Win Some Magical Crate & Barrel Goodies We Picked Out For Y’all


It’s GIVEAWAY time!

by Kate Levy, Marketing Manager

win all the things, full crate and barrel giveaway set, mini kitchenaid mixer, white prep and mixing bowls, cocktail pitcher and spoon, four gold striped old fashioned glasses, wooden cheese board, cheese knife set, napkins

Hey APW!

So as promised, we’ve got allll kinds of goodness for you today! We’re continuing our Pride month celebration with an epic giveaway. (More on that in a minute!) But first, let’s talk registries. As you know, here at APW we’re huge proponents of having a registry that reflects you and your needs, and of not worrying about what you HAVE to have on it. And our friends at Crate and Barrel are pros at registries. It’s their jam, and they strive to provide an amazing experience for all couples planning their new lives together. So today we have a real treat for you! The head of Crate and Barrel’s Registry Program is HERE to chat live with you starting at 11:30 a.m. PT and answer alllll your registry questions so you can get great things you want, and ditch the things you prob really don’t need (hint: formal place settings for fourteen). Use #CBregistry in the comments to ask your questions, so they don’t get lost amongst all your regular Friday updates. And don’t forget to RSVP for their Private Registry Event on July 16 at a store near you!

Crate and Barrel Giveaway Items, mixing and prep bowls, gold stripe old fashioned classes, cheese board and knives

But before you dive into the comments section to get all your juicy questions answered, it is GIVEAWAY time. Crate and Barrel asked us to pick out some of our fave items, and I hope you’re sitting down, because this giveaway is LIT. See that image at the top? Yeah the one with that brand spankin’ new KitchenAid Mini Stand Mixer, kick-ass cocktail essentials, and more? Well, one lucky APW reader is going to take home all of it, and sadly it is not me. (Trust me, I asked if it could be.) Check out all the details and enter via the form below!

And with that, Happy Hour is yours! Hit up CBRegistry with your questions on the top comment and use #CBregistry when asking your questions!

XO,

Kate


The Info:

Photos by Maddie Eisenhart for APW

Kate Levy

Kate is APW’s Marketing Manager. This Bay Area native built her own business as a wedding hair and makeup artist, before shifting gears to work in marketing. She’s an avid iPhone photographer, loves all forms of social media (especially Instagram, #katesskylog), and makes a really mean chocolate chip cookie. Kate is a collector of spoons, enamel pins, and reusable bags she never actually brings to the store. When not getting sucked into the ASOS app or an Instagram hashtag blackhole, Kate can be found hanging on the Peninsula with her wife, 3 cats and 2 dogs.

[Read comment policy before commenting]

  • penguin

    Registry question – What towels do you have that you love? Or tablecloths? We’re registering at Crate & Barrel, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Amazon. We’ve picked out some bath sheets (big enough to wrap around me! with overlap!) at BBB that felt good in person, and they have some good reviews, but some people said that they came apart in the washer so now I’m nervous. Any links or suggestions appreciated!

    Random plug – thanks so much to Lisa for recommending eShakti! I just got my second order in yesterday, and now I have 3 summery dresses that fit great, feel like good quality, and have sleeves AND POCKETS. It’s so nice to have nice clothes that actually fit me (including my upper arms in the sleeves!) and they are so swishy and fun. It’s a huge game changer and I’m so happy.

    Random other good thing – I found a local barber willing to re-do and maintain my undercut for me! The lady I’d been going to at Supercuts no longer works there, and the other people were weird about doing an undercut when I asked them. My first appointment is tomorrow, hopefully they are great!

    • Marcela

      I live and die by Ikea towels. You could add them to your amazon registry by using the universal registry thingy. They dry super well and come in all sorts of colours. Plus since they are so cheap, you can get way more for your money.

    • Alex K

      The crate and barrel bathsheets are awesome. They super soft and hold up really well.

    • Lisa

      We bought our napkins through C&B and like them so I imagine their tablecloths would be of similar quality?

      And you’re welcome!! I’ve never actually ordered anything through there, but I know many of my friends love it. I might have to take a look again and see about finding some new work-appropriate summer dresses.

      • penguin

        Highly recommend eShakti! My only gripe is that it takes a long time for things to be delivered, but since they are making them to my measurements it totally makes sense. I’m just spoiled on two day Prime shipping.

        I’ve registered for the napkins at C&B, but held back on the tablecloths. Some of the reviews said they shrank and also got wrinkly and needed to be ironed, and I know that would drive me nuts. Some of their tablecloths might not be like that though, so I’ll have to check.

        • Lisa

          That’s how our napkins definitely are. I don’t put them in the dryer because the pattern started to fade. I’m also a compulsive iron-er so table linens have been on my list of to-do for a long time. I forget that not everyone does this sometimes!

        • Lisa

          So this was a bad idea. Now I want ALL THE DRESSES.

          • penguin

            Yesss that’s my problem with them! The quality is really excellent, and I just had to get my measurements right. I like a tighter waist on my skirts since I wear them high, so things from my first order were too big in the waist. They have a great return policy though, and now I have 3 great dresses, and a skirt, and a shirt, and now I’m looking at the website again…

        • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

          I’m so glad you loved eShakti! I just ordered yet another dress this week and felt like a spokesperson when I recommended them to two friends last night. I just can’t love $10 customization enough!

    • emmers

      We registered for & received this tablecloth from BB&B: https://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/downton-abbey-reg-village-collection-tablecloth/3254900?brandId=2456. It’s a Downton Abbey tablecloth, and did shrink a few inches when we washed it, but it’s so soft and I feel like it classes up the place. Relaxed and nice for everyday.

      ETA– I don’t iron it, but I do put it on the table when it comes out the dryer :)

      • penguin

        Ooh it’s fabulous. Do you have to iron it or does it come out of the dryer OK?

        • emmers

          It comes out of the dryer fine! I am anti-ironing. Last night we got it out the dryer when it had cooled, so it was a touch wrinkly, but I put it on the table anyways, and I’m pretty sure most of the wrinkles are gone by now. It definitely shrunk some in an initial washing, so just be mindful of that. But I love it!

          • penguin

            Legendary, thank you!!

      • Natalie

        Oh, that’s really nice looking. I think I might need one. I just looked at the entire Downton Abbey line at BBB only to be terribly disappointed that they only have a couple things in their “Village” collection that this tablecloth is part of. Like, I want my entire house to have the aesthetic of that tablecloth.

    • E.

      My moms swear by Cuddledown for towels and sheets and I can attest that we got a hand towel to see if we liked it before registering for them and it is the most amazing towel I have every used. It is so soft and dries so well and is a beautiful color. I can’t wait to get more!

    • Our towels are Wamsutta towels from BBB. I can’t remember specifically which ones they were, but 2 years of washing/drying and they don’t appear to be any worse for the wear.

      • penguin

        I think those are the ones we registered for! This makes me feel better, thanks!!

    • EF

      mine are in the uk and don’t count BUT i will say this: 100% cotton. every time. dry them on a line whenever possible and things are better :-D

    • EF

      also you’re in boston right? barber-wise, judy jetson’s is fucking fantastic for all your short-hair and fuck gender norms needs.

      • penguin

        Boston area (more like Framingham) but I’ll check them out, thanks!!

        • EF

          heh i would call framingham central mass but that probably just tells you how far east/in the city i actually grew up…

          judy jetson is on mass ave in cambridge, between harvard and porter. kinda expensive but they always have trainees for half the cost who are very very good.

          • penguin

            Awesome! Yeah I tend to say Boston area on things like this just because people know where Boston is lol, and it’s close by.

  • Marcela

    Thank you for the reminder to look on Crate and Barrel’s website for a new set of bakeware. Our old ones (a registry item from 4 years ago) have got tons of cracks and the handles have broken off…

  • savannnah

    Today we are officially 3 months out! My fiance is also home after a 3 week work trip and we are going to my parent’s cabin on the lake for father’s day weekend. Today is also the last day for anyone to reserve a room in the two inns we have blocked for family and the bridal party. I’m trying not to be frustrated as none of my fiance’s family, not young twenty something cousins or his 60 year old aunts, have make a reservation at the inns or purchased flights even though they are planning on coming. Nor any of his groomsmen for that matter. He keeps telling me that his family are not planners and I get that, I’ve experienced that, but that doesn’t stop our Inn’s from opening up their rooms to the public. I know we have religious, class and cultural differences but doesn’t everyone have to plan for life events? Ugh I can feel the crazy seeping in about this and I just want to be chill and I’m not. I’m no chill Barbie bride about it. Also 3 people have asked me about gluten free menus at the wedding in the past two days because they are ‘clean eaters’…

    • Amy March

      Apparently no. I also find it baffling but there are people who just trust things will work out. Maddeningly they are often right.

      • Eh

        My husband is like that… one time he didn’t have enough money to pay his bills when he was in college. He didn’t get a job or anything to solve the problem, he just figured it would work out. His dad took him to the slots (not knowing about the money problems) and gave my husband $40 (which was a voucher because my FIL goes there so often) and my husband won $1000.

      • E.

        This is my sister and it drives me crazy

    • Lisa

      Ugh, that’s rough. Hopefully they won’t call you in 10 weeks begging for a list of other places to stay because, at that point, I think you’d be well within your rights to say you just don’t know.

    • Marcela

      My husband’s family are like that too. It helps that they have the money to be able to have it “just work out” when booking things late. Drives me bonkers.

      • savannnah

        I would be more comforted by that. These folks def do no have the money to be making any last minute plans- if things get too expensive they will not be coming- one groomsmen already dropped out for financial reasons.

