage, and she thinks it’d be more meaningful and stunning for me to walk alone.

    I have a year to decide if I actually want to take her up on that, but I’m still just all warm and fuzzy about her support and her willingness to revisit the conversation after the fact.

    • Jessica

      awww, Mom! It’s so cool when parents take what you say seriously and the relationship is better for it!

    • Totch

      That’s amazing! That kind of recognition must feel really good.

  • Katharine Parker

    Invitations to our wedding have arrived! People keep texting my fiancé and me about how beautiful they are. We splurged on gold calligraphy, and the envelopes are too, too gorgeous. I am obsessed with them. And it’s fun to be getting RSVP cards back–I can’t wait for the wedding to be here and to see all of our people together!

    We did a premarital counseling thing on Wednesday, which was really nice. It’s good to have a space to talk about our future and how we communicate and solve problems.

    In fun news, I just ordered a rehearsal dinner jumpsuit–fingers crossed it’s a winner in person!

    • Anna

      Oh man, RSVP cards are so much fun to get. We almost decided to do online-only RSVPs and I’m glad we decided to do both – it makes checking the mailbox such a treat. Fiance, who is not generally a craft-y person at all, wants to put all the RSVP cards together into something cool when we’re done :-) I strongly suspect he’ll just end up arranging them all and taking a photo, but still.

  • Emily

    LOVE the fur! My late Grandmama called them “Grocery Store Furs.” Hah!

  • Lisa

    Our RSVPs are due today, and we’ve received half of them. People can respond online or by mail (or just call us, for that matter), so I’m not sure why this is always a thing. We’ll wait another half a week before we start with the follow up calls. On the plus side, every time we get a response in the mail I get really exciting and happy! And we’ve been getting the sweetest and funniest little notes from our friends.

    I have to turn in a draft of my prospectus on Monday, so I’ve been working up a storm on it. Welcome to the madness that is the end of the semester.

  • Sosuli

    Practical question – any tips on selling your wedding dress? I’m in the UK so specific websites might not be useful, but how much did you guys drop price and how long did it take to sell? We need to cut down on stuff and get some funds together in advance of our move to Finland, so I’ve had mine cleaned and posted it on one website,
    but no interest in the first week. (Just had to slip the move mention in there again since i’m so effing excited!)

    • theteenygirl

      Have you tried StilWhite? It’s an app.. I think it’s world wide?

    • JenC

      UK websites that I know are preloved, still white and sell my wedding dress. I don’t have any knowledge of selling personally but I gather the price is based on how popular the dress is, the designer, the retail price and the alterations you had done to it. Have a search for your dress on the sites and see what it’s listing for. Sometimes people don’t have a lot of luck selling their dress, I’ve known people who have tried for a year to sell their dress! So if you need to get shot of it, reduce the price as much as you are willing. If it really won’t sell and you are moving so it needs to go, donate it to Oxfam they have a huge second wedding dress section.

      • Sosuli

        Thanks! Good suggestions. I’ve tried looking it up and no one else seems to be selling the same dress. It wasn’t a fancy designer one, but fairly budget so might mean I should drop the price more…

    • Kalë

      In practical advice, lower it as you go! I’ve shopped around quite a bit on used and preowned wedding dress sites, and some of the prices that people are asking blow. my. mind. No, I’m not going to pay $3,500 for a used dress! I wouldn’t pay that much for a brand new one! Maybe just me, but I’ve seen a lot of brides asking way more than I think is reasonable, and hence, having difficulties selling their dresses. So, if no one meets your initial price after, say, a month, try lowering it by 10-15%. Rinse and repeat. Good luck!

      • emilyg25

        The prices on used stuff always makes me chuckle. I typically list things at 50% of their original value or less.

      • Sosuli

        Thanks -the one website I posted on I asked under the price I bought it for, but not much – because I had it professionally cleaned and am including an underskirt. It’s just bit time sensitive since we move in August. Hope it goes before then…

        • Amy March

          Price it at 50% of what you paid! It’s used, major discount in value.

          Or I hear your MIL likes white dresses? (Too soon?)

          • Sosuli

            Hah! That’s hilarious. Lucky she’s not my size. ;)

            Also you’re right, I need to drop the price more.

    • CP2011

      I’m not sure if my experience is US-specific, but I bought my dress from a trunk sale and was able to get the same amount I paid for it ($400) from a bridal consignment store. I did not disclose that it was purchased at a big discount — I just gave them the retail price of the dress. I also took a Magic Eraser to the dress and that took all the makeup and stuff on the top and front of the dress (did not worry about the bottom).

    • Yael

      I have a similar situation, except the dress I want to sell is handmade by an etsy seller (so, not a designer) and is also light blue. A regular consignment shop doesn’t seem right, because it’s a sort of fancy dress, but it’s also not a traditional wedding dress.

    • Alynae

      I sold mine on PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com. And I bought it thhere from a bride in the UK ( I am in the US). I think it depends on the dress/designer/how hard it is to find, but I bought it at about 60% of the original price and sold it for the same.

  • Emily

    LOVE the fur! My late Grandmama called them “Grocery Store Furs.” Hah!

    In other news, we got our engagement pictures back and I’m…torn. I adore the pictures – our photographer is seriously SO GOOD – but I’m thrown off by how out of shape I look : Soooo…in an effort to not go crazy in the last three months before our wedding, I’m really upping the self care and healthy eating. And I’m being completely honest with myself, I haven’t been the best about going to the gym, drinking less wine, or general listening to my body stuff lately. So I’m definitely going to be doubling down on those things in this home stretch.

    And here’s a pic! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e08e60ed9e9228eb92e06d4f55121b24060a1ce40c3883c5b6e22100b93ed639.jpg

    • Ashlah

      Beautiful! Absolutely lovely.

    • theteenygirl

      You two are glowing :)

    • Lisa

      Ok, how cute are you two? That’s such an adorable photo!

    • Rosie

      Girl you look beautiful! And you both look so happy! And I love your dress, it’s adorable! Also I can totally relate to how you are feeling. We just got back the photos from my bridal shower and I don’t like the way I look (not specifically for weight reasons… I just have a few features I am very self conscious about), and now I’m so nervous that I’m going to hate my wedding photos / not feel beautiful at the wedding. It’s weird because I generally like what I see when I look in the mirror and have high self-confidence in that regard, but I think maybe I’m just not that photogenic and hate seeing pictures of myself. It’s hard! I might try affirmations, as cheesy as that sounds… but I’ve heard they work :)

    • Kaitlyn

      Ah you guys look so happy! What a great pic (and dress!).

    • Amy March

      Up your emotional self care too! You look fabulous and happy and in love. Practice seeing that.

    • Katherine

      You look gorgeous and so happy! Plus, that cherry dress is stunning.

  • Rebekah Guerra

    I’m getting married on Sunday (yes, Mother’s Day, no, not my first choice by any means) and everything is going spectacularly horribly. I am on the verge of losing my job, I probably won’t be speaking to my parents after the wedding ends, and my FH is very sick with a cold and is not in a mood to be doing anything that needs to be done. Really wishing I had eloped right about now…

    • JillPole

      I’m sorry everything is horrible! Here’s hoping this is the darkness before the dawn. (Jedi hugs)

    • theteenygirl

      I’m sorry to hear this :( One day at a time. Is there anything you can pass off to family or friends to get help with so you can take some time for self-care?

    • Lisa

      Sending love.

    • emmers

      Ugh, I’m sorry. Weddings can be hard. Hang in there. I hope you can rest and relax for at least a day or two post-wedding. Hang in there!

    • Jess

      I hope that you can find some friends to help. If there’s anything you need that can be done from a far, lemme know.

      Otherwise, I am sending all the good wedding vibes in the hopes that the next couple days can turn around for you.

    • I hope things improve and that you find moments of joy and bliss among all the other emotions you are feeling now too. It’s okay to feel a whole bunch of emotions at once, even complicated ones, even on your wedding day. Thinking of you…

  • Kara

    So this was a hard week. *** Cry warning ***

    On Sunday, my husband found out one of his high school friends committed suicide (I never met my husband’s friend, but it was unexpected). My husband drove up to Dallas for the services on Tuesday, and came back home Wednesday afternoon.

    When he returned home, my husband was spending time in the backyard with our 2 German Shepherds–playing with them and watching them play. Everything was normal. The dogs chased after a squirrel, and our 5 year old female (whom we’ve had for 2 years) started acting funny. I wasn’t home from work yet, but my husband noticed, and walked over to her to see what was wrong.

    She walked a little bit further, laid down, took a few deep breaths, and quit breathing.
    She died right there in my husband’s arms as I was pulling into the driveway.

    We rushed her to the nearest vet (like 4 minutes from our house), but they were closed. Thankfully, a janitor opened the door saw our panic and got a vet tech to come out to the car (no vet was in the office). The vet tech couldn’t legally pronounce her dead, but she did tell us she couldn’t find a heart beat.

    Our vet was kind enough to stay open late so we could bring our sweet girl to their office.

    Our vet thinks it was probably an diagnosed heart issue or a pulmonary embolism. We’re grateful she didn’t suffer, but it’s soul crushing right now.

    I’m so heartbroken.

    • rg223

      I’m so sorry :( How hard for both you and your husband. Internet hugs.

      • Kara

        Thank you so much. I don’t know what else to say, but I’m so thankful for this community for all the support I’ve received not just for this, but for everything.

    • I am deeply sorry for all the loss this week. ~internet hugs~

      • Kara

        Thank you so much.

    • JennDee

      Oh damn. I’m so sorry. Sending you all the hugs today!

      • Kara

        Thank you all so much.

    • Bsquillo

      Oh my goodness, I’m so sorry. Thinking of you and your husband.

      • Kara

        Thank you … just thank you

    • AGCourtney

      I’m so, so sorry.

      • Kara

        Thank you

    • Alli

      That really is heartbreaking :( I’m so sorry. It’s probably not much consolation but I’m at least glad she spent her last moments with your husband.

      • Kara

        I’m so glad my husband was holding her–she knew she wasn’t alone.

        Thank you.

    • Ashlah

      Oh, how terribly difficult and heartbreaking. I’m so, so sorry.

      • Kara

        Thank you, Ashlah. I can’t thank you all enough.

    • Lisa

      Oh, my goodness. I am so sorry for your loss.

      • Kara

        Thank you, Lisa.

    • Jessica

      That’s so awful, I’m so sorry.

      • Kara

        Thank you, Jessica. Please give Maybe some extra pets for us.

        • Jessica

          Will do

    • Em

      Oh, I’m so sorry – what a terrible, horrible, distressing week for both you and your husband. Sending many hugs, and hope that you get some down-time and time together to grieve and look after yourselves this weekend.

      • Kara

        Thank you, Em. We’re not doing anything this weekend–just spend time with our remaining animals and take care of ourselves.

        Thanks again.

    • sage

      I’m so so sorry.

      • Kara

        Thank you all.

    • emilyg25

      I’m so, so sorry for your losses.

    • Lisa

      I’m so sorry. If you can, I hope you both can engage in a little self-care this week. Lots of hugs.

    • I’m so sorry, that’s heartbreaking, especially so suddenly :(. Sending good vibes your way.

    • Henri

      Oh, I am so sorry. That is a really, really tough week. :(

    • Yael

      I give you internet hugs.

    • Dess

      What a crushing week. I’m so sorry.

    • EF

      this is really terrible, i’m sorry for all of your losses.

      i just want to respond a little to the suicide, if that’s ok? i…have been to too many suicide-induced funerals. they are always hard. please give yourself, and your husband, time and space to grieve. these can be incredibly difficult deaths to work through and i dunno i just wanted to say that it’s okay if things seem especially shit right now.

    • Oh no! I am so sorry to hear this! I am sorry for the loss of your husband’s friend; that must be so difficult… And I am sorry about your dog. It’s so awful how your world can be upended and you can lose loved ones without warning. Last week my cat got sick very quickly and we had to put him to sleep. It was such a shock because it was so sudden. I am glad your husband was right there for your dog in her last moments and that she spent those moments playing. It’s so heartbreaking to lose a furry family member. I am so sorry…. Thinking of you, your husband, your other dog, and your husband’s friend’s family and community.

  • Kate

    Phenomenon I’ve observed: Super conservative or religious white dudes fantasizing about converting liberal women. Is this a thing? I think I’ve personally experienced this several times. Once was very clear, a dude I stopped seeing for his bigotry told me he was convinced that “Jesus would change my heart so all my beliefs aligned with his and then we could get married.” Sometimes it seems to be a white dude savior complex, but other times it seems they get off on the idea of steamrolling a woman’s identity? Am I imagining this?

    • Ashlah

      Ew. I doubt it’s imagined.

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      So, as somebody who convinced or tried to convince a number of people to convert, and later apologized to them all, there’s definitely an underlying belief that as a Saved Christian (TM) it’s your responsibility to make sure your loved ones get saved. And there’s and underlying understanding that once they hear the truth, of course they’re gonna get on board, for the same reasons you did. But I’ve also experienced a particular strain of misogyny where some dude thinks that this girl is the perfect girl for him, she just needs to stop sinning and come to Christ and become somebody she isn’t first.

    • K. is skittish about disqus

      This is definitely a thing. When I was in college, I tended to dress up every day and I was very much a dress-and-heels kind of girly girl. I was/am also extremely, vocally liberal. Fashion was a means of self-expression and I’ve never been ashamed of my femininity, so I did what I wanted. But there was this one conservative Christian dude who would find me between classes and show up at events I’d be at, all to compliment my outfits, then immediately “joke” about how I was wasting my womanly potential and shit like that. Super uncomfortable, but I was less assertive when I was younger.

      Basically, long story short, he ended up drunkenly attacking my now-husband for being a “pot-smoking hippie” who didn’t “deserve” me and screamed that someday I’d regret not taking “the better path.” Considering I haven’t thought about it in years (this comment reminded me!), I think I’m good.

      This was an extreme example (I see that now), but no, you’re not imagining it.

      • Ashlah

        Whoa.

        • K. is skittish about disqus

          My college culture was weird! It was a tiny place in a tiny isolated mountain town. Also 70/30 male : female ratio, and my husband was one of 5 POCs in our class. So there are a lot of things that I’ve had to kind of readjust in my brain as “not normal.” I could write a book.

    • Lisa

      Gross. I didn’t realize this was a thing, and my immediate response was Aww Hells to the Nos. Sorry you’re having to deal with this.

    • Grace

      Isn’t this the whole premise of A Handmaid’s Tale?

    • Jess

      I was friends with somebody for a while that we had some chemistry but there was a clear line of “He was not very conservative/religious and I am very not” that is about as close as it got for me… He wasn’t like… overt about it, he just held some beliefs for how he wanted his life and relationships to work.

      I don’t think he ever thought he could convert me though.

      ETA: On second thought, we did have some good in-depth conversations about religion, so maybe he was trying but I was just resolute?

    • Lara

      Not really. Those guys have made up their mind to follow a religious path. Then when they meet a woman who they’re attracted to, but who isn’t on the same path, they try to convince her because their path isn’t negotiable to them. Women do this to nonreligious guys too!

    • JC

      Yep. In my experience, it’s the combination of the evangelical compulsion to save people mixed with the believe that women don’t actually know what’s best for themselves.

  • jem

    We’re 99 days away from our wedding!! Blahhhhh all of these little details I’ve been procrastinating on keep popping up. HOW DO I HIRE A POLICE DETAIL?

    • Ashlah

      Why do you need a police detail???

      • penguin

        Is it a venue requirement? If yes, I’d ask the venue people how to go about it.

        • jem

          Yes venue requirement and we just need to call the police department but it’s more of a spiritual question. How can there be so many details (pun!)?????

    • InTheBurbs

      The website for the town we had our reception in had contact information for the person who handles that for them on our website. We called – told them what we needed – they gave us the fee and we were done. Handed the guy the cash the night of. Done.

  • Bsquillo

    Hi everyone! I’ve been under a totally brutal workload for what seems like all spring, but students and faculty are gone from campus, so I’m finally re-emerging at Happy Hour!

    My coolest update is that I’ve recently gotten plugged into a local activist group of super badass women that started convening and strategizing after the Women’s March. We’ve been meeting for a couple months in our small group, and we’re going to have our first public “mixer” and invite all our people in June. Trying to stay positive and focused on local, grassroots issues, with the goal of getting organized ahead of local elections in the fall and making a difference in our community by serving folks in need.

    It’s been awesome, because the group is mostly women who are a generation or two ahead of me, and they all have SUCH incredible stories. I’ve been really inspired that they have already been at this for decades, and it’s nice to know that we have such a committed group of progressives in a mostly conservative county.

  • JennDee

    So we’re 21 days out from the wedding–yay!! RSVPs are done, our numbers and layout are to the venue, our awesome Pastor has the ceremony I spent weeks (weeks, people!!) writing and has approved it, our escort cards are organized by table and my partner ordered some adorable chicken, carrot and cow stamps from Etsy to indicate that guest’s meal (something he’s seriously so excited about, haha!). Things are coming together, and I definitely hit my Wedding Zen!! It’s real, it feels amazing, and pretty much nothing can bring you down!!

    • emmers

      That’s super fun about the special stamps!

  • jules

    Hi everybody! Huge thanks to all who gave me Portland suggestions on a HH a few weeks ago – we had an amazing trip, which ended with a ……
    Proposal! :D
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/74adfd2d75ffe1cafe00876e30d28f2d928ee388abac5bb7e6a79aa15fa82bfe.jpg
    We hiked to the top of Multnomah falls on our way home and he brought me over to a secluded spot in the woods beside the river (very private, very us) to propose. Knew generally it was coming (we picked out the ring together a few months ago).