        • Jane

          That makes it so much worse. This 100% shouldn’t be your job, but, have you looked into what the last-minute alternatives might be? Sometimes knowing that if you don’t do X by Y day, this will be your option can really help focus things.

          I really hope no one drops out for financial reasons who could have come if they’d made plans when you gave them reasonable info and reasonable time.

          But, even if they don’t come, try not to take it as a reflection on how much they want to come. There’s a good APW line somewhere about how people don’t change who they are for your wedding.

          • savannnah

            There is two parts to this- first, yes I have a few plan b places even though its Vermont in the fall and a lot will be booked. But the other part to it is that the Inn’s are next to each other, and one is where we are having the ceremony and reception. Because its a rural place, having a lot of the immediate family and entire bridal party (including the groomsmen) will make the weekend a lot easier and cheaper for people who don’t wish to rent cars. Now in my worst case scenario its like half my intimidate family and bridesmaids and a bunch of rando leaf peepers.

          • suchbrightlights

            I was going to respond with my usual commiseration line of “at some point it’s just up to them to act like a goddamn bonafide grownup” but it looks like this might be beyond that, because the lack of grownup-itude has a direct effect on you. :/ May I pour you a drink?

    • Violet

      Honest question- am I justified in judging people who describe themselves as “clean” eaters, because in using such a term, they are implicitly judging my eating as “dirty”? I’m all for people eating what they want to eat or not eating what they don’t want to, but I don’t like the moral superiority some people attach to food choices.

      • penguin

        100% justified, “clean eating” bothers me too for the same reasons. I see those signs at Panera Bread all the time and roll my eyes.

        • Violet

          LePQ once had something about “Guilt free” pastry options, and I just thought, “Ewwww. I eat my croissants sans guilt, thankyouverymuch.”

          • Cellistec

            Ira Glass did a great interview bit about “guilty pleasures” once that forever made me rethink the phrase and how I apply it to things like food. He basically said that he doesn’t take the concept of guilty pleasures seriously because you know what you should feel guilty about? Murder. Theft. Violence. Not cake. Eat it or don’t, but for heaven’s sake don’t feel guilty about that. So I would say to LPQ that all pastry options are guilt-free.

          • Violet

            Exactly! Eating foods with salt or fat is not a crime. You have to eat the right diet for your nutritional needs, but baked goods are not inherently bad. I refuse to feel guilty for consuming them.

          • Jessica

            I have taken this same approach when dressing people down about judging my love of romance novels. I don’t feel guilty for using my personal time to read something I enjoy. It doesn’t make me less intelligent, it helps me enjoy reading–and no one should judge me for that!

      • savannnah

        All I can say is that I’m glad these requests were in writing or over the phone because my stank eye was out of control.

        • Violet

          Haha, thanks for the snort-laugh!

      • MC

        100% agree. And also, people who have diet restrictions should not expect that their specific needs will be catered to at a large event. It’s always nice if they can be, but your diet is your own and not anyone else’s to worry about.

        • savannnah

          Yep. We just sent them a copy of the menu and were like here ya go!

        • Amy March

          For me, if you “can’t” eat it I want to know, whether it’s can’t because of religion, can’t because of medical needs, or can’t because of your ethical values. If it’s “don’t” eat it because you don’t like it or just don’t want it, oh well.

          Gluten free because you can’t eat gluten shouldn’t be too hard for most caterers. Gluten free for your skinny jeans is an inappropriate request.

          • Violet

            “Can’t” vs “won’t” is key.

          • Natalie

            I agree 100% with your designations. You can’t have diary and meat at the same meal? Totally cool, we’ll have tons of vegetarian options and disposable plates for you.

            You’re only eating beige foods this month for your cleanse? Um, sorrynotsorry, there will be green or red chile in everything.

          • Jess

            Yeah, my parents are vegetarians and I have a few friends with celiac’s. And… they’re pretty cool about it. Like, they’ll ask if they can eat certain foods, and if not, they’re prepared with their own snacks or to go pick up something on their way home.

            Do I want to know and will I try to meet those requests? Totally. But if you’re just doing it to side-eye “unhealthy eating” you can shove off.

        • scw

          yeah, I have a nut allergy and I just make sure I pack snacks I can eat if the shit hits the fan and it is really unclear what I can eat. and I usually need to skip wedding cake, which is a huge bummer but… I’m not going to be stressing any brides/grooms out about that.

      • Yael

        My sister is a personal trainer and weight lifter, so she does use the term “clean eating,” but for her it means lean protein and steamed veggies with very little fats or carbs of any sort, i.e. only what it takes to meet her nutritional needs before an event. It definitely does not mean gluten-free (altho neither she nor I eat gluten for actual health reasons). That’s become my association with “clean eating” and I think it is a totally acceptable one but if people are now using it to mean paleo or whatever other orthorexia fad is big these days, yes, I would judge the hell out of it.

        • Amy March

          I mean, I think defining “clean” as “lean protein steamed veggies and very little fat or carbs” is exactly what I find problematic. I don’t see that as any different than paleo really. My carbs aren’t dirty. The fat I eat isn’t dirty. People aren’t superior because they avoid them. By all means eat what makes you feel good but can we quit it with the superiority stuff?

          • Yael

            Oh carbs and fat aren’t bad – they’re healthy in fact! She (and I guess by extension, I), use it specifically for her pre-show diet when she is purposefully dropping her body fat as low as possible. Which is actually not a healthy thing to do long term, but required for weight lifting shows. Eating that way all the time is definitely a form of orthorexia, and no one should be shamed for eating carbs or whatever else.

            I’m also sensitive to it from the other end because I can’t eat gluten, and I often get the eye-roll of how I must be one of those people doing it because it’s a fad. No, I do it because my body tries to kill me if I don’t. I would love to eat croissants again. And cutting gluten (and by extension whole grains) can be super unhealthy unless you need to do it.

            TL;DR don’t shame anyone for their diet and eat the full range of nutrients that you are able to.

        • Violet

          I think different people use it to mean different things, so it’s not even clear to me what it is. But one similarly of usage across the board is it seems to imply, “Whatever my diet is is ‘the good way to eat’,” so it almost always rubs me the wrong way.

      • Sarah E

        YUP. Designating some food as “clean,” (unless it’s a religious designation) plays right into diet culture and fat-shaming. Food is neutral.

        • Violet

          I know, and I usually hear this term coming from people who would otherwise consider themselves pretty liberal and open-minded. But I think the term just perpetuates this idea that some foods are bad, and that, by extension, you’re a bad person if you eat them. Or should at least feel bad about it if you eat them. And I can’t get on board with that.

          • ssha

            100%. I always want to say that all food is guilt free. I also refuse to eat snack food with “skinny” on the label.

      • AP

        Yes. You totally are justified.

      • Jess

        YES. 100% justified.

    • Jane

      My family was like that for my sister’s wedding and it was really stressful for all of us. This time around, they have mostly gotten it. Could this be them just not getting how expensive and stressful delay is on this front?

    • emmers

      Hang in there! If people delay in booking rooms and there are no more rooms.. then they’ll figure it out. But try not to let that stress you out, since it will then be their job to figure out what to do! It sounds like you have done a great job at offering them resources, and if they don’t take them, they they gotta just figure it out, cuz you do not have time for that!

    • sofar

      Most of my husband’s family and friends waited until the last possible second to book accommodations/flights and missed the room-block window. If they ask you at the last minute about where to stay, we said: “The room-blocks are now closed for booking, but if you look at our wedding website, you’ll see which hotels we originally had the blocks at. We highly recommend them.”

      And how does gluten-free = clean eating? WTF.

      • Kara E

        This is why I just offer to book a 2 extra rooms for my parents and brothers at whatever wedding (or funeral) venue they claim that they’re headed to (given a huge extended family). Better that than have a brother (or 3) sleeping on our floor. If they haven’t booked tickets by 48 hours in advance, I usually give my bros a heads up before I cancel.

  • penguin

    (Sorry for the hella long post! Advice question in 2nd half)

    Update on in-law drama: It’s…getting better? I think? We all had lunch on Sunday at a casual restaurant. At first FMIL was kind of grumpy and standoff-ish. My FFIL started talking about random things, and fiancé and I made a solid effort to be talkative and personable. FMIL eventually dropped the grimace and started chatting, and I made a concerted effort to ask her about how things were going and be upbeat and just pretend that the whole drama with them never happened. Overall I think it went pretty well, and the only snag came at the end. FMIL asked what our plans for the rest of the day were, and fiancé said something about “oh we’re going to see if we can finish our registry today”. For some reason FMIL made a face at that, and I ignored it and tried to smooth things over by talking about weird things we’d seen while registering (individual butter warmers!). I think it went OK, we all said goodbye and nice to see you, and they left. We never talked about other wedding things, or about them being mad at us, but I’m hoping that we’re moving past it. FFIL sent my fiancé a text later that said something about “Thank you for doing the hard work to repair relationships” or something.

    Advice question: My mother and little brother are going to be visiting my grandparents for about a week. I was originally planning on going up to see my grandparents next weekend, but now I’m not sure if I want to since my mother will be there. I’d be getting in late Friday night, and she’d be leaving Saturday morning/day sometime. If I don’t go, I won’t have another weekend to go visit my grandparents until mid-late July. My grandfather has cancer and I’m trying to see them as much as possible, so I’m afraid I’d regret not visiting. I also don’t really want to see my mom, and I don’t want to have a weird talk about how she isn’t invited to the wedding. Thankfully it sounds like my grandma is going to tell her ahead of time (bless that woman) that I’m not inviting mom to the wedding, so at least it won’t be a surprise. Any thoughts or commiseration appreciated.

    • Amy March

      That’s a really tough one. I’m kinda feeling that mid-July is only a month away? But neither option is great, sorry this is so rough!

      • penguin

        Thanks Amy! I did see my grandparents for all of Memorial Day weekend, so that’s something at least.

      • nutbrownrose

        Umm, as someone getting married in mid-July, I can attest to it’s being only a month away. But on topic a month might be a long time in this situation.

    • Marcela

      Could you get in Friday night and stay at a hotel/with a friend until your mom leaves?

      • Violet

        This was my thought, too.

      • another lady

        that sounds like a good plan. if something were to happen, would you feel guilty about not seeing grandparents again more recently? I know that I have felt that way, so I would recommend going so that you can spend more time with them, and if you go again in July, then bonus, you get to see them again.

        • penguin

          Yep I definitely would. So I’m leaning towards going up Friday night. I might see if I can stay with my aunt in the area that night, and head over to grandma’s in the morning. Otherwise I’ll sleep on my grandma’s couch, grit my teeth through awkward interactions with my mom, and then happily wave her off in the morning.

    • jem

      I’m so glad things are going better with the in laws!

      Mid-July feels like it’s RIGHT around the corner to me. I’d hold off (but I’m conflict-avoidant). You’ve had enough conflict/stress lately!

    • AmandaBee

      Allll the commiseration your way. Can you stay elsewhere until your mom leaves your grandparents’ house? I understand not wanting to see her, and I don’t know how sick your grandpa is, but if your gut is saying that you want to go see him I’d do it and try to find a way to work around mom.

    • gonzalesbeach

      many years from now, will you have wanted one more weekend with your grandpa, even if it meant the difficulty with interaction with mother? agree with others about not staying with them for those nights so at least you can visit then have somewhere else to go and recharge. sounds very tough – good luck

      • emmers

        Or will it be a crappy memory cuz you were around your mom and it was awkward? It’s really OK to say no and wait until July if you decide it’s best. It’s also OK to decide to go and power through the mom stuff. If you don’t go, maybe you can do something sweet like send a card or care package, or call him on the phone extra, until you see him in July.

        • gonzalesbeach

          great point!:)

    • Jess

      Hooray for mutually mostly-pretending-everything-is-fine with the Future-IL’s!

      Re the second paragraph, that is a tough one. I’m down with AmandaBee’s suggestion of seeing if you can hang out somewhere else Friday night/Saturday AM and have your grandma call you when your mom is gone? If not, I would wait until mid-July and call your grandparents frequently in the interim.

  • Lisa

    Finally back! Disney was so much fun, and we managed to surprise my dad at his birthday dinner with a private boat tour for the Epcot fireworks one evening. (So many mad props to Husband for finding that! He’s amazing at gift giving.)

    I can’t wait to hear how everyone else is doing. Also… can I get the link for those drinking glasses? They look similar to the ones I’ve been coveting since I first watched Mad Men, and I’m having trouble finding them on the C&B site.

    • Kate Levy

      Hey Lisa! Here you go: https://www.crateandbarrel.com/gala-double-old-fashioned/s454755 the main image is a little dark so they don’t really look the same as they do IRL. We are obsessed with them and def want a set for the office!

      • Lisa

        Thank you!! And there’s a coordinating decanter! (I seriously don’t think I can demonstrate my excitement enough over here. I am dyyyyyyyying for a real bar cart with all of our nice alcohol in pretty decanters with matching glasses. We took the bar cart off our C&B registry after much deliberation and side eye from my MIL, but I still desperately want one.)

        • CMT

          Me too!

        • Emily

          Hey! Worth noting if your alcohol of choice is wine and its nice its best stored at 55 degrees F in a wine fridge to keep it from taint (any storage over 70 F for prolonged periods of time can cause this). Vinotemp makes nice standalone ones with a glass front (~$200? I think) that look sleek and nice. I’m not trying to kill your bar cart dreams – just felt like I could be helpful!

          • Lexipedia

            When I moved in with FI I inherited his wine fridge and he inherited my bar cart. It was a pretty stellar situation. :)

          • Lisa

            This sounds like a dream situation. We have minimal storage space in our apartment (particularly the tiny kitchen) so the natural spot for our dream bar cart is taken up by a small rolling island we bought at BB&B. The space underneath it though we affectionately refer to as our “wine cellar” since that’s where the bottles live for now.

        • penguin

          So if you put everything in decanters, do you label those? Or just open them and sniff to see which is which? It sounds fancy and amazing, I’m just trying to picture it. Knowing me I’d stick a label on it made of painter’s tape and ruin the effect.

        • Lexipedia

          We have a gorge bar cart we bought ourselves from West Elm and I would highly recommend it. However as a cocktail snob I would recommend against decanters if you have something fancy and will only drink it slowly. Those pretty glass ones with the glass lid allow for evaporation, which isn’t good. If you want a decanter research what kind of lid is best, but really bottles are the safest. We just put the less pretty bottles in the back on the bottom shelf and display the pretty/fancy ones on top.

          • Lisa

            Super interesting! Out of curiosity, does the cork/sliding seal on our bottles of bourbon and tequila get that much better of a seal than the glass would?

          • Lexipedia

            If it’s what came with the bottle then I assume yes. If not, the only thing I buy to stopper open bottles is those flexible rubber ones where you can get a really tight seal. I can’t promise I’m right, but I’ve been warned against decanters with those pretty crystal stoppers.

          • Lisa

            Interesting! The ones that come with the bottle never seemed that secure to me once the seal was broken, but I can see your point. I have some of those rubber ones, but I’ve only ever used those on wine bottles.

        • EF

          OMG I’ve been rewatching mad men and keep saying ‘i want those glasses’ which I SWEAR are the same ones emily gilmore had in the new gilmore girls. now weighing how likely these are to be broken in being shipped to the UK….

        • zana

          Craigslist can be really good for affordable bar carts depending on your location.

    • Her Lindsayship

      We registered for the Mingle decanter at C&B and – omg! I just went to look for it and someone has bought it for us already! XD We didn’t register for the glasses because we already have a fancy set of rocks glasses (like these https://www.etsy.com/listing/273388758/mid-century-modern-silver-fade-roly-poly?ref=market ). I’m so excited because the decanter was definitely my fave pick on our registry!

      • Lisa

        Swoon, I love those glasses!

  • AlbumIdeas

    I am having a hard time figuring out how I want to do my wedding album/store and save my memories from my wedding day. My guest book was done such that guests signed photo-sized papers, so I have a bunch of 4×6 single-sided “guestbook pages” and I have like 50 photos, also 4×6, but not sure if I want to scrapbook-style them (I’ve never done this-how much work is it and what is the likelihood a not-artistic person can make something acceptable?) or get 3-hole punched photo pages and make a binder or….????? What did y’all do to store your photos and momentos from your wedding day? I’m browsing etsy and so on too….. nothing strikes me as a HELL YES DEFINITELY THIS option yet….. and I refuse to pay $500 for a custom photo book from my photog haha. What have you all done/are planning to do/have brainstormed about??

    • Jane

      I looked through a friend’s mom’s 3-ring photo wedding album a few months ago and it was great. I love the wedding album books people make nowadays, but if you’re not super into it, I don’t know that you need to spend that much money.

      And you could decide to invest in a fancier book for an anniversary present some year if you felt like you were missing it.

      • another lady

        if you just get the 3 ring binder type album were you can insert the pictures into the clear pages, you may just be happy with that for a ‘guest book’ or mini- photo album. Then, like Jane said, you could do an on-line photo book service later on if you feel like you need it (like snap-fish or minted or something)

    • another lady

      My sister and I made a very easy scrap book of her elopement wedding ceremony from the pictures she got from the photographer. She basically picked a bunch that she liked, had them printed 5×7 size, got a basic album book that was like 8×8 or 9×9 square, got a variety of colorful papers, then printed the vows and readings on the bottoms of the pages, pasted on pictures to the middle of each pages, and added a few ‘wedding’ embellishments on random pages. It turned out very nice and looks good. You can make scrapbooking pretty basic if you want to.

    • zana

      Buy a Groupon for Picaboo. $50 for $150 is pretty good. Make a seamless lay flat photo album on Picaboo. Their album editor is decent.

  • CMT

    It’s my birthday! I’m having a cats & swimming & Hillary Clinton themed party tonight and you’re all invited.

  • Violet

    *Super* crucial question: I want to get my nails done after work at this place I pass by on my new commute route. But it has literally no info on Yelp. Not even listed. Do I chance it? (For background, I get my nails done like, four times a year, so it’s more of an event than you’d think.)

    • penguin

      You could do a casual walk-by and see if they look murder-y. I’ve done that before and if I get a bad feeling about the place then I’ll just keep on walking. Do they have a website or any online presence at all? You could also call and see if they’re jerks. Good luck!!

      • Violet

        My walks-by are what got me intrigued- it looks nice without being over the top. But like, NO info online. Not even hours posted when you Google them. Isn’t that a little odd?

        • Lisa

          Oh, that is strange. Maybe you could walk by/stop in and ask for their prices so you can get a feel for the place?

          • Violet

            That’s a good idea. Maybe they’re just new? This has only been my commute for the past two weeks (we just moved) so I’m not sure.

        • penguin

          That is weird! I wonder if it’s just owned by techno-phobe people and they haven’t put anything online just because they don’t do online stuff. Since it seems a little sketch, maybe use cash only?

        • Jane

          Definitely check prices, but I think it’s ok if they don’t have an online presence. Maybe they’re new?
          Also, I think there was a suggestion on APW months ago re: seeking out vendors who are women and people of color about how some groups are more likely to have a loyal following of in-person customers but little online presence.

          • Violet

            Oh, interesting! Yeah, I only want to go to a nail salon if I can feel reasonably sure the labor practices are solid. But they don’t make it easy to find that out.