    Question for you all – do you take your rings off to shower/sleep? C was pretty confused when I took mine off to shower, thinking I would never ever take it off. But that’s a thing, right?

    • Jessica

      Congratulations!

      Never ever taking it off is how you get ring rash.

    • Lisa

      Congratulations!!

      I take my rings off basically as soon as I get home from work and put them in my jewelry dish. I rarely wear them when I’m at home. I also have a silicone hiking ring that I wear for outdoor activities instead of my normal set.

      • jules

        I’ve been looking into the silicone ones a bit! We do lots and lots of the outdoorsy stuff, how do you like it?

        • Katherine

          My husband wears one for work and he really likes them! Helps him avoid the worry of damaging his ring with caustic chemicals. I will say that I wear my rings all the time when doing outdoorsy stuff and have never been concerned about losing or damaging them.

          • jules

            I think C will end up with a silicone wedding band because electrician + metal ring = bad news! I’ve worn my ring a few times outdoorsing, but nothing too crazy yet. We’ll see once we get into summer :)

        • Lisa

          I really like it! Husband got me mine for my birthday last year, and I got him a matching one for Valentine’s Day. When we go hiking, my fingers swell up, which made wearing metal rings painful. (Bonus: the aqua color glows in the dark, which is lots of fun for camping!)

          • jules

            My fingers do the swelling thing too… So far it hasn’t been too bad, but we’ll see once we’re out of shoulder season and can go on longer hikes.

          • Lisa

            I never noticed that my fingers swell until I went on hikes with my wedding set! I suppose it’s not necessarily painful, but the fact that I couldn’t get the rings off or even twist them around became disconcerting. The silicone band solved that problem!

        • Mer

          I just ordered one this week! I don’t have an engagement ring at the moment and my fiance wears his 100% of the time. So I bit the bullet and ordered one. I workout a lot and also cannot wear a ring (other than a flat, plain band) at work. So the silicone one will hopefully be a good compromise.

          The one I ordered was only $10 so… even if I end up hating it, not a big loss.

        • K. is skittish about disqus

          My rings don’t fit me anymore (thanks, third trimester!) and my new silicone one has been a dream. It’s so comfortable and adjusts really naturally to the slight changes in how much my fingers swell each day. Mine is silvery and has a little infinity symbol on it, which my usual sapphire ring is shaped like too, so that was kind of neat. I’ll probably keep using it for hiking, camping, running, etc in the future since it’s been so awesome.

    • Alli

      Congrats! And yep, it’s a good idea to take your rings off when sleeping and showering. I know mine gets weird if I have water trapped under it, and I’m just waiting for the day I scratch FHs face with it while I sleep.

    • Violet

      I take mine off to shower and sleep, yeah. To shower because apparently soap can gradually build up and cause a stone to come loose. And sleeping because it doesn’t need the extra wear and tear of my tossing and turning and possibly getting snagged on linens. But I know some people are very squeamish about removing them because it makes loss more likely. If you have one or two ring spots in your home, you should be fine.

      • Lisa

        Perfect excuse to find/buy/make a cute jewelry receptacle! My mom and sister made me a small glass plate several years back, and it became our ring plate. I love that I was able to find a functional purpose for it.

      • Sarah

        and it you have a little kid a big stone, or one set high, tends to scratch them. A few generations ago women didn’t seem to wear engagement rings all the time…just a band after marriage. Maybe because they were more hands-on with chores, kids, etc?

        • Violet

          I actually chose a very low-maintenance wedding band for this reason! SO I have the option to dress down/not worry about it.

    • wannabee

      Congratulations! I take my engagement ring off when I get home every day–mostly because it rises a little off my finger and I don’t want it to snag on stuff. I plan on almost never taking off my wedding band/sleeping in it.

      • Yael

        Me too! (posted this above, should have scrolled down!) I thought I was the only one. However, I will totally continue to take off all rings because I just don’t wear jewelry in the house.

    • sage

      My ring is off for the following:
      shower
      sleep
      all workouts
      pool time
      cleaning
      overseas travel
      whenever I feel like it… sometimes at the end of the day my fingers are swollen and taking off the engagement ring is almost as nice as taking off my bra

      • cml

        100% on all workouts! I hate the feeling of anything on my hands while I’m trying to pick up heavy things and set them back down again! Lol

        • Anna

          Same, plus I’m worried that if I slip and drop a weight on my hand somehow, it’ll get damaged and also make the damage to my hand worse… When I was a kid, my dad managed to hit his hand with a sledgehammer while splitting wood, simultaneously flattening his wedding ring and making his fingers swell up. He then injured his hand even worse by taking a smaller hammer and trying to hammer the ring back into shape… I don’t remember how this was eventually resolved – the ring was somehow removed intact, but I have no idea by what means – but that made a huge impression on me and now heavy things and ring do not mix.

        • Jess

          SAAAAAME. I can’t stand it.

      • erika22

        Ditto on workouts!!!

        Fun gendered-expectations-in-wedding-planning story: we went to look at wedding rings in a national chain jewelry store, and the sales guy was suggesting a titanium ring for my husband because that way he can wear it to the gym “so all the ladies know he’s taken”. I just looked at him and was like, “I don’t need him to wear a ring 24/7 like I own him” and … yeah we moved on to looking at rings for me. (he also pushed against my husband wanting to try on rings that were like 3mm wide, as they were “too feminine”. this is why we ended up getting rings from etsy!)

        • Lisa

          The first jewelry store gave my husband so much pushback about wanting to wear his ring on his right hand instead of his left. (He plays a string instrument, and it’s very common for string players to wear wedding rings on their bow hand instead of their fingering one.) Needless to say we quickly moved on to other shops!

      • nutbrownrose

        I take mine off to shower, to do dishes or clean without gloves, to swim, and to bike ride. Biking is because I was warned that the stones set in my band might fall out from the pressure of gripping something like that for a long period of time. Swimming makes my ring feel loose and that’s distracting, and the same with the shower. But I don’t take mine off at night because I inherited a very healthy (some might say unhealthy) fear of house fires from my mother and I want to know where my most expensive/irreplaceable piece of jewelry is in the event of a panic inducing fire (I used to make plans before bed of how to get my most prized possessions out of my house in a fire–including my quilt and favorite stuffed animals). When my ring is too small to wear because of pregnancy I’ll probably put it on a chain around my neck to wear at all times.

        ETA: Yes, I am aware of how crazy all this sounds. But it’s a lot of logic for a small action that comforts me, so I’m just gonna go with it.

    • penguin

      Absolutely take it off to shower and sleep! I also take mine off to do dishes, or clean, or cook something messy, or… You’re still engaged if you’re not wearing the ring! And it helps to not get it gross or have it get stuck on your finger or something.

    • BSM

      I used to take mine off when I slept or showered, but now I leave it on all the time ¯_(ツ)_/¯

    • Katharine Parker

      When I first got engaged, I would take my ring off to shower and sleep. Consequently, I forgot my ring constantly. Now I wear it all the time. (I have a pretty simple solitaire ring though–if I had more detailing, pave, side stones, etc. I might be more concerned about wear on it.)

      • penguin

        My solution to this is to always take it off in the same place. So if I’m at home, it’s either on my finger, in the box it came in next to my other jewelry, or on the lid of our stand mixer bowl (it has a divot that makes it nice for holding stuff). I never take it off anywhere else cause I’m afraid of losing it.

        • Katharine Parker

          I would always put it in the same place, and I still forgot it at least once a week! Which is strange, since I never forget to wear earrings. The mind is an odd thing…

          • BSM

            I always put mine in the same place, but I would still feel stressed about possibly losing it while it was off my finger, even though that never actually happened*.

            Although at my bachelorette party, one of my bridesmaids hid my ring from me as a joke when I took it off to wash my face, and I FREAKED OUT (both in general and at her). Still feel kind of rage-y thinking about it now.

          • penguin

            Ooh that’s a VERY unfunny joke – I’d be pissed too.

          • BSM

            Yeah. It’s also like, a mind fuck. I’m pretty good at remembering where I put stuff, so when it wasn’t on the shelf in the bathroom where I knew I set it down I flew into a major tizzy.

          • Violet

            Second, that’s SO not funny…

          • Katharine Parker

            I hate when unfunny people try to make “jokes.” That isn’t a good joke!

          • Lisa

            Hiding sentimental jewelry that’s worth more than one makes in a pay cycle (or several) is not funny.

          • BSM

            Mhm. The center stone of my ring is very unique and took my husband and the jeweler we used 9 months to find. Definitely ruined night #1 of my bachelorette weekend.

          • jules

            Wowza. I’d be pretty upset about that too!!

    • jem

      Congrats!! My fiance had the same reaction when I first took mine off to shower (like 20 min after we got engaged, because he proposed while we were on a run). Do they think that we’re only engaged while the ring is on our finger? I take mine off to shower, cook and yoga (but not to sleep- I wake up in a panic when I do that). Hint to EVERYONE out there: cute ring holders make great engagement gifts

    • Megan

      Unlike everyone else, I almost never take my ring off. Maybe 1 out of every 3 showers and I workout, clean, and sleep in it. I haven’t had any problems and it’s been about 18 months.

      • Eve

        Yeah, I never take mine off either. I take it off when I put lotion on my hands because I hate how lotion gets stuck in the cracks, but I wear it all the time unless I’m out with my horse. And if I don’t forget to take my ring off before I go to the barn I just wear it anyway, because I’m more paranoid about losing it if it’s not on my finger. Growing up my mom wore, like, four rings every day, even gardening and riding horses, so taking rings off just wasn’t a thing I was ever taught to do.

        • jules

          Oooh yes to the lotion thing, the space in the middle of the band would collect that like craaaazy.

      • I never take mine off either. I asked the woman who made it about how to care for it and she said I can wear it pretty much anywhere (except the pool–chlorine is bad for the finish or something) and she actually said wearing it while doing dishes would help keep it clean.

      • Sarah

        I take mine off when doing weights at the gym. Fortunately, it’s not too frequently though!

    • savannnah

      We have super old heirloom rings in my family so this may be different but my mother and grandmothers motto about rings is ‘if it’s not on your finger, it’s in the vault’ so I never ever take mine off.

    • theteenygirl

      Took mine off to shower until I got it sized but now I just forget unless it gets caught in my ridiculously long hair. I take it off (along with all my other rings) at work sometimes. Sometimes I take it off when I sleep? One of the first things the women at my office told me to do was get a ring dish because apparently they all take their rings off when they get home. When I asked my mum she said, “I don’t think it will come off anymore” haha

      • theteenygirl

        Also super congratulations :)

    • LOR

      I take off my rings immediately when I get home, they normally don’t go back on until I leave the house again. Whenever that may be. It’s become habit now to just grab them from the place I keep them before I leave. Every once in awhile I do forget, but my husband doesn’t care. I also don’t wear my engagement ring to the gym, sometimes I’ll wear my band. Husband doesn’t care. He only takes off his ring to shower and sometimes to cook. But he’ll sleep in his.

      • Kelly

        Me too :) And sometimes I’ll end up running a quick errand and forgetting to put them back on

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      Is it white gold? If so, you should definitely take it off when showering, swimming, cleaning, or anything that exposes it to chemicals. The silver color is a dip, and chemicals can wear it away faster, and then you have a gold-gold ring. The jeweler who did my resize told me so.

      • Amy March

        But then you just get it re-dipped!

        • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

          Yes, but more frequently. Which presumably costs money.

        • BSM

          Yep! My ring has a matte/brushed finish that gets polished over time (and polished rings become more matte), so I just get it cleaned and re-brushed every 6 months or so. It’s not expensive and is super nice to have a fresh new ring again.

          • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

            Related, a jeweler re-dipped a friend’s engagement ring without being asked. It was originally a brushed finish, and became a shiny ring. It worked out that he liked it better that way.

          • BSM

            That’s lucky! Yeah, you do have to be pretty specific about the finish when getting it cleaned/re-dipped/repaired. I got my ring resized right after we got engaged (because I did a terrible job figuring out my size – whoops), and the jeweler polished it. This was before we figured out it could be re-matted, and we were freaking out!

          • Lisa

            My husband’s ring had a brushed finish on part of it, but it’s definitely worn down over the years. I felt bad when at my friend’s wedding I asked to see her husband’s new ring and sighed, “Awww, my husband’s ring used to look like that, too.” To which he let out a horrified, “USED to?!”

          • BSM

            You can get them re-brushed! Just check with a reputable jeweler to see if they do that.

          • Lisa

            We’ve talked about it, but then they’re literally shaving gold off…husband’s OK with it for the moment. I’ve offered to get it re-dipped/re-brushed, but it’s not worth it to him at this point.

          • BSM

            It’s actually just lightly sanded; it’s not as though they’re shaving off layers of your precious gold. But if he doesn’t care, no need to waste the money!

      • penguin

        Wow, I didn’t know that! Good to know since I have a white gold ring, although I’ve been taking it off for all those things anyway.

      • Katharine Parker

        I think the color of white gold without the rhodium plating is really pretty though. So you may like it with the plating worn off!

        • Ashlah

          This is what I was going to say! It will never turn yellow gold. Anyone curious can Google “white gold without paladium plating.” My husband bought a plan with my ring that provides free plating for life, but I actually like how it looks unplated, and prefer letting it show it’s age! Something, something metaphor for marriage.

          • Ashlah

            Edited to correct “palladium plating” to “rhodium plating” — whoops!

          • Well this thread of comments has made me realize that my white-gold ring was never plated! I was originally disappointed (and surprised) at how it didn’t look silver, but then decided that must be what white gold looks like now. (I had previously had white gold earrings that looked silver, so that’s why I had been surprised.) But, I guess my ring just was nonplated white gold. Huh.

          • Ashlah

            I’m sure you could get it plated, if the color still bothers you!

        • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

          By all means, you do you! Just reporting that the professional told me.

        • Lara

          If you get palladium white gold, it doesn’t need a rhodium coating. It also should not cause the allergic reactions that nickel white gold causes. Unfortunately, only a few jewelers offer palladium white gold.

        • EF

          bahahaha i did not even know that some white gold rings are plated. both partner and i have white gold and generally wear them all the time and it’s never been a problem. but neither is plated (just googled, literally did not know this was a thing). but yeah. white gold is a chemical compound. it doesn’t just turn back to regular gold.

    • Alex K

      I take my ring off to shower and sleep….I did not for the first year and ended up losing one of the little stones (which was 35 dollars to replace but kind of emotionally traumatizing). Ask your jeweler- when I lost my stone mine told me I definitely needed to take it off.

    • emilyg25

      I typically take mine off at home (and when I wash my hands), but I have some sensory weirdness and don’t like how it feels. It has definitely been lost and gone through the wash a few times, so be careful!

    • Kaitlyn

      I definitely take mine off to shower and sleep and for hardcore workouts. Apparently your sheets can somehow knock out the stone if it gets caught.

    • emmers

      I have a little ring bowl in the bathroom, and when I come home after work, I put my rings in there. I pretty much just wear my rings when I leave the house. But having a little home for them has meant I haven’t lost them.

      • toomanybooks

        Same! I don’t want my ring getting in the way every time I wash my hands or something when I’m in the comfort of my own home.

    • Ashlah

      When I had just my engagement ring, I took it off to shower because it felt really loose, particularly when I used conditioner. Once I added my wedding band, it fit more snugly and now I leave it on when I shower. I’ve never taken it off to sleep. I pretty much only take it off if I’m doing something messy in the kitchen–partly to keep my ring clean, but mostly to keep my ring germs out of the food!

    • StevenPortland

      Congrats! I wondered how your trip went to our weird city.

      • jules

        It was definitely great! Spent the morning hiding from the rain in powells and coffee shops, ended up at the March for science (awesome) in th afternoon, and drank our way from brewery to brewery back to the hotel in the evening. Would have been nice to have another day there, but it was fantastic.

    • AGCourtney

      As others have said, I pretty much only wear mine outside the house. I have a specific spot I put them so I don’t worry about them getting lost.

    • Lisa

      I wear mine all the time, unless I’m doing something that could get it really dirty, like kneading dough or gardening, or taking my martial arts class (so as not to injure someone). But it sounds like there are a variety of responses. I do clean mine every month or two and have it insured, so I’m not too worried about.

    • jules

      Sounds like I’ve been doing what most of you also do – taking it off to shower, cooking some things in the kitchen and for sports. I have another ring I wear all the time (my iron ring for engineering) and I’ve been doing the same thing (off for showering etc) for the last four years and haven’t lost it. I think c was much more concerned about it ending up down the sink than anything else (have had to open the pipes for more than one earring in the last few years oops!).

      Thinking it’s time to look for a ring dish! ;)

    • Fushigidane

      I take mine off when I shower, cook, clean or just feels uncomfortable. DH used to get really confused the rare times I switched my ring to my other hand while we weren’t at home. If we’re at home I always put my ring in the same place. (namely on top of bulbasaur :p)

    • Sosuli

      I take mine off to sleep, since it had a couple sharp bits that can scratch. I also just don’t wear my rings every day, because it freaks me out that I might get them stuck on… but that’s just me.

    • Abs

      Congrats! I took off my engagement ring to shower, work out and to do messy things with my hands, like kneading dough, but not to sleep. Those were all because I was afraid something would happen to it. Now that I’m only wearing a wedding band for every day, I leave it on all the time. It’s much less likely to get caught on things/get stuff stuck in it.

      But I do have a terror of taking rings off under less than controlled conditions. As a child I was taking a train down a Swiss mountain with my family, and I was bored and asked my mom if I could play with her ring, which for some reason she let me do, and I dropped it. And because we were going down a mountain the train was tilted about 30 degrees, so it immediately slid to the far end of the car. The lovely people at the end of the car gave it back once we got to the station, but I spent the rest of the ride thinking that I had lost it and therefore my parents were automatically divorced.