          • Jane

            True! There were some pretty in-depth articles (the Atlantic? NY Times? Can’t remember) about nail salon practices a few years ago that shocked me, although maybe it shouldn’t have.

          • Angela’s Back

            It was the NYT and yes, it was horrifying.

          • Jane

            I remember that there were some big differences in regulations and practices depending on your state, e.g. CA has much stricter requirements for how employees are trained and paid, and certifications that salons can receive to show they’re meeting safety standards (re ventilation, using gloves and masks). But I still feel nervous about going to salons. There doesn’t seem to be a good way to make sure they’re safe.

          • Amy March

            My short cut on that is cost. If a mani-pedi in NYC is $25 or less, they’re probably violating labor laws left right and center. I like tenoverten.

          • Violet

            Yeah, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Kind of like our discussion about the wedding dresses in made in China the other day. A manicure shouldn’t be $10.

      • Cellistec

        Also, Yelp should have a badge for “not murder-y.” That would be very useful.

        • Lisa

          Kind of like how Google should have an “avoid dangerous neighborhoods” option on their maps. That would prevent me from taking a route that goes through the heart of the Tenderloin next time.

          • Violet

            I’m sure that feature would be a liability nightmare, though. Someone gets mugged in an area Google didn’t flag, and then goes and sues Google. Or business owners in those areas sue because Google cost them business through defamation. (Or is it libel? Which is the printed one?)

          • Alex K

            Also many times when people say “bad area” they mean an area with a non-white majority. Which is not accurate at all.

          • Violet

            Agreed.

          • Lisa

            I’m completely in agreement with you on this. It’s just tricky when you’re new to a city/a tourist and end up in places that make you feel unsafe because you didn’t realize that Google maps was taking you down a route that included some dangerous areas.

          • Jess

            I think maybe MapQuest used to have a feature like this, but got a lot of flack for it’s avoidance of non-white neighborhoods?

            It’s not a bad idea on principal (help tourists avoid high-crime areas!) but the execution ends up looking pretty bad.

          • Violet

            I think actual crime data is available online, but it’s by precinct, which is not usually specific enough for the kinds of questions tourists have.
            In addition to the race issue Alex K points out, it can be pretty subjective as to how people will feel in a given place. I’ll never forget when my college-aged family member was visiting from the midwest. A family friend of her parents’ had taken a map of Manhattan and drew a box that her parents told her she should stay within. Not only was my office not in the “safe” zone, neither was where I lived at the time, which was a supersafe area! Honestly when she showed me, I just laughed. But I guess to some people only used to suburbs, only the uber touristy areas seem “safe” to go to? It was eye-opening.

          • Yeah. I feel like business owners in non-white areas would take an real strong hit there. I also feel like this was the plot of a Good Wife episode?

          • scw

            my first thought too.

          • Cellistec

            Right? I mean, how hard can it be to aggregate crime reports from police department Twitter accounts and then overlay them with Google Maps?

          • Fushigidane

            I would love something like that. ~5 years ago I had actually heard something about a navigation app combined with crime rates thing so they could reroute you but it got a lot of flack for being racist since minority neighborhoods tended to have more crime. I had issues with the criticisms, one of which was that it “didn’t include white collar crime” White collar crime doesn’t affect you when you’re walking down the street.

          • Kara E

            Someone tried this fairly recently – it wound up being a proxy for “avoid majority minority neighborhoods.” I’ll try to find the write-up (I think maybe on science friday?). I know the app developer pulled it after pushback.

    • Lisa

      Do they have any on-line presence (Facebook, personal site, anything)?

    • Marcela

      Does your town have a facebook word of mouth group? Ours is fantastic for finding things out about local businesses.

      • Violet

        Eh, NYC, so a little too overwhelming for word of mouth.

        • Alex K

          SO many NYC nail salons are not really on line at all. I found my favorite one by word of mouth. It had no yelp or google reviews. So it’s probably fine.

          • Violet

            Ooo, this is reassuring, thanks.

        • Marcela

          Neighborhood? Ask your the closet bodega about them? When I lived in Rio that was the best way to know anything about the local businesses.

          • Violet

            That’s a good idea!

  • AmandaBee

    I successfully defended my dissertation yesterday! Celebrated with day drinking (champagne at lunch FTW) and a long ass nap.

    In other news, two family members are getting married in the next few weeks and can I just say that it’s nice to be a guest instead of planning a wedding? Although I think having now planned a wedding I have a whole other level of appreciation for things I previously never thought of (like…chair rentals).

    • Violet

      Hells yeah for dissertation defended! Well done, you!

    • Lisa

      Congratulations on your defense!! Drinks and a nap sound like the perfect celebration.

      Yes, it’s odd at first going to weddings after your own. You also have a new appreciation for just how much everything costs.

    • sofar

      Congrats.

      And yes, attending weddings has become WAY more fun since I’ve had to plan one. If nothing else, I am reminded, while hitting the bar, that I NEVER have to plan one of these things again!

    • Rose

      Yay! Congrats! You’re done!

    • scw

      oh man yesssss you did it! congratulations! such a huge accomplishment! just so you know it’s totally normal if you go through a weird adjustment/almost-mourning period at some point in the few months after defending. someone said this to me on here after I defended and at first it didn’t feel relevant, and then a few weeks later it definitely happened to me.

      also YES to the guest instead of wedding planner thing. and you’re probably a much better guest, too.

  • Eh

    My FIL was over on Monday helping my husband renovate our powder room. I was at home because I was sick. I came down from our bedroom just before my FIL left and he gave me a birthday card (my birthday was a few weeks ago). He mentioned that they thought about dropping by on Sunday to give it to me and then apologized that they didn’t because they were too busy. (Note: They called me on my birthday and mentioned that they had a card for me. We have seen them since my birthday so I’m pretty sure they were using as an excuse to drop by our house for a visit.) My husband mentioned that they would have been turned away at the door, and my FIL made a comment that they understand and know that we are very busy. My husband said in this case it wasn’t because we were busy but because we were all sick (we had to cancel all of our Sunday plans and we had family nap time). Though, if we weren’t sick, we would have been busy so we probably wouldn’t have been home. (I wish that he had used that moment to reiterate that we need notice for them to come by, but at least he made it clear that we will turn them away and not change our plans when they drop by.)

    On a related note, my husband and his brother have not made Fathers’ Day plans with their dad so we won’t be having Fathers’ Day with my inlaws this weekend. I actually feel bad for my FIL because my MIL is so demanding about Mothers’ Day that there is always a huge deal made for her, and then Fathers’ Day is an after thought. Neither my husband nor my BIL are planners (or communicators) so things like this get dropped.

    • Ashlah

      I can’t believe how long the “no drop-ins” boundary pushing has been going on! That sounds unbelievably frustrating. I get that families have different dynamics, but the fact that they’re pushing so hard on this pretty normal, reasonable expectation is frankly really weird to me! I’m glad you and your husband are a united front.

      • Eh

        I think their idea is that they can drop by and we can tell them to leave (or not be home) and they are ok with that. The problem is that we aren’t ok with that especially since they have been disrespectful about it in the past (i.e., dropping by when we said we were leaving).

        • Ashlah

          Yeah, I wouldn’t be okay with that either!

    • another lady

      about the father’s day situation: my husband and his family are like this, too. I generally leave it up to him to schedule stuff with his family and to buy his family present. And, they just don’t plan anything or he forgets to buy a present or whatever. but, his family isn’t really into gifts or holiday stuff except for Christmas. and, I think like most of America, Mother’s day is a bigger deal and celebrated more than Father’s day in general. they don’t really seem to care much that he doesn’t make as much of a big deal of father’s day. last year I bought the card, this year, they just so happened to want to visit this weekend, so we will grill and chill and go out for drinks or something.

      • Eh

        So what normally happens is that my BIL’s family and my inlaws will end up going fishing (it’s usually a no-license fishing weekend here) or go out on the boat (as the weather is going to be horrible this weekend, that’s unlikely). It’s always a last minute thing so we can never go (since my husband needs notice to change his work schedule). My inlaws are also big on gifts. Not giving someone a gift when it is expected is a major faux pas. My husband is probably going to see his dad on Monday (since the powder room renovations aren’t done) and he will give him a card and a gift then.

  • AGCourtney

    I actually had a pretty quiet week, now that I think about it. I just came from a funeral for an elderly family friend. I had been nervous about my emotional state since I haven’t been to a funeral since my best friend’s a few years ago, but it turns out that a funeral for an old person who’s been in poor health for a long time feels vastly different one for a young mother who passed away suddenly in her sleep. I am relieved by this. After the service, someone must have recognized me from my friend’s funeral and asked if I was her sister. I corrected him, but hey, close enough! I felt strangely touched by this.

    Since I don’t have any particular updates, I’ll mention that it’s been really enjoyable these past couple months as we transition into fully homeschooling. It’s fun to plan! Oddly difficult in ways, but fun.

    • emmers

      The thing about your friend does sound touching. I’m glad that the funeral was OK for you. I can see being anxious about that, and I’m glad that it was OK.

  • Angela’s Back

    Mr. Angela and I are adopting a new kitten this weekend!! I mean, that’s the plan, unless somehow we don’t find one we like at the adoption event we’re going to. But–anyone have any suggestions about making the transition easier for the very spoiled 4.5 year old furball we currently cat-parent? My theory is that animals recognize baby animals and that our older cat will therefore adjust, if grumpily, but if anyone’s actually done this already I would love to hear about it.

    • AmandaBee

      Yay kitty! We need baby kitty pictures :)

      Re: integrating cats, my best advice is to let new kitty hang out in his own room for a bit before introducing, and then do a slow introduction (you can look this up – but basically introducing them in very tiny increments of time for the first few weeks/months). That reduces stress on both parties and lets new kitty get settled in. Other than that, it might just take time for them to get used to each other.

      • gonzalesbeach

        yes re: increments, let them sniff each other through door, short intro at first. also we made sure that while introducing and for first weeks, one of us would pet new kitty and the other person showered the established kitty with attention so that old kitty never felt like it wasn’t getting enough resources. and for the first few days maybe to week – partner slept on the couch (his idea! – he loves the couch and would happily sleep there all the time) with one of them while the other cat slept in bedroom with me.

    • Sarah Jane Tinnelly-Williams

      We just adopted a second cat a few weeks ago, and it’s taken this long for both the fur babies to get along. We kept new kitty in a spare bedroom for the first week, then let them hang out in the same room for a few minutes at a time, till they stopped growling at each other. It’s going to take a while, and expect some growling, some stand-offs, and lots of physical fighting. What worked best for us was keeping things separate – each cat has their own food/water bowls on opposite sides of the kitchen, they each have their own litter boxes and cat tree/scratching post things. There were absolutely some territory disputes, but now both the kitties play and love on each other all day long :)

      • Angela’s Back

        This is all very helpful! Keeping furbabies really truly separate will be challenging in our one bedroom apartment, but we do have plans for separate food and water and litter and really, we’re just gonna have to do the best we can. The kitten could probably live in the bedroom for the first week though… so glad my husband works from home and that there will be someone to supervise this madness during the week.

        • Sarah Jane Tinnelly-Williams

          It should be fine! Our first cat is a year old, and very snuggly and not at all playful. The new kitten runs around like a maniac, chasing after anything that moves, and jumping on anything she can reach. They play-fight a lot (lots of biting and scratching, but no growling/hissing, and tails wagging side to side), but at first they had a few real fights (growling, hissing, tails twitching at the top). We found that the best thing to do if we caught them really fighting was surprise them – make a loud noise, spray them with water, something. Don’t try to physically separate them, as my husband learned the hard way!! But either way, a few weeks and they should be getting along great!

          • Angela’s Back

            It’s so funny to me that you say your first cat is a snuggler–our cat is snuggly but also way into playing chase and other cat games with us, which is great and all but it does get old eventually. Hence the desire for a second cat. Even though our current cat will think he’s super mad about this at first, ultimately it will be a huge improvement in his quality of cat-life, he just doesn’t know it yet :D

          • Sarah Jane Tinnelly-Williams

            Maggie is our first cat (black cat), and she thinks she’s queen of the world, as you can see! Thea is our new (black and white) kitten, and she gets a little shocked when you try and take her toys away. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7156f92a8cd05fcb384eaac0449fe60e2be620b8e2a10e539164a8d2204e90a1.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/37a843f91f1a82ef39a37c6f14bf6f9a31f59452a424482389e0727899bf485e.jpg

          • Angela’s Back

            awww!! Our first cat is a black cat too, his name is Vladimir and he’s all about being in our business and sleeping on firm surfaces, go figure.

          • Sarah Jane Tinnelly-Williams

            That is a fantastic name for a cat!! I love it! Maggie is very into sitting on my lap and judging me for not giving her my undivided attention fast enough lol.

          • nutbrownrose

            Okay that’s too weird I know a girl named Maggie with a daughter named Thea…

    • jem

      it’s haaaaard and i think it really depends on your older cat’s personality. definitely don’t rush introducing them to each other physically– keep them separate for WEEKS– but make sure they can smell each other every day. one trick we picked up was to switch their litter boxes every day so they could get used to the other cat’s scent.

  • rebecca

    Last weekend was my shower. I registered with Thankful and apparently several people couldn’t figure out how to check off their gift so now I own three doormats with llamas on them. I did receive handmade gifts with “The hislastname Family” and initials that will never be mine on them, as well as gift cards to stores they do not have in my region of the country (we actually registered for gift cards to a store that is in both places, but whatever). The main course was chicken salad and I have been vegetarian for 17 years (but it was actually kind of fun scheming with my teenage cousins to figure out how to keep my aunt from noticing that I wasn’t eating). People said wildly shitty things about children and religion but I’m used to that at this point. I’m glad I went, I think it was meaningful for my aunts and I’m optimistic that since I was a good sport they’ll try to be pleasant at my wedding which will be a very fish-out-of-water experience for them.

    The deadline for our hotel blocks is this week, we had one budget option and one kind of fun and fancier option thinking most of our friends would stay in the fancy hotel, but they ended up making their own accommodations. My FMIL is literally the only person staying at the fancy hotel. We think she’s going to be terribly bored and lonely but she won’t move (they are *far* a part). My mom feels like the fact that FMIL is staying in the fancy hotel but has put a *ton* of pressure on us to spend more money and isn’t contributing financially or throwing a rehearsal dinner is a slap in the face. My fiance’s family deals with his mother by just letting her slap them in the face repeatedly and he thinks I need to tell my mom to invite his mom to dinner the night before the wedding. My mom, as mentioned in a previous HH is throwing a crockpot pulled pork party in her hotel room that night and I’m not really in the business of telling my mom she has to invite anybody anywhere (as she graciously did not make me invite anyone I didn’t want to invite to our wedding). So basically, both of our moms think the other is kind of an asshole right now. I’m not sure I really care, but I’m afraid my FMIL is going to set herself up to have a v. shitty time at our wedding and I’m not sure my fiance is going to get it together to intervene

    • CMT

      How many doors do you have?

      • rebecca

        2 and I live in Chicago, so back up doormats always come in handy :)

    • emmers

      The thought of 3 people bringing llama doormats makes me smile. I’m imagining the oohing and ahhing, and you having to make nice comments about them. “Ooh, ANOTHER llama doormat! I sure do love llamas! This will be perfect for the back stoop, or when the homeless guy steals our other llama doormat!”

    • Essssss

      Giftcard zen is a great way to get $$ in exchange for unwanted gift cards if they’re from major retailers. I hope you have a lot of doors for all those llamas!

      • rebecca

        Ooooh! Thanks that’s great!

    • zana

      Gift cards can usually be used online, too!

  • BSM

    Halfway through baking this kiddo! We have our anatomy scan on Monday, and I’m really looking forward to a more extended viewing of the nugget.

    My husband and I have been talking a lot lately about what I guess you would call formative experiences and interactions we had with our parents that shaped our relationships with them in both positive and negative ways. We both have decent to good relationship with our parents, but we’re not close. Like, we all get along fine and we do the requisite holiday/periodic visits during which we generally enjoy their company, but we don’t really share our lives with them in a meaningful way.

    I’m not sure if they wish we had deeper relationships, but I definitely want things to be different with our kid. I’m not sure exactly what I’m asking, I guess maybe for any advice in general? What did your parents do or not do that really shaped your relationship with them? What do you think they should have done differently? If you’re a parent, is this something you think about?

    • Violet

      My mom and I are close. When I was a kid, she was a capital “P” Parent. Her way or the highway, but with love and because you knew she wanted the best for you. As I got older, she backed off telling me what to do and just heard me out. Basically, your classic authoritative parent. It definitely worked for us.

    • savannnah

      A few highlights: My parents spoke to us like we were adults from day one, they put the fear of god in us early so we knew who was in charge, they never included us in their relationship issues, and they were a true team, there were no secrets between them even though they fostered independent relationships with all 3 of us.

      • Violet

        Oh yeah, I forgot speaking like adults. My mom said she abhors baby talk and never used it with us.

        • Lisa

          Same here. My mother was big on speaking to us like adults (age appropriate content, of course) and making sure we knew the proper names for everything early on.

        • BSM

          I thought I was guilty of baby talk (with my dog, lol), but then I was over at a friend’s house last week hanging out with her and her 18mo, and wowwwww no. It was actually a little uncomfortable to listen to.

          • savannnah

            My mom will tell people to stop talking to their children like that- but she turned 65 and now her minimal boundaries have tuned into none.

          • Violet

            I think there’s research that a slight sing-songy tone is even appropriate for little ones, because it helps them learn language. So don’t stress too much! But it’s better to use actual, real words in that tone. Not “the cuddly widdle wubby bubby!”

          • BSM

            Good to know! Thank you!

          • AGCourtney

            Yep! “parentese”, I’ve seen it called in some literature.

          • Violet

            Yep, used to be called “motherese,” until people got with the program.

          • MC

            My mom didn’t use baby talk with my brother or me, but she 100% uses it with all her pets, haha!

          • Sarah Jane Tinnelly-Williams

            I’m so guilty of this – my 6 yr old daughter always gets spoken to like an adult from day one, but the cats…the fuzzy wuzzy bestest kitty wittys…goodness sakes.

          • BSM

            I mostly just ask my dog over and over in a high-pitched voice, “Are you a puppy?? Are you? Who’s a puppy?? Prettyyyy puppyyyy…”

            Like, I think we all know she’s a puppy, BSM.

        • penguin

          Good point, I forgot this too! My dad always talked to us like we were adults too.

        • Knonymous

          I’m sure I used baby talk with my son when he was little, and I’m sure my parents did with me, but I lose tolerance for it pretty fast. Like, my son was 15 months old, and my in-laws were asking him if he wanted a “baba of wawa,” and the poor kid had no idea what anyone was talking about, because he’d never heard those “words” before, and could he please have his water bottle now? I just wanted to scream at them for infantilizing my 1-year-old!

          • Violet

            Oh my goodness, I can just imagine the look on your son’s face. Like, “What are these people SAYING?”

      • jem

        Yes speaking like adults! I never thought that this was why my parents and I might be so close but they generally treated me as an equal and ALWAYS spoke to me like I was adult. But I always felt comfortable talking to them because they took me seriously.