    • Not Sarah

      I take my engagement ring off to workout, both off to shower, and my engagement ring off to sleep.

    • Rose

      I take mine off for showering, sleeping, cleaning, and assorted other things. I do pretty much always wear my wedding band now that I have it, but there are days in which I never quite remember to put on my engagement ring (and there were before we got married, too). My fiancee had a pretty funny reaction where if she noticed she didn’t have hers on (she also took it off for some things, especially since hers is vintage and a bit more fragile) she’d be sad and start joking about not being engaged if she wasn’t wearing it–but she didn’t care at all if I was wearing mine or not, that was fine.

    • Gaby

      I got a platinum, very thin wedding band from Etsy that I had an allergic reaction to and I haven’t been wearing my wedding ring much since January. It’s possible the band is not platinum after all, but I can’t wear anything on that finger now without a skin irritation coming back in after a day or so. I miss my rings! I’m going to make an appointment with my dermatologist to get it addressed. When I just had the engagement ring, I took it off during yoga and some cooking but left it on during showers and sleeping. I think leaving it on during showers and hand washing may have had played a part in the skin irritation but I can’t be sure.

      • jules

        Oh no! Hopefully your derm can get it figured out!

    • littleinfinity

      Congratulations!!! I just got engaged in December and right afterwards, I would take my ring off for things like showering, cooking, etc, because I was scared I would mess it up or it would fall down the drain or something. But now that I’m more used to wearing it, I find I’ve been taking it off less, only in cases like handling raw meat or paint or things like that. I did buy a little ring holder so that I always have a place to put it! And I like the symbolism of the ring holder too, like even though it’s not on my finger at the moment, it’s still “valued” / in a special assigned place.

    • Yael

      I actually never wear my ring in the house. I take it (and all my other jewelry) off as soon as I get in the door. I love my jewelry, but it just seems like it belongs to the outside, like shoes. I am probably just weird tho.

      • penguin

        That’s what I do! If I end up staying home all day sometimes I don’t even put my engagement ring on at all.

    • Jess

      Yes. I take my ring off for the following activities:
      Cooking, Doing Dishes, Cleaning, Sleeping, Showering, Working out, Work sometimes (no hand jewelry allowed)

      So like… basically always. I have a ring holder by my bed and a bowl in the kitchen especially for this purpose. I don’t like wearing it when my hands swell from working out and I don’t want to lose it when my hands are wet.

    • Shirley Schmidt

      Congratulations! Beautiful ring and waterfall! I take my engagement ring off for a lot of things: washing up; any sports; showering; sleeping; washing my face/hands; anything where it might get knocked…

    • ART

      I take mine off for showering at home, but not at the gym (it seems more likely to slip out of my hands and fall somewhere bad there), and for doing any dishes with substantial food gunk on them. That’s it, and I have my spots in the bathroom and kitchen for them that I always use. It took me a while not to feel them on my fingers all the time, but now I have a little tic where I check that they’re still on sometimes because I can’t feel them at all! So sleeping is not a problem for me.

    • erika22

      That’s so romantic!!!

      I take my ring off quite often – it’s not a collar! I’ve never understood how people sleep/bathe/etc in their rings; I’d be too worried I’d get it gross or lose it. I have a plain sterling silver ring that I ring when I’m volunteering or hiking, just because I’ve gotten so used to playing with my ring and always feel like I’ve lost it if I wear nothing. And if I’m just walking the dog/going to the grocery store/something else for which I’d wear sweats or something, I may not even wear it. Obviously I love my ring and love my guy, but I also don’t need it permanently attached to my person. To each their own though!

    • Natalie

      I only take my ring off when I’m rock climbing, traveling internationally in places I’m likely to be robbed, or working with things that rings can catch in. I have a silver chain I put my ring on for while I’m climbing or working with things that catch rings. I have a cheap-but-nice ring my husband picked out (silver with lapis stone, total cost under $100) that I wear in place of my grandmother’s engagement ring when I’m traveling, because I feel naked without a ring. I wear my rings in the shower, to sleep, working out, cleaning, etc. My husband thinks I’m weird for always wearing it, and takes his wedding ring off to do dishes, shower, etc.

    • Knonymous

      I used to take my rings off to shower, until I dropped one while doing so and it nearly went down the sink drain. Now I keep it in for everything except applying lotion or hair gel, and maybe swimming in the ocean. And even that way I nearly lost it once, because apparently saying to your husband, “Be careful, my rings are right there​” does not mean he will be careful of your rings that are right there!

    • zana

      I take my rings off the minute I get home. Everyday. This is what I’ve done with my high school ring for a decade, and I’ve never lost it once, so that’s the logic I’m applying. But he also doesn’t wear his ring sometimes and…I don’t care? I suppose it depends on how much power you put in the symbol.

    • I wear my ring at all times, but it is a plain gold band with no stones or anything. I occasionally take it off I guess if I go rock climbing with my sister, or if my hand really hurts from something, (I keep it on for swimming even) so maybe 1-2 times a year, but I got it with the goal of never having to take it off and I do a lot of things with my hands.

  • sage

    So fiance and I are nearly 10 months into our 18 month engagement and… it feels like we will never get there. Any advise from other people who had long engagements about how to enjoy this long middle time? Would it help if I just pretend I’m not engaged and there is no wedding? Fiance and I are huge planners and lately it feels like we have made all these plans and spent all this money for a wedding that will never get here. All the work and none of the exciting payoff. On the bright side, the planning has been low stress because of the long lead up and we are ahead of the game (like we literally can’t do any more until closer to 6 months out).

    • penguin

      Have you guys planned your honeymoon yet? I’d either focus on that, or just focus on something else to try and take your mind off it. I’m mid-engagement so no advice from the other side yet, but good luck!

      • sage

        Yeah, we’ve looked at the honeymoon, but any more planning for something so far away is just making us sad. Not much is going on with us at the moment, and we are just waiting for things to pick up. We have some weekend trips scheduled for this summer, plus a big vacation to Eastern Europe in August (again, all planned, all paid for, just waiting…) We are also planning to buy a house hoping to close in September, but it’s too soon for us to start looking in earnest or put an offer down… we’re just waiting right now and I guess it’s making me anxious

        • penguin

          If you are taking a honeymoon right after the wedding, and your wedding is only 8 months away, it seems like a reasonable time to start planning your honeymoon. You don’t have to book anything until you’ve really decided, but if you’re big planners it could help to look around at things.

        • Lisa

          On the house front, it’s definitely open house season. Would it make sense to attend some of those to get an idea what you can get at different price points, see neighborhoods, etc? Gathering more information is always helpful when making those big decisions, and depending on how hot your market is, it might help to start looking sooner rather than later so you know what a good deal is when it shows up.

          • Alex K

            This was exactly what we did. It was so helpful when we were finally ready to buy- we knew what you could get for the price we were willing to pay and got rid of any wants on the list that we were never going to be able to afford. We starting looking officially and had an offer accepted within 2 weeks?

          • sage

            Yeah we have already done a ton of research, narrowed down to two neighborhoods, scoped out available houses in our price range, toured a few homes with our agent, have a broker and we ran the numbers over and over again on our mortgage options but are waiting to get pre-approved until closer to when we want to buy… next month we will probably start looking at more houses with our agent.

      • savannnah

        I second this! I also felt like we were never going to get there (now only 4 months away but started at 19 months) and for some reason putting down the venue deposit, meeting with the florist, picking out my dress- none of that made the wedding feel as real as buying our honeymoon plane tickets!

      • Katharine Parker

        Also mid-engagement (and with a short engagement, so no advice), but YES to honeymoon planning being wedding planning’s fun younger sister. I’m almost sad that our honeymoon is mostly planned, because planning for it is so fun!

        • penguin

          We haven’t started planning the honeymoon at all and our wedding is in October, so we need to get moving on it! I’m excited to plan something that literally only affects fiancé and I haha.

          • Katharine Parker

            Fun!! Where are you thinking about going?

          • penguin

            I’m torn on it – on one hand I’d love a lazy beach vacation somewhere warm. But I really (really really) want to pick somewhere we can drive to so we don’t have to fly, and we’re getting married in Massachusetts in October haha. I’m thinking of leaning into the whole “New England in the fall” thing and trying to find somewhere with all the best things in that theme – cider mill, fireplace, farmer’s markets, fall leaves, etc etc.

          • Alex K

            Woodstock, Vermont! So pretty, great food, some really cute inns, a FABULOUS farmer’s market…Keep us updated on your plans. I live in Boston and would love to hear about your fall get-a-way.

          • Katharine Parker

            The Berkshires in the fall are lovely! I haven’t been to Martha’s Vineyard in the fall, but depending on shoulder season availability, somewhere there, on the Cape, or on Nantucket could at least provide beach walks?

          • emmers

            I vote for someplace with a hot tub!

          • penguin

            You guys are great, thank you!! And totally on board with finding a place with a hot tub.

    • Alex K

      We had an 18 month engagement as well. From months 3-12 (so basically the middle year) there was not much to do. So I pretended we weren’t planning a wedding for a bit and then dove into something goals we had for post-wedding (buying a house, finding a group of people to hang out with since we had just moved). Good luck! It is a weird and fun time.

    • Erin

      This is my first time commenting, but I just relate so much that I had to! We had an almost 2 year long engagement as well (less than 2 months to go!), and I LOVE planning. I found that keeping myself occupied by slowly doing long term craft projects was so fun. I had taken a couple of pottery classes, but decided to take one just for making wedding flower vases, and made a million of them over a few weeks. I plan to give them away after the wedding, and it is fun to make something that felt like an investment almost. It also made me grateful that we decided to have a long engagement, because otherwise I wouldn’t have time to do such time consuming things! Enjoy being engaged, I already feel myself missing this time.

      • sage

        You know what, a long term DIY project might be exactly what I need here… I was avoiding DIY stuff for no real reason, but that would totally give me something fun to do in the meantime!

        • sage

          Pretty sure I’ve got enough watercolor paints and paper to make some easy table numbers!

    • K. is skittish about disqus

      I had a 23 month long engagement and the downtime could definitely be tough! My husband was in business school at the time so there was a lot to focus on outside of the engagement (hence the long engagement) but I’m a huge planner and definitely got antsy for “projects.) And with our length of engagement, there was more than one “slow times.”

      So when I really wanted to think about the wedding during those times, we instead shifted gears to focus a lot on the upcoming marriage – talk about our financial plans, our child-having and rearing plans, future travel plans, house buying plans, 5-10 year plans, philosophical marriage plans, the gamut. We’d have special date nights to go out and talk through things; it was actually a lot of fun! But we’re both fairly structured people in general and like to approach conversations that way, so YMMV a lot.

      Also, yes to honeymoon planning if you’re going to have one. SO much fun.

      • Shirley Schmidt

        Oh, that’s a great idea! Engagement as preparation for marriage falls by the way sometimes in favour of engagement as wedding planning and it’s something I’ve deliberately tried to build into our year-ish engagement.

    • No advice but, sympathy… I had an 18 month engagement for a wedding I could have planned in 4.

      We did wait until somewhat late in the game/waffled on a bunch of decisions and I swear it was because subconsciously I just couldn’t deal with like, 8 months of total downtime. Hang in there!

    • Shirley Schmidt

      Sympathy – this is why we ended up caving and planning a very small legal ceremony for this October and the big wedding next year. I am also a major planner and the anticipation was killing me. And we just want to be married already! So I very much feel your pain.
      Is there something else you can throw yourself into? A new hobby? Volunteering? Studying?

    • Mari

      We also had an 18-month engagement, and I’m a planner, so I feel you. One thing that worked for us was celebrating our “anteversary” each month — our wedding was on the 13th so on the 13th of every month prior to the wedding we went out to dinner at a new restaurant. It was something small but it helped feel like time *was* passing. And then once we hit 6 months, time started flying. I also ditto the other commenter’s post about having marriage talks (at the anteversary dates even!) It was nice to have time to prepare for our marriage. We also spent a few months going to pre-marital counseling soon before our wedding and because the planning was taken care of, we had mental space to do that and it was really great. Sending you good wishes for the last 8 months of your engagement!

  • Kalë

    FH got a raise this week, recommended by his boss. It’s his second raise this year, and he didn’t seek out either one. While I should be happy, I’m really struggling and feeling resentful and jealous. His job is so easy it’s boring (his words, not mine) and he and his coworkers literally lounge around on couches all day, watching TV and taking naps. They do maybe 1 hour total of work during an 8 hour day. I work incredibly hard, in a very stressful job, and have a college degree while M does not. Buuuuut he still makes 1.5x more than me – now, more like 1.75x. So, sure, yay, more money for us as we’re working on fully combining finances. But also like :(

    • Ashlah

      We have that going on in our marriage, but roles reversed. My job isn’t quite as cush as your husband’s, but my husband absolutely works way, way harder than I do and is not compensated enough for it. He’s had to negotiate hard for all of the meager raises he’s received, while my bosses hand out a standard, good raise every year and provide a significant (to us) annual bonus. I feel guilty about it because I know how easy my job is relative to his, but I think we both do our best to recognize how it benefits us as a unit. It’s hard, though, and has a different feeling than just a general difference in income. It can be tough to talk about.

      • Kalë

        It is difficult on both ends, I think! I keep trying to reframe it in my head – I am much happier at work than he is, despite the stress, and that is worth a lot to me. It just sucks to feel like I’m working so hard for so little, while he is cruising for quite a bit more.

        • Ashlah

          I absolutely understand. I hope (/assume) your husband is understanding of your feelings and supportive of you when you’re stressed/upset about your job and pay! I did have to ask my husband to be excited for me when I got raises, but otherwise, I try to be super sympathetic to his feelings about it–which isn’t hard since I’m angry on his behalf! It helps that we can talk openly about it, and both acknowledge the ridiculousness of the situation.

          • Yael

            I’m in your position. My partner is a teacher. He will never ever be paid enough for everything he does, and especially not for everything he has to put up with (i.e., students, parents, administrators). When I was working, I was very easily making more than him, and almost never had to work outside of my 40 hours a week. I ended up handling most of the money (since we were splitting bills proportionally, and I’m better at it anyway), and I think that helped. But, we also hadn’t fully combined finances at that point, so he was still paying his way a lot, and he was really angry about it. Not at me, but at the whole system.

    • Brynna

      Ugh I can definitely relate – I work in the nonprofit world and he’s an attorney. No matter what, he will ALWAYS make more than me (like twice as much, at least). It’s tough to stomach that, sometimes.

    • erika22

      I definitely relate to that – my husband makes 3x what I do, but he’s an engineer and I’m in non-profit, so chances are it will be like that for a large part of our lives. I have no advice on how to NOT feel resentful and jealous – I usually have to give myself a few days to feel it and ride it through. I also have him buy me dinner to celebrate, which helps :)

    • Natalie

      I can relate. My husband & I are poster children for the gender wage gap. We have the same degree from the same school in the same field, and are working at different institutions but have the same job title and are at the same career stage. I am demonstrably better, more qualified, more experienced, and more productive than he is, and work longer hours. He makes 20% more than I do. I mean, I’m glad we’re getting that extra money for our family, but I’m also pissed every time I think about how much more he is valued, monetarily, than I am.

      • emmers

        That is fascinating and terrible at the same time.

      • Lisa

        That is absolutely infuriating.

  • lady brett

    ugh, we almost had to take my honey to the er in the middle of the night this weekend because of head-to-toe hives from their beef allergy (after eating a fucking steak, so also fuck you for not taking care of yourself (but also it’s never been anywhere near this bad before; it’s usually a bad stomach ache)), which i’m just thankful didn’t escalate to breathing problems (unlike their “typical” no-traceable-origin allergic reactions…and possibly thanks to three doses of benadryl).

    and our baby has a latex allergy, so i am reading terrifying things now. because it’s a minor skin reaction right now, but latex allergies get worse with exposure, and latex is in…like everything.

    in short, fuck allergies.

    also, how do you take care of people? ugh

    • Ashlah

      Ugh, that sounds so stressful. No advice, but you have my sympathies.

    • Violet

      As someone who gets stress hives occasionally, it is scary as SHIT. I always carry Benadryl around, because once every inch on skin on your body has swollen up, you only need that lesson once.

    • Yael

      I have latex sensitivities, and it is possible to avoid it, but yeah, you have to think about it. I also ended up in the hospital with breathing difficulties after a bee-sting (hadn’t been stung in over a decade, apparently I am now very allergic). It all sucks.

  • PurplePeopleEater

    We have locked down all our venues and our caterer! The church was tricky, as it was Catholic, and I’m a divorcee, partner is unbaptized and we have a child out of “wedlock”, but my god that priest was a champ! He walked us through a petition to declare invalidity due to lack of canonical form and a dispensation from a bishop so i can marry a heathen! We are not religious but that church IS beautiful and it will mean so much to my mom and grandmom!

    • Cellistec

      High five for getting the church sorted out! I’m so glad to hear the priest was helpful.

  • aldeka

    Soooo… I interviewed for a new gig yesterday and got the job! Offer letter in hand, offering a substantial (like 30k) raise over what I make now. Team seems good, I have two friends currently at the company who say it’s great, tech stack is aligned with my interests…

    The downside is the commute sucks. 1.5 hours each way, instead of the 30m I have now. If I drive partway instead of public transiting the whole way I can reduce that to 45m, but then 1) my husband has to rejigger his commute, since we only have one car, and 2) sorry, planet Earth.

    The other downer is whether I can say goodbye to my current job. Work’s been kinda boring lately, and many of my favorite coworkers have left, but it’s still a good team of non-sexist non-jerks which is a premium thing in the tech industry. Also after my first year here, they gave me a 25% raise without me even having to ask for it (!). The guy who was my manager then has since moved on…but there’s some serious company loyalty bought with that move. Also I used their paid maternity leave a few months ago. Argh.