      • Cleo

        Yes. This is exactly how my parents did it and both my sister and I are really close to them as adults.

        Another thing they did was show us they valued our opinion and intelligence. If either my sister or I asked a question about general life or how something worked or even the relationship between two characters in a movie (“Does he have a crush on her?”), before they answered, they’d immediately ask us, “What do you think?” and make us come up with our own solution and reasoning before sharing their answer.

        Not only do I feel comfortable and confident sharing my opinion with my parents and other people, I also have been praised in my professional life for being self-reliant and a grade-A problem solver.

      • Katharine Parker

        “My parents spoke to us like we were adults from day one”–my parents treating me throughout my entire life as an individual with valid opinions, thoughts, and feelings that are worth expressing has been instrumental in me growing up to be a confident and self-assured adult woman. I have so many friends who never have a conversation about ideas with their parents, but I really want that with my kids and value that with my parents.

    • Lisa

      Hmmm…when I started thinking about how to answer your question, the first thing that came to my mind was that every night we had stories and songs with one of our parents (typically my mother unless she was out of town). There was a set of books we all went through at the same times, and it created this link and common language between all of us early on. That was also a time when my mom would check in with us each individually to learn about our days and talk about anything that was happening in our lives. (Sometimes books time got cut short in favor of this.)

      So I guess…they decided what they’d like to be those links that identify us as a family and give us the same reference points. For my family, those were books, museums, and travelling.

      • jem

        Yesss one of the seminal bonding experiences my dad and I had very early was when he read me hobbit and then all three lord of the rings books. I mostly remember the sound of his voice and the feeling of being tucked up in his armpit. We’re super close and still bond over reading.

        • Angela’s Back

          My dad did this with me and my sister!! My mum stayed home and my dad worked, but it was always my dad who did storytime at night and I think that was really important for us having a relationship with him growing up. Dad was also the weekend guy, so he’d be the one taking us to the movies or the library or the park or what have you. On some levels this division of kid labor meant that my dad got identified as the “fun” parent versus my mum, the “business” parent, but given that I’m looking at a married with kids life where I’m the one who will be working full time, I know that I really want to make sure I’m making time to to spend one on one time with my kid/s when they happen.

    • penguin

      My dad and I are close. I didn’t get to see him a lot when I was a kid, so any time we got to spend together was a big deal to me. The main thing I can think of is that I always felt like I could talk to my dad about pretty much anything (excluding like, sex stuff). He’d listen and talk stuff through with me, even if I was being dumb about something or really upset over a small thing. He was very non-judgmental and supportive. He always told me that I could ALWAYS call him, anytime, and told me that even if it was 3am and I was drunk and stranded at a party when I was underage and supposed to be home (or something), he would come pick me up and wouldn’t give me a hard time or judge me. It wasn’t just for that situation, but it was nice to know that my dad was always on my team. Just some random stuff to think about.

      • BSM

        That made me really happy to read. This is something that we’ve specifically talked about instilling in our kid – even sex stuff.

        • penguin

          To be fair I think my dad would talk to me about it, I would probably just die of embarrassment haha. Other things I thought of – we had stuff in common to talk about. So we’d go mini golfing together and he’d teach me stuff (I still haven’t beat him in a game), or we’d watch the same shows (Law & Order, whatever), or we’d go on little adventures where we’d drive around and look at plants and have a grocery store picnic in the parking lot. Best of luck with your little nugget <3

          • BSM

            Thank you!

            Personally, thinking about raising a son makes me feel like we need to push us and him to have regular-ish conversations about sex and consent, but I get that that’s not a thing all kids need or want!

          • savannnah

            I grew up with an abortion providing ob/gyn for a mom so my perspective might be a little off but I feel like constant sex, relationship and consent conversations were the key to my parents dealing with these types of issues with my siblings and me. One thing that boggles my mine is that parents tell their kids a thousand times to wear their bike helmets but many go through all 18+ years of raising them without ever talking about the real sustenance of sex talks, which really should be so much more about what healthy relationships look like than about what p in v sex is (the mechanics should be covered too!) Also the idea that kids don’t know sex and relationship convos are taboo until their parents haven’t worked out their own shit about sex before they start talking to their kids about it.

          • BSM

            Your mom sounds awesome. How did your regular convos about this kind of thing go?

          • savannnah

            She is! I think the best thing about the convos were that I can’t really distinguish them from any other type of conversations we had- they were pretty seamlessly integrated in just what they take to to us about and what we talked to them about. I don’t mean oversharing either, my parents never talked to us about their sex life after we were little and asked them like point blank if parents have sex, and my siblings and I don’t share the specifics of our sex lives with our parents. But for instance I don’t remember an initial sex talk from my parents because I don’t remember ever not knowing about sex or how babies were made. With the relationship and consent stuff early on, they would use situations that came up naturally to discuss them- an example would be that my baby brother didn’t like to be hugged and we talked about how many people don’t like to be touched without permission etc.
            I would also say that a big part of our growing up and being safe about physical boundaries and sex positive is that we were raised by my parents and then a whole swarm of lesbians, and not a lot of hetero male energy so a lot of things were on the table for dinner discussions and questions that might not otherwise be.

          • E.

            What’s so funny to me is that my mom is very similar to yours, and somehow it backfired and my sister and I both have a really hard time discussing sex with most people and ESPECIALLY our parents.

          • savannnah

            Ah yeah- I have a friend whose mom is also a ob/gyn and she cannot talk about any of this with her parents, i have a feeling they were too clinical with her and her siblings or something like that?

      • Jess

        Dad-nights were my favorite. My dad was a super involved parent, and he was always the one to take me aside after mom raged. He would play with my dollhouse in my room or take me out for ice cream and just validate the hell out of how I felt and tell me that no matter what else I heard, I was a good kid.

        He’s a pretty great dad in that regard.

    • Kalë

      My parents were very strict and there was a lot of other bad stuff going on in our home (unaddressed trauma, emotional abuse, hidden depression, other fun stuff like that) and so there were many points at which our relationship was strained at best growing up. Even now, although we get along at surface level, it doesn’t take much for things to boil over and for hurt feelings and deeper level pain and trauma to come up. I never really felt like I could tell my parents anything, because they were so critical of me (esp. dad) and so strict that many of my reasonable ideas were shot down, and that relationship has carried over even into adulthood. There are details of my life (applying to new jobs, moving houses, buying a wedding dress) that I don’t share until there is an outcome, because I know that criticism/questioning/negativity is coming my way. So I think being non-judgmental, open minded, and accepting of your kids is so important, even with small stuff, because the small stuff eventually turns into big stuff and you might end up with your daughter one day not telling you for months that she bought a wedding dress because of your relationship dynamics.

      • BSM

        I hear you. My husband says similar stuff about his parents. They were illogically strict about so many things and acted like they took his opinion and suggestions into account when it was obvious they were just placating him, which I think led to him feeling kind of like he didn’t matter.

        • Kalë

          Yeah, sucks. Sorry, I don’t know how helpful my input was. But obviously, I have a lot of strong feelings about my parental relationships, not many of which are good. Sounds like you are already such loving, invested parents, so I have a feeling you and little one already have your relationship started on the right foot :)

          • BSM

            It was really useful, thank you. It’s just as helpful to hear the don’ts as it is the do’s. Also, good reassurance that we aren’t the only ones out there with cooler relationships with our families of origin.

      • sofar

        YES on withholding info until there is an outcome. We do this with my parents and my husband’s parents. It’s better for everyone.

        • Violet

          This is how I am with my dad, because he can’t be trusted to appropriately respond to my negative emotions. So he only gets updates when things are over and done with.

          • Lisa

            Are you my sister? I don’t tell my dad anything until there is a decision because otherwise he’ll want to revisit every part of the decision-making process and game out all negative outcomes. He doesn’t respond well to uncertainty. I tell my mom a lot more than I do my dad as a result.

          • Violet

            Maybe our dads too the same badly-taught parenting class, once upon a time. : )

        • Eh

          We do this with my inlaws. They are very judgmental and will give us advice and then get mad if we don’t follow what they said.

        • BSM

          We do this with both our parents, and, again, I’m having a little bit of a glass-shattering moment; like, people clue their parents in on decisions before they’re finalized? Woah.

          My first thought to help with this would be to include kids in family decisions big and small and also to share with them how you’re working through decisions or problems (all in age-appropriate ways, obvs).

          • sofar

            Yeah, when I went to college and saw my roommate running decisions by her mom and was like, “Woaaaah….people run decisions by their PARENTS??????”

            We kept our house-hunting nearly completely on the down-low with my husband’s parents. My parents knew we were looking, but we didn’t tell them we’d found a place we liked until we were under contract. We didn’t tell my husband’s parents til closing day. My BIL is known for not telling my in-laws that he’s leaving the country for vacations until the day before. Involving my mom in wedding-dress shopping stressed me out to no end.

            Our philosophy has always been, don’t tell them anything until it’s too late to change things. That’s why I was SO shocked at the advice article yesterday, where the LW told her parents she was eloping BEFORE she eloped. I was like, “Why would you TELL them that IN ADVANCE???”

          • rg223

            My parents were involved with our house hunting every. step. of. the. way. We would not have been able to do it without their input (also my dad and grandfather worked in mortgage lending for years, so, there was that angle too). So I was on the “know your parents and tell them about the elopement if that’s best!” side yesterday… that (and this) is such an interesting and eye-opening discussion!