    • emilyg25

      Be honest with yourself about the commute. There’s no job that I’d commute 90 minutes for (I’d move closer), but my husband did it for almost 10 years without complaint. But don’t worry too much about the mat leave–that’s just the cost of doing business for them.

      • Lisa

        I am really with @emilyg25:disqus on this. I barely tolerated having to drive 20-30 minutes, and I could not imagine any planet where I’d take a 90 minute commute unless I desperately had to. Is relocation an option at this point if you’re unwilling to get a second car?

        • aldeka

          Relocation is theoretically possible but unlikely since husband’s commute is in the opposite direction. Also moving would take us further away from my mom, who currently provides us with most of our childcare. I doubt we’ll move in the next couple years unless 1) our rent gets hella hiked, 2) we were buying our own place, or 3) there were an unexpected second kid to make room for.

          An electric car and some books on tape may be in the works for us.

          • penguin

            Ooh highly recommend audiobooks! We use Audible (we have commutes by car in opposite directions) and it’s great.

          • emmers

            Podcasts are wonderful for commuting. As are phone calls.

    • Amy March

      Sounds like it might be time to use part of that raise to buy a car?

      • Jessica

        An energy efficient one?

      • penguin

        Great idea. A 45 minute commute would be OK for me (mine is 35-50 minutes depending on traffic) but 90 minutes each way would absolutely be a deal breaker for me.

        Also – even if you have a car, you could still use public transit sometimes if you really wanted to.

      • emmers

        And if you’re worried about the earth, maybe you can find a carpool! ETA- I’m in one and it’s great!

    • BSM

      Congrats!! That’s a huge raise!

      That commute would definitely give me pause. Is there any flexibility in being able to work from home a day or two each week?

      My husband used to have an hour and change commute on public transit, which he’d gotten really sick of after a few years. He would have been able to manage it if they’d been flexible on wfh, but they weren’t, so he left. Now he has 10 min commute, and our quality of life has significantly improved.

      • aldeka

        I’m told I can get 1 day a week WFH pretty much no questions asked. (They used to have company-wide WFH Wednesdays; while they’ve since ended that the team I’m joining is still on the WFH-friendly side.) Possibly I can negotiate that up to 2 once I’ve been there a bit and figure out the rhythm of the team.

        • BSM

          That’s something!

    • CP2011

      For what it’s worth, we only have 1 car too, but if one of us faced spending 3hrs commuting vs 1.5hrs, we’d get another one asap. Especially given the pay bump. Spending 1.5 hours transitting before even arriving to work every day sounds draining.

    • LadyJanee

      Congrats on the job!!

      I have a similar length commute (anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half driving) and while it is annoying, I have found that audio books have made a world of difference! I never have time to read which increased my annoyance with my commute (because it is such a time waster) but audio books have changed that! If getting another car halves your commute, I would do it.

  • AGCourtney

    I have been so exhausted this week. I’ve slept in until 10 or 11 nearly every morning, and it’s not for lack of trying! Maybe my body’s just trying to catch up from these past few months of getting up at 7 after working ’til 1 or 3am? It’s inconvenient, though.

    I had a choir concert on Sunday – my first in 6 years – and that was lovely. (The youth choir organization I grew up singing in added an adult choir, so I joined that in January.) We’re starting my daughter in the choirs this fall and I’m really excited for that. This was also the cataylst for a family discussion and we officially decided she’ll be in first grade this fall. yay homeschooling!

    I am really starting to understand the things I’ve read about the challenges parents face with extracurriculars, haha. My daughter has a dance recital tonight and she’s so excited. Today was “testing day” in gymnastics and she gets to move up to beginners 2 this summer! Yesterday she and my husband stopped by a new music instrument store downtown and she got to try out a violin again (she’s done so a couple of times elsewhere.) Well, the owner got to talking with them about the possibility of lessons and now she really wants to do that. Augh, I want to give this child the world, but I don’t want to overschedule her and I can only work so many jobs, haha.

    Ooh, speaking of jobs, though, an assistant manager position opened up at my husband’s store. Their store hadn’t qualified for that position yet and he effectively already does that work, so we’re feeling hopeful! Fingers crossed.

    We have a crazy-busy weekend, so hopefully everything goes well. We have our biggest area sale of the year tomorrow (200+ sales) and then we’re seeing Wicked in Minneapolis that night. I’m in the nursery at church on Mother’s Day and then we might go to the monthly family day at the Minneapolis Institute of Art…but we might not, depending on how wiped everyone is, haha.

  • Eh

    Hosting (early) Mother’s Day brunch last weekend went well. Thanks everyone who gave recommendations for menu ideas. We had a spinach and cheese strata (recipe from Smitten Kitchen) which everyone enjoyed (only person with a negative comment was my FIL who thought it needed mushrooms – as usual, he was full of comments and opinions about everything at brunch).

    By our front door we have a whiteboard calendar. As my FIL was leaving he looked at it and said ‘You guys ARE really busy this month.’ (I bit my tongue.) He apparently needed to see it written out to believe us that we are busy even though we had previously told him that we have/had plans every weekend in (April and) May, and during brunch we had had conversations about me going to my friend’s bachelorette this weekend (8 hours away), me and my husband going my friend’s wedding next weekend (8 hours away), and that my niece’s (his granddaughter’s) sweet sixteen party is the weekend after that (plus knowing about our regular stuff like my weekly volunteering and daughter’s swim lessons, not to mention both of us working full time). On top of our busy personal life, we are also both really busy at work (my husband’s restaurant was bought by another company and has a work trip next week, and I have some important deadlines coming up). So I wasn’t exaggerating when I said we couldn’t more make plans with them until June.

    My FIL was also surprised to find out that my husband wasn’t going to his cousin’s wedding which is on the same day as my friend’s wedding (which I am a bridesmaid in). Apparently my FIL thought we should go to the weddings separately since they are a 7-hour-drive apart so we can’t go to both (not sure where my daughter would go since she’s not invited to either). (Note: this was right after a conversation about how our daughter has separation issues and is emotional for a week if she doesn’t see both of us every day.) Everyone else at brunch thought it made sense that we attend my friend’s wedding together (since we are a couple, not just individuals) so that ended his comments quickly.

    • Totch

      Ugh. Sending inlaws-are-hard love. Enjoy your bachelorette weekend and leave it behind!

    • Jess

      Uuugggggh FIL.

      Have fun at the bachelorette weekend, though!

  • savannnah

    So my Korean spa queens bachelorette is next weekend and I’m hoping I’ll have a good time but right now its just been mildly to mostly stressful. One of my bridesmaids just cannot muster any excitement for the day and its really dragging me down. She is turning 29 this Tuesday and keeps saying things like ‘the only people who are excited for their 30th are lying or married’ and I get that this might not be the best time for her right now- she’s never been in a serious relationship and wants to be badly (without wanting to show it of course) and lots of our friends are getting married and long time single friends are getting serious partners but I just want to her get with it for like 2 days for me- she can fake it if she has to, at this point I don’t care. I’ve always been super supportive of her and as someone who had to plan their own bachlorette party, I just would like her to show up in any way she can for me next weekend instead of endlessly complaining about arrangement or cost (two thing I cleared with everyone prior to making plans) or who is going to be in what hotel room with who. And I know its just not going to happen and that makes me annoyed and angry and I’m going to get over it..soon.

    • Brynna

      Ugh that’s awfulllllll! I hope you are able to have a good time anyway – it sounds lovely!

    • theteenygirl

      Well that sounds like an amazing bachelorette! I feel you on the bridesmaid not being able to muster any excitement. My oldest sister is a bridesmaid. We are close as sisters but she is really the last person I would want as a bridesmaid, my mum made me ask her. Just as I expected, she has been not only unsupportive of the whole wedding, but unsupportive of everything.. the dress (she is picking her own long blush dress), the location (two hours away from where she lives), the accommodation (free, we rented the whole Inn), and explicitly said she’s not “doing any stupid wedding things”. I have two other bridesmaids, my other sister and a good friend but they don’t know each other.. so they don’t really want to plan the bachelorette together. So.. I’m planning my own bachelorette as well. And she will probably begrudgingly go even though it should cost less than $50 a person (picnic lunch in a park). And she will complain about everything and everyone will say, “well that’s just how she is!” and I’ll get upset again. So don’t feel bad if you don’t get over it. You won’t be the only one.

    • MC

      I feel you so hard on this. I had one such bridesmaid as well as a difficult sister to contend with, and I was definitely worried about it dampening the festivities.
      My mantra was: I’m not responsible for anyone’s good time but my own (I feel fairly certain I got this from APW somewhere along the line!). If anyone is going to pout in a corner, let them. It’s their loss. I’m going to have fun with my friends.
      And- I DID. I remember proudly telling my therapist about it afterwards. This is your bachelorette party and you deserve to have fun and not spend it annoyed and angry. Don’t let one person suck you in and pull you down.

  • BSM

    So… Are Republicans really gonna make us wait until 2018 to impeach the Mandarin Manchurian Candidate? I feel like I’ve aged 5 years just this week.

    • Gaby

      It’s probably just blind optimism, but I’m feeling hopeful lately that we’re getting closer. I know a lot of middle America still supports Cheeto Mussolini but all of the avid supporters I know on facebook have gotten more and more quiet and just SILENT now.

      • Kalë

        Ditto on the cautious optimism + silence from previously vocal supporters. It almost hurts to hope, but here I am…

    • Mary Jo TC

      And yet…as much as I want 45 gone—Pence? In some ways better (less volatile, more competent), in some ways worse (LGBT issues, more competent). I wonder if we could wait until 2018 and do a 2-for-1 impeachment, since the scandal has to do with the election, and surely makes the VP also illegitimate. Then our president would be whoever the Democrats pick to lead them after they retake the House. That’s my fantasy scenario right now. But it involves fast forwarding time a year and a half.

      • BSM

        My fantasy scenario is that we remove anyone involved in the collusion with Russia from office, hold special elections for Congress, and name the person who finished 2nd in the electoral college as POTUS.

        • Mary Jo TC

          Oooh, even better! No time-turner necessary! (Just humility from Republicans, so…)

          • BSM

            What can I say? I’m both outside the realm of possibility and very practical in my fantasy scenarios!

        • Rachel

          We haven’t seen any evidence about Russia. I personally think it’s mostly wishful democrat thinking.

          • BSM

            The FBI isn’t typically in the business of revealing their evidence before charges are brought. Kind of ruins the whole investigation thing.

            Despite that very significant tidbit, there are MOUNTAINS of circumstantial evidence of collusion: Trump advisors’ Manafort, Page, and Stone’s close ties to Russia, Trump’s purely laudatory comments about Putin the authoritarian, Russia hacking both the DNC and RNC but only releasing info from the former, Trump’s previous financial transactions with Russians and Russia-friendly banks, to name a few things.

            Wishful thinking would be that nothing at all improper took place and that Trump will grow up and be the leader we need sometime soon.

      • Lisa

        But with Pence gone, the next person in the line of succession is…Paul Ryan. Does anyone want him as president?

        • Mary Jo TC

          No, (shudder)–that’s why I was hoping to fast forward to 2018, when hopefully we’ll get a new Speaker of the House. And realistically, doubting the Republicans have the guts to impeach anyway, so it’s not possible until they lose the majority.

    • K. is skittish about disqus

      It seems like it will be better for them to remove him before 2018, since they’re shaking in their boots about the midterms if things don’t drastically change. Obviously, personal integrity will have nothing to do with this, so the more support gets pulled away, the more they’ll turn on him. AND they’re already starting to break ranks – like do you really think John McCain or Lindsey Graham gives two shits about the environment (re: the Obama methane rule)? Rats are slowly but surely jumping off the sinking ship.

      Of course, my ideal scenario is that it’s too little, too late and we get Dear Cheeto & Co. removed before Christmas and then we still crush them in the midterms. But at this point, his removal is such a requirement for our nation’s stability that I’ll take anything.

  • Lisa

    Something I’ve been thinking about recently: do you think that people should wait until they’re completely settled (long-term job, forever home, etc.) to have kids, or do you think that there’s never a perfect time to have kids and that at some point people just have to go for it?

    I was raised in a home like the former, and my husband’s parents are definitely the latter. We’ve been talking about the kids question very seriously lately, and it was interesting to have our own parents around last weekend and hear some of their views. (Not unsolicited opinions on our own situation, just general discussions.) I always thought I would have everything completely in place before kids entered the picture, but now I’m beginning to think that we might have some aspects of our lives together–but not all. I know there are lots of pregnant ladies out there right now so I’m especially interested in your thoughts and decision-making process!

    • CMT

      If I have to wait until everything is settled, I will never have kids (which I suppose is a possibility anyway, I have no idea). It’s definitely not a constraint I want to put on myself.

    • Amy March

      Absolutely not. No one is every fully settled. Long-term jobs and forever homes are wishful fantasies. People should wait to have kids until they a) really want them, and b) think they have enough love to give them, and c) can feed, clothe, and house them.

      Children do not care what your job is; they are not damaged by moving homes in their baby years.

      • Lisa

        See, my parents and most of the kids I grew up with were definitely in the former camp. My father worked at the same company for 20+ years until it merged with another, and his second company he’s been with for 12 years now. My parents also started building their house a few months after I was born and moved in shortly after my first birthday. It was the culture of my childhood and community that people settled and never moved and things rarely changed for them. It’s only as I’ve gotten into adulthood that I realized that not everyone lives/grew up this way.

        • Violet

          I grew up this way too… until my parents divorced and their “settled” plan got shot to all hell, anyway. Life man. You can make plans, but…

          • BSM

            Same.

        • Amy March

          That’s nice that it happened to work out that way, but it is actually completely impossible to know before having kids that you’re in a long-term job or forever home. It was always just a guess, and its even more unlikely now.

        • BSM

          The scenario you’re talking about (working at one company for a long time, building a dream home right when your baby is born and never moving, nothing ever happening to significantly jeopardize job and home stability, etc.) is not common amongst people I know, and I imagine is even more uncommon these days.

          • Lisa

            Most of the people I personally know and am close to were in a place that they wanted to be permanently, had bought homes, and had companies/schools they plan to stay with long-term when they had their kids. Only one couple we know with a kid is still in the “unstable” phase. (My husband’s best man is currently finishing up his PhD, and they plan to move when he’s done.) It sounds like my extended community that have moved into parenthood is very different from what other people are experiencing. (The non-parent couples in my life are also of the unsure variety who aren’t particularly tied to anything, be it homes or jobs.)

          • BSM

            Sounds like it!

            I seriously can’t think of one person who’s in the position you describe in my extended circle and can only name people I vaguely knew as a child, and I grew up in an affluent, suburban community that was super family-oriented.

          • Katharine Parker

            Even when I think about people who are superficially in that position (parents lived in same house for a long time), there are things that disrupt it–divorce or separation, changing jobs, unexpected health issues, etc. Life is just so unpredictable.

          • BSM

            Exactly. I can think of people (both my family and my in-laws) who perhaps felt like they were settled in the way Lisa describes when they had kids, but life happened, and they lost jobs or got sick or got divorced or a new opportunity came up or they had a change of heart or had other significant family issues or a surprise pregnancy later in life, etc.

          • K. is skittish about disqus

            My in-laws ended up settled in one home throughout their kids’ lives and it’s actually the greatest point of contention in their marriage. My MIL had always envisioned moving back to her home country in South America and raising my husband and his sister there, as well as traveling globally with them every summer to see her sisters (who live all over the world), but it ended up not happening for various complicated reasons. So she’s always felt resentful and trapped even though it externally looks like domestic suburban bliss. You never know what’s really going on.

          • emilyg25

            The one thing I would say is that when you have a kid, the stakes for moving become a lot bigger. We were looking at moving across the country right around when my son turned two, but didn’t want to leave our families or the good school system and our wonderful daycare. I used to wonder why my coworkers stayed at jobs they hated and now I get it.

          • Lisa

            This is something I’m already foreseeing. Husband suggested that next year might be a good time to have a kid if we stick around Badtown for one more year, but I’m wary of bringing a kid into an environment we really don’t want long-term. The kid becomes another reason to stay.

      • Katharine Parker

        Kids are resilient!

        signed, someone whose family moved continents with children and worked it all out

      • Knonymous

        On top of “no one is ever settled,” I think it’s hard to know whether or not you actually are settled until you already have kids (if kids are in your future). You could have an amazing forever job, and then have a baby and realize the commute is too long to keep up with a kid – even if you’d been sure it would work. You could have a long term home, and then realize it doesn’t work for the number of kids you want or end up with (a number that is hard to know for sure before you’ve had any). If you​ expect kids to be part of your life, you can’t really get settled without them.

    • Sara

      I believe there’s a great deal of thought that should go into it, but also that there’s rarely a ‘perfect’ time for kids. Most of my friends that have kids waited a few years into marriage and tried to be stable/settled/financially secure, but I don’t think they were really totally completely prepared for the enormous upheaval that came with it. There have been a few stressed out phone calls in beginning of pregnancy saying “what have I done?!” (all happy parents with happy kids now. Just a shock)

      That being said, I was raised by parents that got married because they got got pregnant with me. Worked out pretty well for them, still married, still happy.

      • Violet

        I have known several people with the arrangement that you described, so I think there are lots of ways to have kids and have it work out.

    • Violet

      Interesting question. I’m not even sure what it would mean to be “settled,” permanently. Like, never ever changing jobs or moving ever again? That seems… unreasonable. Or maybe it just does to me cause everyone in my region is always moving or changing jobs. I think there are definitely bad times to have kids (financially, emotionally, relationship-wise, etc.) but no “good” times to have them, so you settle for “good enough.”

    • K. is skittish about disqus

      We’re definitely not completely settled! We outwardly planned on having kids 5-10 years after our wedding (2 years ago), but we realized that had more to do with what we thought others expected of us rather than what we actually wanted…which was a kid. We spent long, long, long hours discussing it and ultimately decided that the factors lined up for us.

      The ways in which we don’t look like we’re outwardly “settled” enough for parenting is mostly that we’re still renting and we’re both really into what my husband calls “optionality” for our careers, meaning we like to take calculated risks and be open to new opportunities. It helps that this is how I grew up though — honestly, my parents STILL don’t have a forever home. I lived in over 5 different states before I was 15 and I wasn’t a military brat. We don’t necessarily want to be that extreme, but we both believe that kids thrive in stability, but it doesn’t necessarily have to always be physical stability. You just have to balance the needs of the family as a whole with the needs of the individual child, and be accordingly flexible.

      At the end of the day, though, we believe we are emotionally, mentally, and physically ready for parenthood…or at least, steeled and ready to take on the unexpected challenges and joys that go along with it. Plus we can afford it (more or less!) and we have a ton of family support to boot.

      (Caveats: All of this does contribute to us very seriously considering being one and done. And we’re also super privileged to be able to make these kinds of moves and decisions for ourselves without seriously worrying about our income.)

      • BSM

        I seriously cannot ever envision either my husband or I staying in our current jobs (which we both like a lot) for the rest of our lives or never moving (even though we just bought sort of a dream property and are putting a ton of money into it). But maybe that’s also because I can’t picture us ever “settling down” and not moving or taking on a new career opportunity, no matter our living or job situtation. Thinking about it makes me feel a little claustrophobic!

    • Ashlah

      I don’t think there’s necessarily a right time that is right for everyone. You’ve got to go with what you’re comfortable with. We had a list of things we wanted established before we started trying for a baby, which included stable jobs, retirement savings, enough money to take unpaid leave, vacations taken, a house, etc. But I certainly don’t think all of those things are necessary or right for everyone. And if life hadn’t worked out quite the way we planned it, and we still wanted kids badly enough, that list might very well have changed. As long as you have the capability to emotionally and financially care for your kid, it’s okay to go for it. I do agree that there is no “perfect” time. There will always be more you can do to prepare for such a major life change.

      The only “wrong” time to have kids, in my opinion, is when the child will be negatively impacted by your life (and I mean, like, not receiving basic needs or care, not “he deserves more toys”) or when you are living with someone else who’s had no say in whether they want to be involved in bringing a baby into their home (Eyeing my sister here…).

    • JC

      I’m eager to read others’ replies, but my answer is that I think we’ll be somewhere in the middle. I had always assumed we’d be settled, but the more we talk about it, the more it seems like we’ll probably have kids before we buy a house, and we might like to continue renting in our current city until we need to move to an area with better schools. Plus there’s always the possibility that new jobs will come up or we’ll need to move to Finland because democracy is collapsing (lolsob). I’d like to have a mostly-forever job (not this one), and to like our living arrangement/neighborhood enough to stay there until we want to buy a house. I guess that’s a good amount of “settled” for me.

    • JSK

      I got pregnant 3 months after I started a brand new/high stress job. And less than 1 month after my husband did the same. I had my son 5 days before my 1-year anniversary at work and took my parental leave with no official FMLA protection. My husband’s company didn’t offer pat leave to his office (small regional office). We’d both left jobs that offered 4 months of leave for both parents.

      None of what I described is ideal, certainly. Not the best time professionally, but we were ready in other aspects – financially/emotionally solid, living in a large enough space – and we had taken our new roles having been fully transparent with the hiring managers/SLT about our family planning plans.

      I will say this: my in laws live nearby and are wonderful, generous people. This first year would have been a much tougher process without them so close by (last minute babysitting, extra sets of hands for house/yard work, etc). If you have plans to live close to either family, I vote move first, baby second.

      Oh, and start setting aside the daycare money now, if you’ll be going that route. We live in a Southern city and it’s still $1300-1600/month around here.

    • lady brett

      i think i’m somewhere in the middle – like, does not being completely settled actually mean it’s not the perfect time (or at least a good time)?

      part of this, for me, is that what we need as a family changes, so it’s not like we can line up to meet all our needs/wants right now and then just roll with it. our needs and wants will change – in general, and with the kid’s development – and so our “settled” now will not be settled in the new landscape. things will change, and we will hopefully change to meet them.

      that, and i think for us, even at our most settled some of our ducks are always wandering off. we just kind of have to decide which ones are important at which times.

    • macrain

      We are in NYC right now, which is something we know we don’t want long term, but we went ahead and decided to have a baby. I actually loved being pregnant and having a newborn where we are now, but as he gets older (he just turned 1), the need to find a more permanent home has grown much more salient. So- that is what we are focused on now: moving closer to family and having a better quality of life somewhere else.

    • I tend to lean towards “get established before having kids” – I come from a long line of teen/early 20s moms and I’ve seen so many family members struggle in raising their kids. I never wanted that, or to be a single mom.

      • EF

        yup. i look around at my mother, my sisters, my friends from high school and there’s a LOT of kids by age 22 or so. kids don’t deserve that kind of turbulence.

        but on the other hand the idea of a long term house and life long job is incredibly foreign to me so….

    • MC

      My BFF just had a baby in October that came earlier than they expected/planned, and since he was born she’s been so much more motivated to get her shit in order (she’s kind of had amorphous/unclear goals for most of her adult life). She has a lot of family support close by and works for her mom, so there are definitely factors in her life that ease the financial/logistical burden of having a kid. But I’ve really loved seeing her get more focus & motivation about figuring life stuff out since baby came along.

    • honeycomehome

      I think somewhere in the middle. I used to be more on the “settled” end, but I also realize that for many that’s unrealistic. Especially for older millennials, the recession generation who graduated high school/college into a terrible economy… We aren’t as settled as we may like or planned to be. I didn’t have good career luck until 30 (two years ago), and I’m still not entirely settled. We rent a one bedroom! We have student loan debt up to our eyeballs. If we waited to have forever-careers and a house… we’d never be ready.

      But I also think being settled has clear advantages and so now I think of it more as emotionally settled, with a partner, with the ability to handle the stress and upheaval. Jobs and money are part of that, but aren’t requirements or shorthand for “real adults” anymore. So now I’m just “most settled than not, but don’t wait for perfection or try to match our parents’ milestones.”

      • K. is skittish about disqus

        “Emotionally settled” is a really eloquent way to put it.

    • Yael

      I grew up with the expectation of the former, but I also didn’t think that I’d be starting a PhD program at the age of 33 (luckily it’s only a 3 year program). Admittedly, I worked for years in between undergrad and Masters, and Masters and PhD, so I’m not a complete neophyte at my chosen career, but getting the PhD is the only way to truly advance. I also didn’t meet my partner until I was 31. We’re definitely not going to have kids before I graduate, but we’re considering starting right after, since I’ll be turning 36 that year. He will hopefully have a job, and so will I, but, who knows at this point. At least being in Europe offers us a safety net we would definitely not have in the US.

    • emilyg25

      I think you need to be able to provide kids with some sense of stability, but that can be as simple as your pure love and enough food to eat. You can be a reliable force even while you move or go back to school or switch jobs or whatever, as long as you’re prepared to make your kid a priority.

    • Dess

      I am so happy you asked this question.

      • Lisa

        Thank you! It was interesting to see everyone’s viewpoints on the topic.

    • Hmmm I may have my first kid before I finish this Ph.D, and then I would move again. If I decide to stay in academia, I would have to move at least once (maybe twice) for a postdoc then a faculty position, and I certainly don’t want to wait 6-10 more years to start having kids, especially if I want multiple ones (which I do). So it definitely doesn’t feel feasible to be settled before I start to have kids. We’re both employed (ok, well not me technically because Ph.D but I get a paycheck and we could survive on just my husband’s pay fine) and have been married a couple years, so I think that’s settled enough. (We’re still probably going to wait a few more years, but it seems non-feasible to wait until completely settled.)

  • Laura C

    I am just so burned out right now. All I want to do is look at pictures of the baby (while enjoying that he’s at daycare right now and I’m not chasing him around). He chose the impeachment book off the shelf himself, btw.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-AOkKB_vNFs

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c4e12ceb9c88811380270f0fa8e22245a6df1e25b61a818fb8575fe50e8abd17.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/52d6729956b73fb9e9143fe9fa4192c998f5628abcc78cb6f85c39e9475c2c79.jpg 811380270f0fa8e22245a6df1e25b61a818fb8575fe50e8abd17.jpg

    • Totch

      What a cutie!!!!!

    • Amy March

      He’s darling!

  • Sara

    So I’ve been job searching and my boss caught wind of it (she and I are on fantastic terms, and there’s only so many ‘appointments’ you can take). She’s completely understanding of my desire to get out of the company. She did approach her boss about a raise for me and he counter offered her lower than either of us liked. So I passed. Then she approached HR about the limit for it, and they said they could do a little less than her original request. Yay!
    Bad news – her boss quit this week and her boss’ boss’ boss got fired very suddenly on Monday. So while she got it approved by HR, there’s no telling when someone in our department can approve it because there aren’t people in those positions.

    So…the job search continues I suppose.

    • emilyg25

      Nice to know she’s behind you while you’re there at least and will be a good reference! Good luck in your search.

  • penguin

    What kind of stuff do people like to see about the couple on the couple’s wedding website? I created ours and it looks pretty good (thanks Minted!) but our “About Us” section is just one sentence right now, and so is the “Welcome” bit. I’d like to have more info on the two of us, but I feel like a tool whenever I try to think of what to put there. Any ideas welcome! Anything I come up with sounds like a bad dating profile haha.

    • Lisa

      On our web-site, I put up our dating story and how we got engaged, but didn’t include an about us section. If you’re putting your wedding party up on the site, I always like it when the couple includes information about the wedding party and how/why they’re important to the couple!

    • I like “how we met” and “how we got engaged” stories! That said, I didn’t have anything like that on mine, it was all business/yo we are getting married here are relevant deets and no-one complained ;)

      • MC

        Yeah, I don’t think they’re necessary but I *love* reading people’s courtship stories! Another thing to think about it that a good chunk of guests will probably know one half of the couple and not the other, or at least won’t know the other very well – so it can be nice to include a little bio of each person. I think mine was like, “Here’s where she works, here are 3 hobbies, and she loves cats!”

    • Alli

      I had my fiance write our dating story. Everything I wrote came out way too complicated and he surprised me with a really cute description of how we met, some big events that happened in that time, and the engagement.

    • I like reading the couples story from both perspectives – each partner writing their own version. And I also like reading the proposal stories, but I’m a sap.

      • Natalie

        We did this! We each described our own version of the “story of us.” Many of our friends said they really loved reading them, including friends who know us so well that nothing in our stories was new to them. And my husband, who is not normally sappy or sentimental in any way, wrote such sweet & lovely things about me in his story, surprising everyone with his sentimentality.

        I also love proposal stories, and go to friends’ wedding websites specifically looking for them.

    • K. is skittish about disqus

      Oh, I felt like the biggest tool writing the About Us section! I included a lot of small details about how we met, our life together, our interests, and lots of pictures (so different sections, but only 1-2 sentences each and correlating pictures in between).

      I assumed people would think it was the dumbest thing ever, but our friends and family who didn’t know one of us well ended up REALLY appreciating it.

      • Natalie

        Yes, our guests who only knew one of us loved our About Us page. Some of our guests clearly bought us gifts with our about us stories in mind, which was touching.

    • savannnah

      We just copy and pasted our embarrassingly awk first messages from okcupid because we were lazy and everyone loves it.

  • Anna

    We did our tasting on Wednesday, and holy shit, everything was so fucking good. We picked our venue in large part based on the food, and then were a little bummed to find out that they have a separate “event menu” from their normal restaurant menu, which looked way less interesting – kind of generic, boring fancy event food (prime rib, roast chicken, etc). But oh man, when we actually tasted it, everything was cooked perfectly, really interesting and delicious seasoning & accompaniments, and definitely not at all generic or boring :D Sooooo excited to eat the dishes we picked out at the wedding (just over a month to go, oh my!)

    • Anna

      Oh, and what we ended up picking was:
      Burratta with fresh tomatoes to start
      Prime rib, black sea bass with citrus and roasted fennel, and polenta with greens and tomatoes as entree options (it’s all family style so I’ll get to eat all three of them <3)
      Duck-fat fried potatoes (literally entire potato halves) and roasted cauliflower with coriander as sides

      We're still fighting over the dessert (which we'll have alongside our wedding cake, which my mom is making) – we tried both the best lemon meringue tart I've ever had (which was advertised as a "seasonal fruit tart", which seems somewhat inaccurate to me) and a "chocolate decadence trifle", which was basically fancy chocolate pudding. I can't put into words how much I loved this lemon meringue tart. Fiance hates meringue with a passion. Contemplating just shelling out to add an extra dessert option (we're already paying extra to add the third entree, to avoid having a "either you eat vegetarian or you eat RED MEAT" dichotomy and also because all the things were delicious), so we don't have to make a decision… but two different desserts seems a little overkill on top of wedding cake (which will be chocolate layer + white cake layer with raspberry in between and buttercream frosting, FWIW, so I feel like we're already offering people chocolate and don't need to supplement with the trifle).

      • Amy March

        I think more dessert will be a waste of money. Buy yourself a tart directly from the venue just for, like, personal needs, and call it a day. People often barely make a scratch in the wedding cake let alone more dessert options!

        • Anna

          Fair. I don’t think it’s on their regular menu, but I’m sure I can convince them to sell me one (or several). Maybe do a late birthday party that consists mainly of eating delicious lemon meringue tarts when we get back from our honeymoon (since my birthday will be the last full day of our honeymoon).

          • MTM

            If you’re having your wedding there, they will totally make/sell you one.

      • BSM

        MMMMMM DUCK FAT FRIED POTATOES YUM

        • Anna

          Oh my god seriously. They legitimately tasted like duck and were crispy on the outside and soft on the inside and… mmmmmmm.

          • BSM

            Whyyyyyyyy do I not have a kitchen right now that I can use to prepare something like this???

      • Lisa

        We actually cut all of the dessert that wasn’t our wedding cake from the menu, and even I with the world’s biggest sweet tooth didn’t miss it. I was happier funneling that money towards the hors d’oeuvres and dinner. If you really want the lemon tart, you might be able to convince them to make you a special one without an extra charge because, seriously, whatever the bride wants, she gets.

        • Anna

          I just don’t know how much room I’ll have for dessert after passed canapes at cocktail hour + the above menu + wedding cake, and if I order it special then I feel like I have to eat the whole thing :-)

          • CMT

            You could have it for breakfast the next day.

      • macrain

        I don’t know, I kind of think you should have that lemon meringue since you love it so much! There were a handful of things like that with my wedding (among a sea of things that we chose I and I did not care about) that made me so happy it was just worth it.

      • AmandaBee

        1. I would eat literally everything on that menu and it sounds like the best wedding food ever.

        2. I am on Team Dessert. We had 2 kinds of dessert + wedding cake at our venue and no regrets. I loved baked goods, and our guests seemed to appreciate the options. Though I will say that I was surprised at how many people insisted on eating the wedding cake. We had it mostly for tradition’s sake (a certain grandmother had FEELINGS about cake) and I was way more excited about the other desserts. We brought leftovers home in boxes, so…post wedding dessert breakfast!

        • Anna

          I, too, have FEELINGS about cake, or at least specifically about the cakes my mother makes. I asked her to make my hypothetical future wedding cake years before marriage was even in the picture for me (although she apparently didn’t think I really meant it until we got to actual wedding planning and I mentioned it again, at which point she was like “Wow, really? Are you sure?”). It’s been interesting, though, because my mom had a couple assumptions about what wedding cake should be like that were pretty different from her usual cakes, and I had to be like “No, the buttercream doesn’t need to be PURE WHITE, I’d rather have full flavor than have it look ‘wedding-y'”.

          • AmandaBee

            Yes, I was also 100% about taste over looks for our cake. We had the simplest looking cake, but it was so good (almond with buttercream and raspberry fill, nom). The extra desserts were probably not a totally practical choice, but I don’t regret them. We had the money, I love dessert, and people ate most of them.

            If you find that you can afford it and are really excited about it, no shame in splurging on some extra noms IMO. Could you ask the venue to make only about half as many desserts as they otherwise would for your size crowd? That’s what we did and it worked out.

          • Anna

            Mmmmm. Sounds a lot like the cake my mother baked for me for literally every birthday from 3rd grade until I graduated high school: Rose Levy Beranbaum’s golden almond cake, with raspberry buttercream. It was just so good that I could never choose anything else. My mom even asked if I wanted golden almond cake for the wedding cake, but fiance’s not big on almonds, so we decided to skip it. I also floated the idea of raspberry buttercream for the wedding cake (everyone involved is very big on raspberries) but pink wedding cake seemed to be too much for my mom. Raspberry filling was an easy sell, though :-)

            We can afford it, and I’m a big fan of spending money that’s available in order to resolve arguments, so maybe that’s what we’ll do. But I’m also kind of liking the “get myself a perfect lemon meringue tart for Just Because and eat it on a non-wedding occasion” option xD

          • AmandaBee

            That cake sounds soooo good. I think whatever choice you make is gonna be good as long as you get yourself some more of that lemon meringue tart.

          • Ella

            I think if the cake is going to be as special as it sounds, it will hold its own as dessert. My main interest in ordering extra dessert would be to ease some pressure off your mom, if that’s a thing she is likely to feel.