          • annie

            I feel like I should have done that throughout my relationship with my husband. We were very open about really liking each other figuring it would be hard to keep it a secret since I lived with my parents. My parents flipped their shit. I had practically nonstop arguments with my mother since the day she found out my husband existed. She screamed at me about “why would he travel that far just to see you?” “Why does he like you that much?” “you must be lying to him” I think she even tried to do the reverse psychology thing and told me to spend more time with him which might have worked with anyone else since previously I hated spending extended amounts of time with anyone.
            She freaked out with renewed fervor when I said we might think about rings “in the next half year”. Part of the problem is that I took her at her word when she would tell me that she needs to get used to the idea of him so I needed to ease her into it. Apparently there was no amount of easing that would have made everything ok between us. The whole year before the wedding we were fighting nonstop about pointless things where she almost never even contributed alternatives. She just told me all my ideas were wrong. One day she actually told me she just felt that I didn’t care about her opinion. I told her that I was asking her opinion on everything (which I was) and that I didn’t even ask my fiance’s opinion on most of these things (he honestly didn’t care about wedding stuff). This heart to heart fixed things for less than a week before she started screaming at me for no reason again.
            My dad is the type who almost never says anything to us. I get the impression that he’s currently mad at me for getting married and leaving the house.

    • MC

      My mom worked in a hair salon from when I was 7 on, and I spent lots of time there after school and on weekends all throughout childhood and teenage years. In addition to being great because it exposed me to women working and all that good feminist stuff, it also totally opened my eyes to how my mom was when she wasn’t in “parent” mode, but rather in her professional mode or chatting with her coworkers. I feel like I got to know who she is really well because of that.

      Both of my parents did a great job at not putting too many expectations on me. I knew my dad wanted me to do really well in school (which luckily was easy for me), and they both generally wanted me to be successful or happy in whatever way I defined those terms. They never told me what career or field of study they thought I should go into, and have never made me feel like I’ve had to prove anything about the choices I make in my life. I’ve never felt like they’ve been disappointed in me. My parents didn’t do everything right by far, but I’m really grateful for that and it’s definitely helped me have a good relationship with them now that I’m an adult.

    • Ashlah

      Congrats on the halfway point! I’ll hit 30 weeks on Tuesday, and it totally freaks me out!

      That is something my husband and I talk about all. the. time. All the time! I think we would talk about it regardless, but especially because his relationships with his parents are really strained, and he really worries about our kid feeling the same way towards him as he does towards his parents (and especially his dad). Some things we’ve talked about:

      -Avoiding anger, constant criticism, and blatant authoritarianism (“You do what I say because I say so”) as punishment. Discipline and boundaries are absolutely something we value, but not the way it was done in his home. A big part of the reason my husband doesn’t have a good relationship with his father is because he had a temper and only seemed to care about having control of his kid, by whatever means necessary and over even the most minor of issues. It just caused my husband to avoid him as much as he could because he felt like a pawn in a game of control instead of a human being or a loved child.

      -Not being overbearing as our child gets older. A big part of the reason I have a good adult relationship with my mom is because she was really good at letting go and letting me foster my independence as I grew up (and our challenges now come from when I feel like she’s trying too hard to be a problem-solver in my adult life).

      -Showing interest in and fostering our kid’s interests, whatever they are. We want him to be able to talk to us about his passions and share his hobbies with us. And also sharing our lives with our kid, especially as he gets older. Treating him like a person with relatively equal status in our family, involving him in family decisions.

      -On a more basic level, simply fostering positive time spent together as a family. Dinners at the table without phones, fun day trips, movie nights, game nights. Time to just connect as a family and foster our bonds, instead of only interacting when we have to or when there are problems.

      • BSM

        30 weeks! Congrats!

      • RNLindsay

        Agree with the not being overbearing on adult children part! My parents have let me be very independent since high school (as in, I did all my college applications and most of the decision making process myself), whereas my husband’s parents have always been super involved (it blows my mind that they knew who his college professors were). I highly value my independence and my parents ability to give that to me.

    • sofar

      I have a similar relationship with my parents as a grown-up. We have fun together, I enjoy visiting/having them visit. We cook together, play board games, do yard work, and joke around when we visit. But I don’t really share any meaningful details about my life with them. I am impressed by, but do not understand, people who talk/text with their parents every day, who share intimate details about their lives and ask for advice. My parents and I have scheduled visits and a brief, cordial phonecall every Sunday.

      Not sure why, but my parents had/have some religious “issues.” So I got a lot of “shame! shame! shame!” talks from them growing up for the most minor infractions and perceived thought-crimes. Kind of conditioned me to keep them at arm’s length and hide EVERYTHING.

      So, I feel like you don’t have to go full Lorelei Gilmore as a mom, but not making your kid feel ashamed for what they wear/read/listen to and who they hang out with is a BIG step toward the closeness you want.

      Disclaimer: My parents are really awesome and instilled in me the work ethic, kindness, frugality and lack of obsession with luxury items that serve me well to this day. But we are not besties.

      • BSM

        Your first paragraph, 100%.

        I think until I started reading APW and as the conversations here have shifted towards families over the last few years, I didn’t even really know that some people actually have meaningful conversations with their parents; I thought everyone somewhat enjoyed but mostly put up with seeing them periodically.

        • Angela’s Back

          This is 100% how I feel about people who love their jobs and derive great soul-fulfilling satisfaction from them.

          • Kalë

            Haha, definitely agree, both about the parents and the jobs! (Is that sad?)

          • BSM

            I hope not because I’m in roughly the same boat!

    • JLily

      My parents were very, “I am your parent, not your friend” for most of our lives, and even as we became teens and young adults. However, my mom and I are best friends now mostly because she would allow me to tell her anything I wanted, and she gradually started sharing more of herself with me as I got older. It was a great help to our relationship in my tumultuous teenage years to see her as an actual human, not just a parent, and she was very graceful about that transition from 100% parent to 100% friend (although I often ask her to tell me what I should do because she’s got that wisdom that I need).

      • Violet

        Awww, this sounds like me and my mom. We don’t talk every day, but she’s always there when I need her.

      • Hi, we have the same mom :-) I must confess tho, it was harder for me to transition from 100% parent to 100% friend, than it was for her!

    • I’ve given this a lot of thought being a new mom. I am the oldest of 4 kids and all of us are closer to our mom than our dad. I think it was driven by a combo of 2 things: my mom was always “there” and spent way more time with us, and my dad has a “my way or the highway” approach with his kids. I want to build relationships with my children, accept them for who they are, and make sure they know that I’m always here for them, no matter what.

    • Eh

      I’m pretty close with my dad (my mom passed away when I was a teenager). My husband has a rough relationship with his parents (they think it’s fine because they are narcissistic, and he is a scapegoat). My husband and I have a daughter and we frequently talk about how we want to parent her more like how my dad and mom parented me, than how my inlaws parented my husband (even if you remove the narcissistic piece there are fundamental things missing). This might sound pretty basic but raise you child to be independent. My parents taught us how to cook, clean, manage money, etc. My husband had to learn all of this on his own as an adult. My MIL did his taxes until we moved in together (it was a condition of us living together that he do his own taxes).

      • Ashlah

        My mom could not believe I didn’t know how to do laundry when I moved out of her house, even though she literally never taught me how or expected me to do my own laundry. I guess she thought I’d learn via osmosis? My poor husband has had to do a lot of teaching me how to cook and clean because I wasn’t expected to do many chores growing up. Seems great as a kid, but it’s a major disservice (and I still retroactively feel like an ass for not stepping up and helping my mom out around the house as a teenager–I just had no idea!). I managed to learn money management from not wanting to repeat her mistakes, but I definitely hope to speak more directly to our kid about finances. I’d love to set him up with his own YNAB budget when he’s old enough! :)

        • BSM

          SAME.

          My husband actually gave up on teaching me how to make the bed because he’s particular about it, and I’m bad at it. And the only reason I know how to cook is because I watched a ton of Food Network growing up.

        • Lisa

          Oooh, my mom did a good job on the laundry front. When she had her hysterectomy when I was 9, she made a chart that still hangs in her bathroom with what the settings should be for every load type so I could help her for her month of bed rest. I’m still educating my husband on how to do laundry. (Everything got washed together and on warm when we first met.) She also taught us to do age-appropriate chores and assigned them to us.

          There’s a commenter whose husband’s family made him start budgeting for his own expenses from like age 10 or something, and I thought that was a brilliant idea. I’d love to implement something similar for my own kids someday.

          • Katharine Parker

            I’ll be honest, I wash most stuff together and everything on cold. I separate out towels and sheets, and hand wash certain things, but my mother is a firm believer that most laundry separating is unnecessary and I have followed in her wake. We also don’t use bleach in the Parker household, which makes things easier, although we do use a lovely linen spray when we iron, which is a true joy.

            Mostly this goes to show how we all turn into our parents…

          • idkmybffjill

            Girl SAME. Permanent press cold forever and ever amen.

          • K. is skittish about disqus

            I feel like Martha F’ing Stewart on the rare occasions that I actually separate my whites and darks.

          • RNLindsay

            My mom taught us how to balance our checkbooks (with the old school checkbook ledger) and she still does it to this day! Obviously I’m a millennial and have no need for handwritten ledgers anymore but I’ve often thought I would seek one out for my teen kids and make them do it.

        • idkmybffjill

          My stepmom is the queen of saying things like this (she is a full on parent, has been in my life since I was 2). But would always react to me not knowing how to do something like, “what?!” and it always made me feel so confused like…. do you know you’re one of the people who is supposed to teach me that stuff??

          • Ashlah

            Exactly! How can they act so surprised?? I told my mom a few years ago that I didn’t know how to swim (I think I took swim lessons once as a toddler, and then spent no time in pools), and she basically completely denied it was possible.