      • Katharine Parker

        That menu sounds delicious!

        I love dessert. One of my mother’s rules is that weddings need a separate dessert from the wedding cake (where does this come from? I don’t know, but I have become my mother so I feel it is truth), so I’m all for this amazing-sounding pie. One possibility, though–can you set up the desserts as a buffet, instead of being served to people? Then, during the later part of the evening, people can go get pie or cake or trifle in between dancing. You wouldn’t need enough for everyone to have a full serving of each, so you can do a smaller cake with it, too.

        • Anna

          Yes, that is how we’re setting it up, but I don’t think we have much control over how many servings we get – they take our headcount and just make enough of every dish for everyone to have it. But maybe we can explicitly ask for half and half haha.

      • Shirley Schmidt

        That menu sounds AMAZING! Thoroughly endorse picking a venue for the food – it’s what we’re doing.

  • BSM

    Also, starting to bump out a bit! This was last night after a huge Korean hot pot dinner, but still!

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3c6de60ea9904ac854c90f9e39fbf37c641894bc327c43f84920c506d8d20c2b.jpg

    • Violet

      Lucky!! All my bump is BLOAT, lol.

      • BSM

        Lol, the bloat is so real.

        I still think mostly look like I just took on a half-dozen donuts by myself, but in the last couple days my husband has said I definitely look and feel more pregnant than before. I’m about 15 weeks along.

        • Violet

          So exciting!!

    • Ashlah

      Cute! So fun! I’m 24 weeks this week, and strangers are just now able to definitively tell I’m pregnant, depending on my shirt. (Evidence). A stranger wished me happy Mother’s Day on Tuesday! It was weird and exciting!

      • BSM

        Your bump is so cute! And so is your shirt!

        • Ashlah

          Thanks! It’s Motherhood brand, purchased at Macy’s. Old Navy’s basic maternity tees are great too, and inexpensive!

          • BSM

            I have been eyeing ON ones! I also recently bought a bunch of tees at Target (went up 2 sizes), since they were on crazy sale. Hopefully those will last me a bit longer and then postpartum as well.

      • K. is skittish about disqus

        Yay! You’re in the best bump phase, when you’re clearly pregnant but still super adorable. :) I’m at the phase where strangers are asking me if I’m passed my due date and give me shocked looks when I’m like, “Noooope, 2 more months to go” and then grumpily waddle-stomp on my way as they say, “Oh so twins then!” :p

        • Ashlah

          Haha, thanks! And oof yeah, while I’m excited for people to know I’m pregnant, I’m also dreading that it opens me up to annoying and/or icky commentary.

          • K. is skittish about disqus

            Most people are totally lovely in my experience so far. I’ve yet to have a barista give me so much as a side glance about drinking caffeine, yet you’d think it’s a daily occurrence for all pregnant women if you read Reddit!

            But I’ve definitely been asked if the pregnancy was planned or if I’m about to pop more than once (I’m measuring exactly on track, so I think most people just don’t know what third trimester bumps actually look like). It’s all well-meaning, though, I remind myself…and remind myself… :)

          • ZLMT

            Ugh, my dad told me I looked like I could have the baby any day when I was around 7 months and I told him it was super-rude and he should never say it to anyone ever. Apparently he’d said it to co-workers, and hadn’t realized why it’s so offensive. Yikes.

          • Ashlah

            I actually had a completely neutral experience ordering and eating sushi with a bunch of acquaintances a few days ago, and I made sure to share it with my Reddit Bumpers group to help calm the fear of publicly eating “restricted” foods–which I was totally worried about!

            I will do my best to remember it’s all well-meaning if the comments take a turn for the (unintentionally) rude :)

          • Sarah

            Agreed food and drink shaming of preg women is way overblown on the internets.

    • K. is skittish about disqus

      That’s totally a bump! :D Super adorable.

      • BSM

        Aw, thanks! I’m enjoying it much more than the “fluffy” look I had last week.

    • emilyg25

      Cuuuuute

    • ART

      Cute! I can’t wait till my burrito bump graduates to a baby bump. I don’t really care that much about showing, but the bloating is making me so self conscious, ugh!

      • BSM

        And I found it pretty uncomfortable, too. Hopefully yours abates sooner rather than later!

        • Cbrown

          My husband told me I can’t go into the supermarket, they’ll think I’m smuggling out a melon under my shirt. The bump was late to arrive (I’m 30 weeks and still in mostly regular clothes) but so cute now that it’s here.

  • JC

    A couple of weeks ago, I finished hate-reading a very well-known novel that I absolutely despised. Once I got far enough into it, I had to finish it to find out if it had any redeeming qualities. (Note: It did not.) As motivation to finish it, I went on a library hold spree and requested all kinds of books, which are now arriving faster than I can read them! Just in the last two weeks, I’ve finished Commonwealth by Ann Patchett and The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. I’m reading Gilead by Marilynne Robinson at the moment, and as soon as that’s done, I’ll be on to Swing Time by Zadie Smith!! I’m just rolling in great fiction right now. What are y’all reading?

    • CMT

      I’m reading Swing Time right now for my book club and I’m not liking it very much. It has so many good reviews that maybe my expectations were too high. Other than that, I’m reading a fabulous work of non-fiction called Creating Freedom: The Lottery of Birth, the Illusion of Consent, and the Fight for Our Future by Raoul Martinez that I jokingly say is turning me into a Marxist. Up next is A Very Expensive Poison about how Russia murdered Alexander Litvinenko and Russia’s relationship with the west, which is quite timely!

      • JC

        It’s good to know that you didn’t enjoy Swing Time very much. I actually don’t think I’ve read anything about the plot? So I’ll try to go into it without much expectation, except that it’s not BadBook that I got stuck reading last month.

        • CMT

          It’s also been a really fast read for me. Even though I’m not sucked into it, it’s still going pretty quickly.

      • Cellistec

        I agree. We read it for the Seattle APW book club and had mixed feelings about it. I found it well-written and the story relatively compelling, but none of the characters were particularly likeable. Which isn’t required, I know, but it helps to like at least one character, you know? Anyway, I’m interested in others’ takes on it.

        • Grace

          There’s a Seattle APW book club? Can I come?

          • Cellistec

            Heck yes! Email Rebecca (apracticalbookclub at gmail) and I think she can add you to the closed FB group, or she knows who can. We try to meet in person once a month, and it’s been a small group so far, but good book talk!

          • Jane

            We are reading LaRose by Louise Eldrich for next Sunday if you want to jump right in! As Cellistec said, email us and we can hook you up with the details.

          • Mari

            Grace – I’m also in the Seattle book club and we’d love to have you! If you don’t hear from Rebecca in a few days (I remember she said she doesn’t check that book club email account too often), feel free to email me at hazyshadeofspring at gmail and I can add you to our Facebook group. We’d love to have you with us next Sunday if you can make it!

        • Jane

          Btw – My mom did end up liking it, which I found surprising. So you never know.

          • Cellistec

            Yeah, maybe it reads differently at various times in one’s life. Or your mom just found more to like than we did!

          • Jane

            She didn’t get nearly as frustrated with the narrator as I did. But she doesn’t get as frustrated with humans in real life either.

      • p.

        I was disappointed in Swing Time, too.

        The Underground Railroad blew me away, though.

        • JC

          It was so good!

      • Jane

        I read Swing Time for my book club and did not love it, even though I LOVED On Beauty and White Teeth. Zadie Smith is pretty hit or miss with me. So, you’re not alone!

      • K. is skittish about disqus

        I actually enjoyed Swing Time (I found the character of Tracey to be vibrant and haunting, like she was coming off the page), but it overall hasn’t stuck with me like her other works. I can concede that I very likely don’t have the context or understanding for everything she was trying to get across regarding Black bodies and how that relates to the struggles of being biracial, but it felt a bit more lightweight. It was a good beach book for me though!

      • Sarah

        I quit Swing time last month too. Have several Ann patchetts around. I really liked the one about opera singer and patrons held hostage in South America. State of wonder was solid.

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      I just finished The Women of Brewster Place by Gloria Naylor. I don’t remember if I picked it up at a library book sale, or used on Amazon, but I really enjoyed it. There was a particularly dark turn towards the end. Trying to decide if I want to turn to Killer Angels next (as discussed in a previous HH, I just spent a weekend in Gettysburg), or read the copy of Hidden Figures I borrowed from a friend.

      • AmandaBee

        The Women of Brewster Place is on my “to read” shelf from a book sale purchase last summer. Good to know it’s a solid book! I’m looking forward to picking it up post-dissertation.

    • Sosuli

      I am curious about what the hate-read was, mainly because I had a very similar experience with something recently. Glad I’m not the only one stubborn enough to stick with books they don’t like. Haven’t read anything fantastic recently, but I am waiting for Swing Time in paperback. Love most of ZS’s stuff, but I wasn’t a fan of NW, so hoping this will be better.

      • JC

        *whispers: It was The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, and a lot of people have a strong, loving relationship to that book, which I thought was absolute trash.*

        • EF

          ohh there are large sections of that book i loved and so much that i hated. totally see where you’re coming from.

    • Mary Jo TC

      Very curious what you were hate-reading. One book I read recently that I had a similar reaction to was The Alchemist. And the book I’ve enjoyed the most so far this year is probably Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch. Super long, but worth every page.

      • JC

        Hahaha oh noooooo we’re gonna have to agree to disagree!!

        • Ashlah

          Haha, I just have to say that I love the amazing timing on these conflicting comments!

        • Mary Jo TC

          LOL that is hilarious! I can see how it would be polarizing. And it would be frustrating to hate-read something that long!

          • JC

            The length of the book definitely didn’t make it easier, I agree. It was recommended to me by a new friend, and now I’m scared to talk to her about it! My degrees are in English, so I can hold a sustained, analytical discussion of a novel, but sometimes emotions get the better of me, and I don’t think I can rationally discuss this book! Haha.

        • BSM

          I hated The Goldfinch. Couldn’t finish it. Blech.

          • rg223

            Me too! It just seemed like the kind of book where bad things keep happening to people and I just couldn’t take it.

      • Cellistec

        I just read The Alchemist and also disliked it. I think the hype inflated my expectations, and as an atheist I found the religious message off-putting. I’ll probably pick it up later in life and see if I like it more, or try it again in Spanish and see if that makes a difference.

        • littleinfinity

          Same on The Alchemist. It was so hyped that I had high expectations, and then it just felt like The Secret but trying to be a *~mystical allegory~*.

          • Mary Jo TC

            Ugh, exactly. And the way the guy made his girlfriend wait until he achieved his destiny or whatever, like she doesn’t have a destiny of her own, outside of just waiting for him.

          • littleinfinity

            Yes!! That totally bugged me! “She is a desert woman, and her purpose in life is to wait for her man…” Similarly, the way that his crush back in Spain was treated like a potential “prize”, like hmm, do I want this girl or do I want some gold? F you Coelho ;)

        • I’ve unsuccessfully tried that a couple of times.

        • LadyJanee

          I forced myself to finish it because I had heard how amazing it is but I really don’t get the hype. The message got tiresome by the end.

      • Sosuli

        This is pretty hilarious! Makes me want to read it to see what I think. Also the hate-read I mentioned below was Coelho too, but The Zahir. Hated it so much I forced husband to give the book away to charity, even though it was his copy (not that he was that attached to it).

        • JC

          Wait you made him give it away? That is hilarious! Mine was a library book, and when I returned it to the book chute I imagined that it led to an empty abyss.

      • CMT

        I read The Goldfinch when I was in grad school and it was midterms season and let’s just say it affected my grades. I could not put it down. But also by the end I kind of hated all of the characters.

      • emilyg25

        I’m reading A Little Life right now and it’s absolutely beautiful and heartbreaking. I did like The Goldfinch, but I can see your side too.

    • ART

      I can’t hate-read, I just can’t stand it. I started The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood and dropped it like a hot potato after 20 pages, even though I had been so excited to start it. I’ve been on a classics kick for years, though (free on Kindle!) and it has really put me off newer stuff, which is sort of unfortunate but at least there’s enough Dickens and Dumas out there to last me a long time!

      • JC

        I don’t like hate-reading at all. When I finished grad school, I realized that I could read whatever I wanted, and that meant putting down whatever I didn’t want to read! So glorious!! But this book was recommended to me by a new friend, and I wanted to make a good impression and not have her tell me, “Oh but you have to know the ending!” So I read it, hated it, and will tell her gently that it was not my cup of tea…

        I’m not a big Dickens fan, but I’m here for Dumas!!! I think I’m going to read Tolstoy this summer, for the first time in my life.

        • AGCourtney

          Oh, I *loved* War and Peace!

    • Kat

      I’ve got Commonwealth queued up on my Kindle to read next! I just finished Anna Kendrick’s “Scrappy Little Nobody” and really enjoyed it. I love anything by funny ladies.

  • april

    Did anyone hear or read this story on NPR? http://www.npr.org/2017/05/12/527806002/focus-on-infants-during-childbirth-leaves-u-s-moms-in-danger . I couldn’t finish it because I was actually starting to cry at my desk. The way the healthcare system in this country treats women is unacceptable.

    • Olive

      Yea…I read it earlier today and I’m still feeling sickened by it. No other words right now. :/

    • Ashlah

      My husband told me he heard this story on the radio at the same time I was reading the article this morning. Me dying in childbirth is one of his biggest fears (and obviously not something I’m too keen on either). We always talk about the importance of being our own advocate, but the way they were ignored in this story… It’s just awful. Absolutely horrifying.

      • rg223

        Which is insane to me especially because the husband is a doctor! It’s just mind-boggling!

        • Natalie

          And contacted another doctor, a specialist! It made me wonder what the potential side effects of preeclampsyia treatment are, and if they’re so bad treatment should be avoided unless preeclampsyia is certain…

    • april
    • K. is skittish about disqus

      Yeah, not the best thing to read at 31 weeks pregnant! I sobbed (and sobbed) earlier today and it wasn’t just my hormones.

      I’m glad I did read it though because I think it’s an important investigation and conversation. For there to be any change, we need to figure out WTF is going on with the US system that we’re so much further behind than other developing nations with postnatal maternal care. And I think it’s important for expectant parents to know that this can still happen and what to be on the look out for (even though, obviously, for the couple here that knowledge wasn’t enough). So for me, what I got out of it isn’t only to be your own advocate, but the overall awareness as much as it’s something we don’t want to think about.

      It’s important to note that these risks are still extremely low (22 out of 100,000) but the research done here is still incredibly valid and important. I think it’s a must-read, but I could totally understand why a lot of pregnant women and partners would NOPE outta there. My husband is in data so he wants to read it, but I advised him to maybe skim the personal story part.

    • Alli

      This is heartbreaking and scary to read. My fiance is very particular about what hospitals to consider when we eventually have kids, his aunt died after childbirth because the doctors didn’t believe her and her family when they all voiced concerns over her well being. It really is unacceptable.

    • Laura C

      I read it this morning and it was one of those alternating cry-be angry situations.

    • BSM

      Oy, someone posted it in my reddit bumpers group. I don’t think I can handle reading it.

      • K. is skittish about disqus

        Honestly, trust your instincts, especially if you’re at all emotional (re: hormones, etc.) It’s brutal. Important. But really, really brutal.

      • rg223

        Don’t read it.

    • Fushigidane

      I’ve had so many people argue with me about having children and whenever I bring up concerns about risking myself, among other reasons, they are always dismissive. In addition to the normal complications there is an increased risk of me hemorrhaging but my mother just wants grandchildren

      • K. is skittish about disqus

        That really sucks that people argue with you about something as life-altering as having kids, and then are dismissive about any of your reasons, let alone one regarding your bodily autonomy and feelings of safety.

    • emilyg25

      It’s so infuriating. I was lucky enough to have excellent midwives who provided evidence-based, woman-centered care, and I actually had to drive 50 miles for it because none of the hospitals in my city allow midwives. That’s ridiculous.

      • Natalie

        How was driving that far for regular prenatal appointments? Did you have to drive that far when you were in labor to give birth with your midwives, or did they attend you somewhere closer to your home?

        I ask because I’m about to move to a very small town in a rural area, where there is *one* OBGYN practice with two doctors, and I’m about to start TTC. I’ll be an hour drive from a major city with many more options, and probably better care, but I’m not sure how feasible it is to have my OBGYN be an hour away.

        • emilyg25

          Driving for appointments was fine. At the end, when I had to go every week, I was pretty over the whole thing and tired of dealing with rush hour so I asked my husband to drive me to my last two appointments. I did have to drive that far in labor! It was … uncomfortable. And actually, when we got there, I wasn’t progressed enough so they wouldn’t let me stay. I opted to get a hotel room rather than do the drive again, which was one of the weirder experiences of my life. Even with that, it was so worth it. I had a really long labor because my son was turned the wrong way. If I’d had an OB, I probably would have ended up with a c section. I also had a really tough time establishing breastfeeding and I don’t think I would have succeeded without the support of the midwives.

    • ART

      I read it an hour after I got home from my first prenatal appointment, which I should not have done. I feel really positive about the care I’m receiving/will receive, and it infuriates me that that would not be the norm (and that people actually are trying to make it harder to get good maternity care).

    • AC

      I had severe preeclampsia and HELLP with my son at 38.5 weeks (Looking back through my medical records I had started to show symptoms weeks earlier- high blood pressure! Gained EIGHT POUNDS in a week! Excruciating headaches! Extreme swelling!) -it was so awful. Ended (relatively) well with 24 hours of induced labor and a c-section, days on mag sulfate and blood pressure meds for 6 weeks. Plus PPD and many hours of counselling. I was so sick and drugged i hardly remember the 5 days i spent the hospital with my baby. I’m 26 weeks with my 2nd and terrified about how the next 13 weeks will go. Things can just go so wrong sooooo fast. This will absolutely be my last kid.

    • Natalie

      Yes. As someone about to TTC, it was terrifying. Made me realize that there’s so much outside of my control, no matter how much I educate myself about best practices & potential complications & warning signs to look out for. Like, if a woman with a doctor husband who identifies the problem & alerts the OBGYN & argues with the OBGYN & begs the OBGYN to do something can’t get treated for preeclampsyia in time to save her life in the US….

    • penguin

      Just read this, that is heartbreaking.

  • macrain

    I gave birth last year on Mother’s Day, so needless to say it’s a holiday that will always have a special place in my heart.
    I’m looking forward to having a mimosa or two, since my first mother’s day was spent having unmedicated (not by choice, I should mention) and lighting fast labor and delivery.

    PS- If you ask for an epidural that isn’t possible, doctors and nurses at NYU are smart enough to reply, “You’re going to meet your baby soon!” instead of telling you “no.” :)

    • Eh

      That’s a much better response than I got (similar situation fast labour, unmediated). Nurse told me I was 9.5cm and then said ‘I hope you didn’t want an epidural’. I said actually that’s why I came to the hospital. She said ‘I don’t think you have time for one’.

      Enjoy your mimosas!

  • Rose

    I just turned in my dissertation! I’m freaking out, and relieved, and I don’t even know. But I’m definitely taking the rest of the day and at least some of the weekend off before starting to work on my talk.

    • Anna

      Ahhh congrats! That’s huge :-) definitely take a day, or a few days, to bask in that accomplishment before moving on to the next thing!

    • macrain

      You are awesome, Rose!! Congrats!

    • Congratulations! What an accomplishment!

    • Totch

      Congrats!!!

    • AmandaBee

      Aaaaaah congrats!!! You should relax all weekend, that’s huge.

      (I’m so jealous tbh)

      • Rose

        I saw your post–you’ll get there! Just hang in there, I know it’s so stressful, but it will be done at some point and that will be amazing. (seriously, “it will be done” is about all that’s been motivating me for a couple of months now)

        • AmandaBee

          “It will be done” is like my meditation mantra. Now that I’m on the home stretch it just feels like…so close, so far away.

          Congrats on having made it to the other side in one piece :)

    • Shirley Schmidt

      Hurray, well done! That’s some relaxation time well-earned!

    • zana

      It’s years later, and I’m still angry at dissertations ;)
      In a couple months, you won’t have to look at it much more, except perhaps to eek out a publication.

  • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

    A couple of my co-scout leaders are planning a new book club, and I think I’m gonna join. The idea is that you read a book, discuss it, and as a group participate in some sort of activity or trip that relates to the story. So if they have tea in the book, maybe you go to high tea together. Once every year or two, maybe a bigger trip, like an overnight in a city, or a camping weekend. The biggest question is, do you choose the story first, or the activity?

    • Alli

      That is an amazing idea! I would have so much fun wandering through barnes and noble trying to think of possible activities to go with the books I’m seeing.

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        Right?! They had a huddle and have come up with some ideas, but I don’t know what they are. It feels like Christmas.

    • Yael

      Why not alternate between book and activity?

      Also, because I am *that* person, at least when it comes to tea, a high tea is not what people actually mean when they have a tea party. High tea is later in the day with more substantial food, so it is more like an early dinner than an afternoon break with food and caffeine.

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        I’ve actually been to high tea! It involved many tiny courses.

        • Yael

          Regardless of what form it takes, tea is the best meal. Always.

    • CMT

      Speaking of tea and books and book clubs, my book club read this book a few months ago and we had a tea tasting and made some of the recipes that are in the back of the book. If you need ideas! https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22929516-darjeeling

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        Woah. That sounds way heavier than I expected a tea-related book to be. Thanks for the suggestion!

  • First Mother’s Day on deck and I’m so excited! I’m so early into my motherhood journey, but I’m enjoying it so much more than I expected (ooh, I should write a post about that!).

    Happy Mother’s Day to the APW mamas, and hugs to everyone who will be struggling this Mother’s Day.

    • Ashlah

      Yes, please write a post about it!! Anything to combat all the negativity surrounding how horrible the first months of parenthood are. Happy Mother’s Day!

      • Lisa

        If it’s any comfort, our friends had their first baby back in March, and they have been astounded with how not-awful it is compared to what everyone was saying. That said, they do have a very easy baby, but it’s comforting to see their daughter and realize that parenting might not be terrible!

        • Ashlah

          We have friends who just had their second, and they’ve made it look so easy (or, at least not awful) both times. It’s been nice to see!

        • That’s me! I tend to be a worrier & pessimestic anyway, so I was expecting the worse. But its been…fun? Better than ok? There are moments I didn’t like, and moments that are stressful, but Phi is SUCH A JOY that just a smile from her makes me forget all that stuff.

          Ok going to tell Meg that I want to write this.

        • AmandaBee

          I have a friend who has had a similar experience – just a super smooth first baby experience.

          I know in her case she doesn’t talk about it super publicly because she doesn’t want to make other moms feel bad or sound like she’s giving herself credit (which she doesn’t). But it is nice to see someone talk about parenting in a way that makes it not sound super traumatic.

          • Lisa

            Sounds like there’s a trend going on here. It’s the same way that you only hear about the labor horror stories, but people rarely talk about ones where everything went smoothly and the baby was delivered within six hours. I wonder if this is a hypercorrection to the years of women being told they were overreacting if things seemed to hard with the baby or if they had an awful labor. Now instead women don’t want to make others feel bad if they’ve had an easy time of it; the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction.

        • Sarah

          Yes there are easy babies but I tend to think easy parents make easy babies.

          • Jenny

            I have found this to not be the case, at all. Lots of kids have health issues that are not controlled by ease of parenting, and even aside from that, I don’t beleive parents have much control over a babies personality. My husband and I are relatively far towards the easy side of the scale parenting wise, and our baby was NOT easy. Same with a couple other parents I know, and also 1 set of parents who are NOT easy with and easy baby, and 1 set of easy parents with an easy baby. The first 2 weeks he didn’t sleep at all if he wasn’t held, and fir first 6 months he didn’t nap unless he was held. And he also screamed bloody murder in the carseat for the first 5-6 months. But even with all of that, I still felt like parenthood was/is both joyful and fun. I mean now that he’s sleeping through the night every night, and happily naps and is chill in the carseat, it’s a lot more relaxing, but even non easy babies still bring a lot of joy and fun into parenting!

          • Amy March

            That’s a phrase designed to make parents hate you.

          • Lisa

            I don’t think I can agree with this on a general scale. I’m with @disqus_muB26ElYPE:disqus on this one. I have a lactose intolerance, which no one discovered until I was in kindergarten. I spent the first year of my life screaming, crying, throwing up, and never sleeping. My mom didn’t have the knowledge then to stand up to my pediatrician when he insisted that there was nothing wrong with me. My mother blamed herself, and I can’t bear the thought that other people might put the onus on her as well because she wasn’t an “easy parent.”

            To put it in perspective: both of my younger sisters were completely fine and normal children. My middle sister even slept through the night her first week home despite my mother’s fears of putting herself through hell again. Each baby is different.

    • emmers

      This is so sweet!

    • K. is skittish about disqus

      Please please please write that post! My friends are fear mongers!

    • BSM

      Happy Mother’s Day!

      Please write that post! I think I’m probably underestimating how bad things will be, but maybe not?

    • Elise

      PLEASE write a post about that!!

    • Jenny

      Yay! I agree, I mean the first part was hard, but I sort of expected it to be a major slog of frustrating poop-ey exhaustion for like a year, but it was really mostly lovely snuggles and warm fuzzies while being pretty exhausted and occasionally being too much to handle, which is when you have to tag a family member/babysitter. Overall motherhood has been super awesome, much sooner than I expected, and for a larger % of time than I expected.

      • penguin

        This is super comforting. We’re a ways off from needing to decide on kids, but I’ve been terrified that if I become a mom then I will have no life except taking care of my kids, and I’ll resent them for it. It’s nice to hear stories from parents who have kids and actually enjoy it.

        • Jenny

          I definitely had that fear, especially because I a. like kids, and b. am a person that gets super into something and just becomes obsessed. But I’ve found parenting to be a nice blend, now I have something I like doing on the weekends and evenings, and I rarely work on weekends or evenings (unless I really need/want to). I love spending time with my kid, and watching him love and explore the world, but I also love going to work and having a life and personality outside of that. I had a secret fear that I would give up my career and become a stay at home mom, which (ahahahaha, no thanks) is silly because I don’t want to do that and b. who cares if that’s what I had decided I wanted. I think I somehow thought mom me would like force non mom me to make all these choices I would hate, but as it turns out, I’m just me, and I weigh my responsibilities as a mom more or less the same way I weighed my responsibilities as a wife/daughter. Yes sometimes I make different choices than I would if I didn’t have kids, but it’s not because some portion of my brain was taken over (my fear), it’s because I have a different set of responsibilities. All in all, I fully recommend having kids! 10/10 would do again.

  • Cellistec

    Yesterday at work we had a communication retreat and it was a disaster. People cried; morale is down; ish got weird. Luckily my boss is letting my team leave early today to decompress, but man, it was an example of how even the best-intended things can go really off the rails. Here’s to a big glass of wine and some venting time with Mr. Cellistec tonight.

    • CMT

      Whoa, that sounds shitty. Cheers!

    • Ashlah

      Oh man, that sounds awful. Why can’t work just be work?

      • Cellistec

        Right? We all get along, so we don’t need therapy-level intervention, just like a strategically worded memo or two. From the debrief convos we had today, it sounds like not even the top boss level knew the retreat was going to get that bad.

        • JC

          This is so important. My current boss is great at this, reminding people not to go over the top, that we don’t have to create policies that are just “be a human being,” etc. It’s a part of management that I never would have appreciated before. It sounds like your work has some growth opportunities ahead.

        • Yael

          Because I have a morbid sense of curiosity I am now dying to know how it could possibly have gone that wrong. But also the only work situation I was ever in where things could have gotten that terrible, we all knew to avoid each other as much as humanly possible. Altho there was that one time I made the boss sound like an idiot at our retreat….

          • Cellistec

            I think it was just poor facilitation, acting on a power dynamic that means some junior staff feel oppressed and unable to speak their minds on a regular basis. So when the norms were temporarily broken down at the retreat, and people had an anonymous way to air grievances publicly, things came out harsher than intended, and the empowered staff weren’t the only targets. Basically, the facilitator should have pumped the brakes, but didn’t. It’s not like we’re terrible people.

          • Yael

            Ugh that’s terrible. I hope that things get better for you all soon, altho how you recover from that, I don’t know.

          • AmandaBee

            I feel like anonymous feedback aired publicly (if I’m reading this right) is kind of a recipe for disaster even on solid teams. Anonymous feedback is like the internet comment section of communication retreat strategies.

          • Cellistec

            Well said.

    • AmandaBee

      I JUST posted about work issues that have really tanked morale in my office and they all stemmed from – you guessed it – a communication retreat.

      I hate retreats so much.

      • Cellistec

        I just saw that! I wish I had some advice for your situation–even with a master’s degree in conflict resolution, I still get baffled by workplace friction. I think riding out your last 6 weeks and keeping in touch with the colleagues you like most may pay off, but I also see the value in airing grievances if it’s done responsibly.

        • AmandaBee

          I think the thing that’s odd in my situation is that some of the people I’m closest to here are the people who have (unintentionally I believe) caused a lot these issues. And I really think they’re trying to do a good thing and not seeing the negative ramifications, because those of us affected are the people who complain the least. So I want to give them the feedback to improve, and I think airing my concerns would probably have some positive effect on my own feelings of happiness here, but I also don’t want to cause a bunch of drama over nothing. So. Bah to workplace drama.

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      What happens at a communication retreat? I’ve never had the pleasure.

      • Cellistec

        Eh, I think there are a bunch of different curricula; we just did one that was about hard conversations. It got personal fast, and I think everyone was surprised at the cruelty of some of the comments made in the name of honesty. You know high school slam books where everyone wrote terrible things about other people and it was supposed to be a good thing? It was like that. But with adults.

        • AmandaBee

          Oh wow, sounds like a train wreck.

        • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

          If you can say “It’s kinda like that thing we did in high school” about anything, it’s probably a really bad idea.

        • Ashlah

          Oh my god, that sounds like the worst idea ever!

        • ManderGimlet

          So your employer mandated that all their staff get together and say what they don’t like about each other? Do we work for the same company? LOL!

  • Engaged Chicago

    A few weeks ago I posted wondering how to handle bridesmaids since I have been/will be maid of honor 4 times and the term “bridesmaids” didn’t seem like enough to honor my friends. So! Last weekend, I hosted a “bridal ask” party and gave all my party “maid of” titles. I have a maid of cheer, maid of glam, maid of wisdom, maid of glitz, maid of harmony and 6 more! My sister is my best lady. Each name represents what they mean to me and what they bring to our day and no one will argue about being maid of honor! I’m really proud of the idea.

    • Katherine

      I love this.

    • Kaitlyn

      This is the cutest idea ever

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      I love this.

    • AGCourtney

      As you should be! I’m so glad you worked out a great solution.

    • Anna

      That is SUCH an awesome idea!! I may steal that for my future (as yet hypothetical) wedding.

  • AmandaBee

    In one week my dissertation gets turned in to my advisor for a final review, and I am SO F***ING READY to be do with this PhD. I’m so ready to go back to only working one full time job and not also being a full-time student, and I’ve got a whole list of things-that-aren’t-work things that I’m gonna do when I’m free. SO CLOSE.

    In other news, I’m dealing with a crappy work situation and trying to decide whether it’s something I want to bring up with my supervisor even though I’m only in this position for 6 more weeks. I have a really close relationship with my supervisor and have, until the past few months, really loved working here. It’s just been a really supportive and friendly work environment, with a small group of staff that have often felt like family. But recently, some poor management decisions have caused a lot of inequity and tension among the staff, such that those of us who are working the hardest/have the most skills and experience are getting treated really poorly (overworked and underappreciated, basically). Ironically, I think a lot of it has stemmed from well-intentioned attempts at improving staff morale and workflow problems.

    I doubt it’s something they could turn around in the 6 weeks I’m still here, but I do think it’s something they would try to address if they were aware of how management choices are negatively affected their best staff. So…just trying to decide if there’s any value at all in bringing it up.

    Relatedly, it sucks so much when good people you know are just not good people to work with.

    • Violet

      Congrats on almost being done!! My bestie is finishing her dissertation soon, and it’s been a nail-biter seeing her go through the process.
      Unfortunately, I don’t know of a single organization that has been able to address the fact that the most hardworking and skilled employees end up getting the most overworked. If that’s the main issue, I don’t know if your supervisor will be able to address it at all, let alone in the next 6 weeks. If you’re leaving that soon, it might be best to just focus on making sure you leave with aa really good impression for future networking.

      • AmandaBee

        Eh, that’s the excuse I’m afraid they’ll try to use – that leaning on competent people is inevitable. But there are serious inequalities (some having to do with race/gender/class, imo) in not only workload, but who gets to work on meaningful projects and what the expectations for performance are, and that’s what’s frustrating.

        I’ve been overworked in the past, but right now I’m overloaded with a hodgepodge of busy work that less-competent (white, upper-class, male) coworkers didn’t feel like doing. And I’m being taken off of projects that I actually really care about and spent time/effort developing, because my supervisor is interpreting my concerns as a workload issue. AND I have to sit in meetings listening to those same incompetent coworkers talk about how it’s nice that they have more flexibility now to work on projects they care about, which they only have because I am literally doing their jobs.

        Even just typing it out makes me so angry. Dealing with being there ends up sapping all of my energy, which is one of the reasons getting my dissertation done has been so difficult. At this point I’m so frustrated and burned out that I’m resisting the urge to just rage quit on the spot.

    • Cbrown

      Oh gosh. I’m 6 weeks out from submission (and 30 weeks pregnant) and just losing it. I keep imagining how good I’ll feel when I’m done.

      • AmandaBee

        Oh, I can’t imagine doing this pregnant. 6 weeks feels like sooooo far away but just keep chugging away at it and you’ll get there!

  • Gaby

    Mother’s Day is May 10th in Mexico, and since my mom calls HER mom on that date, it’s the date we celebrate it here as well. My cousin and I ordered thai take out and ate it while playing with my cousin’s three kids, then a baby sitter came over and we went to see How to be a Latin Lover. We were pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable the movie was, and I know my mom and aunt appreciated that a lot of the dialogue between the main character and Salma Hayek’s character was in Spanish and subtitled.
    I love seeing everyone’s pregnancy posts and feeling a nervous excitement knowing I am finally at a place where I feel ready to take that big step with the husband in the next year or two! Happy Mother’s Day to all, and since of two of my friends unexpectedly lost their moms this year, I send extra love and hugs to those of you who are struggling with this holiday. <3

  • ART

    I had my first prenatal appointment this morning (FUCKING FINALLY) and it was great! I did have to hop down and go to the bathroom after they started the vaginal ultrasound because they had made me wait like 20 minutes between my urine sample and seeing the NP, and in pregnant woman time that’s a bladdersworth, so they couldn’t see anything but pee. Fun times – anyway, it all looked good, there was a tiny little flicker of heartbeat, my husband got to see the infamous stirrups, and I didn’t have to do any bloodwork yet so that was a nice surprise. We called one set of parents on the drive home, and we’re telling the others in person this weekend. I am looking forward to the relief of telling my mom, especially because this week was STRESSFUL politically and I am super grateful to live in a state and have a healthcare provider that I think will take care of me even if D.C. burns everything else to the ground.

    • Ashlah

      Yay, congrats! How far along are you? Seeing that little flicker for the first time (and every time) is so neat and such a relief.

      • ART

        7 weeks plus 0 to 4 days depending on how you count – my app and I disagreed about my ovulation date. My NP set my due date at December 26th but I forgot if that was based on dates or the crown-rump length (just thinking of its tiny rump makes me all melty, lol).

    • BSM

      Yay!!! The wait for that first appointment is so. long. So glad everything looks good!

  • Yael

    I’m getting legally married in three months!

    I mentioned in HH last week that we had *just* made the decision and A was kind of overwhelmed by realizing he has to pack up our apartment in the States and learn German and of course finish teaching and grading and all of that stuff, all before September, but he’s super excited! Maybe a little too excited, because he was telling everyone and he’s the kind of person who will say yes to any party offered so suddenly we were looking at at least three separate parties in the month of August (while also trying to finish packing and I’ll be designing a curriculum and writing a conference presentation). He also said yes without consulting me, so that led to an awkward fight because I don’t want three parties and the last one had been proposed by his parents, so he thought I was saying no to his parents. But we got that sorted out and we’ve been discussing outfits for the courthouse.

  • lildutchgrrl

    Adoption-related roller coaster yesterday. Oof.

    I left my phone on my desk at work while I was elsewhere in the office, and got a voicemail from the agency saying that they were calling about an emergency placement RIGHT THE FUCK NOW (in more professional language) in the next town over. Expectant mom might be in labor and wanted to meet prospective adoptive families before she delivered. I called back ASAP (it was about 90 minutes after they left the voicemail) and couldn’t get in touch with anyone. Called the wife at work, who would have been the other point of contact if she hadn’t LEFT HER PHONE AT HOME that morning. Notified my boss that I might need to leave early/take Friday off/start parental leave? but it was too soon to be sure. Sent an email to the agency in case the worker wasn’t able to check voicemail/make calls while she was busy with the whole situation. Tried calling again. Nothing.

    Went home at the end of the day and whipped the nursery into shape (we had repainted and it was all draped and taped still) in half an hour. Still no news. Not expecting any good news, considering the urgency and that we knew we were only one family on the immediate placement list. The email this morning said that the birth mom had been matched “to a family who was able to respond to her request” to meet before she delivered.

    And all I can think is, “What would Mother’s Day have looked like for us if I’d picked up the phone?

    • ART

      Oh wow, I’m so sorry. What a question to be mulling over. I am wishing the absolute best for you. Adoption seems like a story of such incredible love and strength <3

    • AmandaBee

      *hugs* I am so sorry that happened. I don’t really have any words of wisdom for you, except that it wasn’t your fault.

    • Ashlah

      Oh man. I don’t even know what to say in response to this story, except that I’m sorry. What a heavy, emotional experience. I hope you get to meet and take home your baby soon.

    • ManderGimlet

      I am so so sorry. I wish I had something to say other than “holy shit that sucks” and nonsensical howling noises. Sadly, I’m sure this is not the first heartbreak of your adoption process. Just know there is a stranger out there who is wishing you all the best and knows that there is a very lucky child who is going to be so loved once she finds her way to you

    • rg223

      I’m so sorry :( hugs to you and your wife. I hope you get your take home baby soon.

    • Sarah

      I’m so sorry for sorry

    • emmers

      Damn. That is an emotional roller coaster. I’m sorry, and I hope you can find peace about it.

    • Cbrown

      Oh gosh, I’m so, so sorry!

    • Jess

      I’m so sorry. Life is full of those little “what if I was a minute sooner?” questions.

  • disqus_WlMS6oXIcN

    Can I cancel my bridal shower? I just found out I got into a really exciting-potentially career-changing fellowship for the summer but it requires I be in SF for the kickoff weekend when I’m supposed to be in Detroit for the shower I’m only having because I “saying no to family is hard”. I work with an emerging technology and training is really hard to come by and this fellowship is with *the* most recognizable brand in the space.

    • AmandaBee

      Depends on your priorities, but I would not blame you for doing it given the circumstances. Like, I would probably follow the opportunity.

      Is rescheduling an option? Even like a quick pre-trip shindig?

      • Abby

        I agree, and would add that this is very dependent on timing– i.e. if it’s next weekend, that’s going to be a lot harder to bail on the shower as presumably invitations have gone out, decorations/refreshments/gifts might have been purchased, etc. If it’s a few months from now? Absolutely I would cancel/reschedule if this is an important career move.

      • disqus_WlMS6oXIcN

        It’s in a month, invitations just went out. (I’m the only one who would be traveling, everyone else is local) I would totally be up for rescheduling, I have no idea if my relatives could. I just…I have very different values then my family, and I’ve mostly kept our relationship cordial by keeping our distance and I feel like the whole wedding process has just forced me to say what feels like “f u” to them, much more directly than I ever would (they’re extremely religious, I’m extremely not, i didn’t want to register, it was communicated that that made me a snob and then when I did register the things I registered for also made me a snob, I refuse to go into debt for this wedding which means I’m a selfish cheapskate). I just really regret doing the whole wedding thing completely, no one’s going to be happy, least of all me and it’s just not where my priorities are right now. I do love my aunt who’s hosting the shower and I said yes thinking what’s the big deal it’s just one day, but *this* one day turns out to be a very big deal.

        • AmandaBee

          Sounds like there’s more going on than just the shower, so that makes it extra hard. But ultimately, you’re the one whose life is impacted by this choice. What does your gut tell you to do? what will you wish you’d done 10 years from now?

          • disqus_WlMS6oXIcN

            I want to go to SF, it’s the easiest decision in the world. But then, if it were up to me, I wouldn’t go to my own wedding, which would also be an extremely easy decision but, you know, my fiance would be pretty disappointed. We decided we had to do a wedding bc we (mostly he) were afraid our families wouldn’t speak to us again if we didn’t (very legitimate fear on his side). Totally not worth it. I’m very excited for my marriage, but planning a wedding hasn’t made me feel loved or supported for one minute, just judged and alienated. I just feel bad because I know my mother will be humiliated and my aunt will feel rejected (based on past experience, she has sent me anxiety filled emails asking why I haven’t replied to an email (which I actually did reply to)).

          • AmandaBee

            I’m so sorry that’s been your experience. It sounds awful.

            Ultimately, this is not a wedding-related decision: it’s a big life decision, so you need to weigh family ramifications against not only the ramifications for your career if you don’t go, but also the potential emotional fallout of not pursuing something it sounds like you’re pretty passionate about. You can only put off your wants/needs so much.

            Personally, I’d go to SF and ask family to reschedule, knowing that it will blow up into family drama. But I also understand where you’re coming from in not wanting to do that.

            (Edited because I didn’t make a lick of sense the first time)

        • wannabee

          If no one but you has to travel a long distance, you should do the fellowship. If people were buying plane tickets it would be one thing, but I say go for the career-boosting, exciting opportunity.

    • Amy March

      If you can’t make it, cancel, now. I would not offer to reschedule. I’d also anticipate everyone involved being extremely hurt.

      Have you called the director of the program and asked if you can arrive post shower because you have an important family commitment that conflicts? I think you owe it to your mom and aunt to try.

      • disqus_WlMS6oXIcN

        I have an email drafted to ask if I can come late, but haven’t sent it yet. I checked on flights and even with the time zones being in my favor, the earliest I could be in SF is 7pm and it’s only a 2 day event. I also just found out that both of my non-sister bridesladies have work events that weekend (lol this is why we’re friends) so it would just be me, missing out on an incredible opportunity, sitting around with a bunch of ladies that I don’t really know but happen to be related to, so yeah, it’s gonna suck, but canceling’s the only reasonable thing to do.

        • Amy March

          I guess. I think this merits embarrassingly large bouquets for your mother and aunt though.

    • Perhaps if you cancel, you could suggest a rescheduled shower for right before the wedding, in the form of a lunch/dessert/something with those women (and maybe your nonsister bridesladies who couldn’t have made the other one!), as an alternative that might work with people’s schedules for when they will be available/around for the wedding? Even if if it doesn’t work out logistically, it could be nice to have offered to find as solution as an act of good will towards the long term family relationships and perhaps minimizing some hurt feelings? Congrats on the opportunity for the fellowship! That sounds really exciting! (And I would probably take the opportunity if I were faced with a similar situation because I wouldn’t want all the “what if I had…” feelings if I didn’t do it…

    • Lawyerette510

      I think you should cancel. Certainly with apologies and explanation, but if it’s truly a career-changing opportunity and it is a requirement of it, that seems like a good reason to me.

  • LazyMountain

    Currently having a “where do we honeymoon” crisis! Could use some hive-minded help… We have roughly 6 days to work with in the first week of October. We live in the Pacific Northwest, and wanted to originally do a very simple mini-moon in Vancouver for a couple of days and go to Portugal next year… but now we’re trying to buy a house in that time period and don’t think an overseas trip is doable. Cue planning a slightly longer but still modest actual honeymoon this fall! Ideally we’d be able to fly cheaply or drive, and we could knock off a national park and/or do outdoorsy activities while returning to relaxing accommodations that feel more special than our usual car camping/backpacking digs. Any suggestions really appreciated! Any particular places you’ve traveled domestically and loved? Thanks bunches!

    • cara

      What about Tofino?

      • LazyMountain

        We went there last year for my FFIL’s 60th birthday and it was a childhood vacation destination for my fiance… the only reason we hadn’t considered it is because of those less-than-romantic connotations :-) It’s an incredible place though!

    • jules

      If you still want to think BC but not Vancouver or Tofino there’s lots that is absolutely stunning in the interior. Either go further north to all the national parks up there (Revelstoke, Golden, Banff/Yoho), or stay further south and explore the Kootenays/ Nelson region. The first week of October though can be pretty hit or miss…

    • erika22

      it sounds cliche, but I’m actually a huge fan of Maui – we went for a week at the end of Sept/beginning of Oct last year, and it was great weather and a really nice combination of outdoors activities and then just relaxing by the water. There’s hiking (jungle, lava rock, volcano, take your pick!) and snorkeling/swimming, and you can do super touristy things like going to a luau. We stayed at three different airbnbs to try different parts of the island, and we were big fans of north of lahaina (since we didn’t stay at a resort, we still avoided most of the tourists). You can do the island pretty cheaply too – they sell all kinds of poke at the grocery store, and you can just buy pineapples and cut them up yourself – delicious!

      Alternatively, maybe try Kayak’s explore feature and see where you can get for your budget?
      https://www.kayak.com/explore/

    • Felicity

      We went to Big Sur in California for our honeymoon in January. It was delightful! We did some beautiful hikes and a mix of camping and b&bs. It definitely felt romantic! Also we loved Carmel!!

      • AmandaBee

        Would love to know where you stayed/what you enjoyed the most if you’re willing to share. We’re doing a California road trip for our (super delayed) honeymoon in July. Big Sur is definitely where I want to spend a few days.

        • Amy March

          I stayed in the state park in a cabin. It was magic.

        • ART

          I don’t know if you’re in California already so you may be aware of this, but plan ahead re: road closures in Big Sur. They are still recovering from pretty massive disasters there! But it is effing gorgeous so worth doing whatever it takes to get around!

          • AmandaBee

            Oh yeah the landslides happened right after we made the decision to go and I was pretty miffed, haha. We planned a detour and while I’m bummed about not going all the way through big Sur I’m still super pumped abt our plan.

    • Natalie

      Grand Canyon? It’s got fancy lodges on the rim (plus cheaper hotels). You could backpack into the canyon for a night or two & return to luxury in a fancy hotel. There’s tons of great day hikes to take from the rim. October is a great time to visit – no snow yet, but cooler and way fewer tourists than in the summer. The Flagstaff area nearby is also lovely – tons of gorgeous scenery & hiking. The Painted Desert & Petrified Forest National Parks aren’t too far away, either, and well worth a visit. I’m partial to GC because we got engaged at the bottom of it during a backpacking trip. But it’s truly epic independent of marriage proposals.

      Yellowstone is likewise beautiful and much less crowded in the fall. Some of the lodges are open until Oct 9, and one stays open until late October. So much wonderful hiking there, and great variety of scenery. You could do a completely different type of hike every day for a week: along a mountain stream, through a wide open valley, up steep terrain to a mountain lake, around a lake, through geothermally active areas & among geysers, to waterfalls… Plus, you can see wolves. And wolf puppies. Be forewarned that snow is possible in Yellowstone in October. But in my mind, that just makes it even more beautiful. The thermal features & geysers are even more compelling when they’re surrounded by snow and creating ice crystals on all the trees around them. If you’re looking to save money, the hotels just outside the park (e.g., in Gardner, MT) will probably have low-season specials going in October. We rented a “hotel room” that was more like a nice one-bedroom apartment with full kitchen over Thanksgiving weekend for $75/night.

    • Lawyerette510

      Generally you can get cheap flights from the west coast to Hawaii for October and places to stay tend to be pretty cheap then as well. Kauai has gorgeous beaches, jungles and Waimea Canyon. Maui already got a vote below, but I’ll echo it because it’s awesome and definitely has outdoorsy activities and good places to stay, and the big island is similarly versatile (although the beaches aren’t as great IMHO). Sign up for Alaska Air’s email alerts, and in August you’ll start to see sales for the islands. I suppose I should caveat all this with that for the sale fares, you’ll only be planning a couple months out. So that might not be your cup of tea, if you want to nail something down now.

  • toomanybooks

    *long exhale* I just left work after staying later than I really needed to because I’m trying so hard to wrap up as much as I possibly can before I’m on vacation for my honeymoon! The past couple days I’ve been focusing on kind of a boring part of a big project that’s had no particular due date that I’m trying to get out before the wedding. But I’ll be happy if I’m not working like a dog on my last two days in the office, which happen to be the days of my rehearsal dinner and bachelorette party, respectively. What I really want is to just get ~everything~ done so I can like, work from home that last Friday.

    Does anyone else find the vendor shuffle – making sure each person is looped in, juggling all the different meetings to go to and contracts to send – one of the most stressful parts of planning? I guess I do best with “internal” stuff that doesn’t involve outside people so I can just do it on my own time. And I stress that if I don’t respond quickly enough to people, or just can’t do another meeting on a given weekend, they’ll drop me or think I’m hard to work with.

    Also stressful: there are two men in our bridal parties (one standing up for each of us) and I really had to hold their hand through suit rental. I got not one but two calls from the company warning me that they needed the guys to complete the orders for the event I’d created in the website by a certain date, or there would be rush fees, and I told the bridesmen about this both times. They both left it to exactly two days before the deadline and both contacted me asking how to do the entire thing. Within a matter of hours I had to say the same “The gift code is in the invite to the event that I sent you, you put it in when they give you a text window to type promo codes, I don’t know when that is because I haven’t personally checked out to order a suit rental for myself, the website tells you how many days ahead of the event they deliver it so send it to wherever you are then” etc. The second one found that the code wasn’t covering his full cost and when I advised him to call customer service he was just silent on the phone until I said I’d open a chat with them while we were on the phone. Of course he had to call himself to do it eventually because it was his order. Then he told me that -“after all this wedding stuff” – when he, hypothetically, had a wedding in the future, it was going to just be simple and chill and he wasn’t going to care about anything. I explained to him why this made me want to reach through the phone and tear his hair out (THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT I THOUGHT GOING INTO IT!!) and he apologized.

    • BSM

      The suit thing is super annoying.

      Were you able to sort out the issues you were having with your mom’s outfit + other stuff from last week?

  • erika22

    This might be a strange question, but do you /need/ to have toasts at your wedding? We’re already having two friends officiate our wedding, and aside from my best friend (not officiating and hates public speaking) I don’t know who would give a toast (I’m not a fan of the idea of either of my parents giving a toast). Fiance’s dad would give one, but there should be at least a toast from my side if he has one on his, right? There’s also the issue of language barriers so half of the guests wouldn’t understand one of the toasts. I’m ok with the thought of no toasts, but I don’t know if it will be weird without them. Thoughts??

    • Cara

      No toasts is toasts fine. (see what I did there). We didn’t have them.

    • emmers

      We didn’t do toasts & it was fine.

    • emilyg25

      We didn’t have toasts either! But when my brother in law realized it, he made one anyway. It was fine–short and sweet–but a little annoying because I really didn’t want one.

    • Fushigidane

      We didn’t have toasts. I have had several friends tell me how awesome it was that we didn’t have them.

    • Jess

      No, I wouldn’t even miss them. They are fine if somebody wants to talk, but eh.

  • Grumpy StepMom

    Shout out to StepMoms! At this point I’ve mostly moved past it, but this holiday tends to be confusing either for me or my stepkids or all of us. And (not StepMom related), I always see a ton of Emotional Labor underscoring in Mother’s Day cards… ugh.

    • MTM

      This.

  • Yet another Meg

    I posted a couple of weeks ago, freaked out because my doctor had scheduled another ultrasound at the last minute to make sure the baby was Ok. Had it this week and the little squirt is doing just fine. We even got a 3D picture of the baby’s squished little face! Also very reassuring was talking to my Dr at this week’s appointment. She said she scheduled the extra test more because I had seemed concerned rather than any major concerns of her own. Less than 6 weeks left!

    • Jane

      Good luck!

  • anon for this

    I’m looking for advice as a feminist trying to conceive. I’ve been off the pill for 2 months and it’s been a special form of hell as my ovaries creak back into gear after 16 years. I’ve been looking for a place to discuss all of this in the similar vein of APW for wedding planning but where is it? I cannot even begin to describe what is wrong with women referring to sex as “baby dancing” and for some reason infantilizing terminology surrounding what should arguably be a very feminist experience in every forum I come across.