          • Yael

            I decided years ago that my children will learn to swim, and learn to be good at it, no matter what. I loved swimming (swam competitively for 14 years), but besides the exercise, it is a vitally important skill. We also learned to swim in a variety of different situations, including open water and how to deal with rip tides.

          • Ashlah

            It is so important! Definitely something we’ll prioritize too. In addition to all the other reasons…it’s straight up embarrassing to be the only person in a group who isn’t comfortable in water!

          • AGCourtney

            Cosigned – the first time I went with my husband’s family to visit their family on the lake in Michigan, I was like, I am surrounded by water WHAT HAVE I DONE.

          • Yael

            Being in a pool was also one of the few times as a teenager that I didn’t hate my body, because I knew I was strong and capable. I hated how I looked in swimsuits, but once I was in the water (where no one could see my body), I was super happy.

          • penguin

            Related – teach your kids to ride a bike! I had only one lesson, with the abusive ass-hat my mom used to be married to. One session of trying to ride a bike, falling down, and getting violently screamed at and I’ve never been back on a bike since. It’s something I’d like to learn, but it feels really embarrassing as an adult. It’s also awkward to be the only person in a group who can’t ride a bike. “Let’s take a bike tour in this beautiful city we’re visiting!” Cue panic sweats from me.

        • Eh

          My MIL was shocked when it came up that my husband didn’t know how to clean. Then I reminded her that she never taught him. Now she prides herself in raising sons that were lacking in skills, laughs and then half apologizes to me and my SIL.

          My inlaws never talked about money with their sons. Now they make comments about how they have all this debt that they have to pay off because it’s what you do for your kids. My parents were perfect (they had a lot of debt and didn’t save much for out post-secondary education) but they taught us how to manage money (and my dad taught us how to do our taxes). My parents debt wasn’t because of the kids but because they wanted nice things that they couldn’t afford at the time or they didn’t have enough money in the emergency fund for a big repair. Now that we are adults my dad doesn’t worry about us or that we will come to him for large amounts of money because we are massively in debt. On the other hand my inlaws are worried that their children mismanaging money will result in them not retiring (even to the point of not co-signing a loan for my BIL).

        • K. is skittish about disqus

          Oh wow, this totally reminded me that I wasn’t expected to do chores either because my job was to do well in school! (Not sure why it couldn’t have been both??) And I’m *definitely* more of the stereotypical dude in my relationship in terms of having a learning curve with chores.

          • Ashlah

            I think that was probably part of it for us too! I’m with you, though, why should those things be mutually exclusive?

        • Knonymous

          My MIL tells a “funny story” about how my husband didn’t know how to do laundry when he left the house, and her response was to get him a laundry service. That story gets less funny every time he wrecks something of mine in the wash! (Which, admittedly, hasn’t happened in a while, because he’s a capable adult who CAN read labels if only someone informs him that the labels are there to be read!)

        • Man, I feel this one. Both my parents were great about so many things, but they did. not. teach. chores. They’d occasionally get upset we didn’t step up to help out more, but we just didn’t have a good idea of what needed to get done because osmosis is not the best teacher?

          When I think about things I want to do differently with my hypothetical future kids, chores are always the 1st thing that jump to mind.

        • Fushigidane

          Still remember the inward flailing the first and only time my mom told me “I’m too tired to make something, go make pancakes for everyone”. I had just gotten home from taking finals and previously I had only ever been allowed to use the stove to make ramen. I was so proud of myself that I got the hang of it after only messing up 3 and my mom just says “What do you mean you ‘only messed up 3’? pancakes are simple, you just do whats on the box”

      • Yael

        My dad had to teach himself a lot of things because his mother was not the most reliable and his father passed away when he was a teenager. So when he had kids, he was very much about teaching us to be capable. He wouldn’t let us drive until we could change a tire (and not just on a small car, we had to be able to handle changing a tire on our giant ancient pickup truck in the mud). He also taught me just about everything I know about home repair (which isn’t much, admittedly, but I can rewire a lamp and handle basic plumbing and wall repairs). My mom did most of the laundry in the family (since she was a SAHM when I was growing up), but she taught us – and expected us – to contribute to laundry, cleaning, and cooking. It really made even going to college so much easier.

        • Eh

          When parents teach their children skills it does make transitions easier. And skills shouldn’t be divided along gender lines.

          • Yael

            Exactly. I used to say that my dad taught my sisters and I as if we were boys, because even growing up in the 80s/90s that was the gender divide, but essentially he taught us basic things that anyone should be able to handle. And I really think it helped me avoid falling into some of the traditional gender role traps that are common in heterosexual relationships, because I had to do all the things. In my relationship now, A does almost all the cooking and a lot of the cleaning and I do all the repair stuff/furniture building, simply because that’s where our particular strengths/interests lie.

          • Yael

            Sort of along the lines of both gender-divided skills and independence, I think all children should learn how to deal with physical confrontation, and girls should especially learn to deal with it (I feel like boys are more exposed due to culture). This can be in the form of a self-defense class, or some sort of contact sport. My reasoning is this:

            When I was in high school, I was in an emotionally abusive relationship. Only once did it come close to being physically abusive, but my response was to freeze (only much later due to L&O SVU did I realize that freeze is a legitimate response to a physical threat). The next year I started playing rugby, which was the first time I had ever been involved in a contact sport. In addition to the huge confidence boost of feeling strong enough to tackle girls twice my size, it taught me how to be hit and keep going, rather than curl up in a ball to protect myself. This served me well years later when I was once again in a position to be physically intimidated on a date, and I knew that if it came to violence, I could actually extricate myself. Physical confrontation has both physical and psychological effects, and prior experience, even in a controlled environment, can really help with that. I wouldn’t wish those circumstances on anyone, but knowing how to deal with that really helped me in my 20s.

        • nutbrownrose

          After my parents got divorced, my mom didn’t have a lot of money (teacher salary, 2 kids, mortgage etc), so she had to learn how to do a lot of home repair stuff herself, and basically we learned together. My brother is a doofus (loving term for smart yet dumb) so didn’t learn as much/help as much, but now I have a stronger sense of spatial relations than my mom and can fix a toilet, install pretty much anything (including a garbage disposal), and follow IKEA directions with ease. And when the IKEA directions fail me, problem solve my way out of it. I am for sure going to teach my kids that broken things present a problem to be solved. My mom wanted to be sure I never NEEDED a man (even if I wanted one) the way she needed my dad. She learned the hard way that self-sufficiency is key to survival and wanted me to learn self-sufficiency without the pain and suffering.

    • p.

      We spent a good amount of concentrated time together, just my immediate family, and I think that fostered a sense of connection since we all share memories and stories from those times. We often went on long road trips, for instance, so there’s certain songs that we listened to so many times in the car, and we can all recall funny (or terrible) stories about some of the restaurants or motels or campgrounds we visited on these trips.

    • gonzalesbeach

      great question. I feel like there could be a whole separate post on this!

    • Natalie

      As we’re about to TTC, this is something I’ve been thinking about lately. I have a really good relationship with my parents and we are close (I call Mom & Dad at minimum weekly for hours-long conversations), but there are definitely some things I plan to do differently. Like, there wasn’t a huge amount of physical affection in my house – I very rarely saw my parents hug or kiss each other, and while Mom hugged me when I asked for it, daily hugs were not a thing. I don’t know if or how this affected me, but sometimes I wonder if it’s why I sought out attention & physical affection from boys from an early age (earlier & more determinedly than most of my peers).

      My parents are also conservative, southern, and Mom especially can be pretty judgemental. Like, she won’t say things to people’s faces, because that would be RUDE, but in the privacy of our home she can be really dismissive of any choices/decisions that don’t fit into her narrow view of How The World Should Be/ How People Should Behave. As kids & teenagers, my sister and I both kept lots of things from our parents, and in hindsight I think it’s because we thought she would judge us, or be dismissive of our experiences, including in situations where we really should have talked to her for our own well being. My adult friends who keep almost nothing from their parents don’t have the same sort of fear of being judged by them that my sister and I do. I really don’t want to make my kids so afraid I’ll shame them or judge them that they feel they need to hide things from me.

      • Natalie

        I’m now thinking about the things my parents did that were really good for me, and they totally outweigh the things I hope to do differently. Like:
        -reading to us every night.
        -limiting TV viewing and making us go play outside every day.
        -setting boundaries & following through. During my overly emotional, slamming doors all the time 12-year-old stage, Dad said “If you slam that door one more time I’m taking it away.” I called his bluff, and slammed my bedroom door for all it was worth. He calmly got up, took my bedroom door off its hinges, and hid it in the garage for 2 weeks. This (along with all the other things like it he did) taught me that if Dad told me he’d do something, he would. I can always count on him to follow through on his promises.
        -making family time and family vacations a priority.
        -talking to me like an independent person from my early teens. I think the long conversations we had about the petty minutia of our lives when I was a young teen set the stage for the long conversations we have as adults.

        • BSM

          The following through is so key. My parents NEVER followed through, and I think it contributed to me not being great at it. My in-laws kind of gave up on following through with my SIL because she was such a difficult child which, imo, contributed to her being a difficult adult.

          • AP

            Lol, we have the same SIL

        • Yet another Meg

          My Dad did that too!

        • RNLindsay

          My mom was a big follow through person too! People would say she was the only parent they knew who would actually stop/turn around the car after a “Don’t make me stop this car!” threat. We believed her and it was pretty effective

      • CII

        I think this “sense of judgment” is really important. One thing I thought my parents did really well was keep a judgment-free home. I never had to worry about their judgment about whether I was pretty, or popular, or what my college major would be, or what summer job I got, or whether I was a “bad” person because I stayed out too late with my friends. That’s not to say they wouldn’t intervene if I broke rules, or engaged in super negative or self-harming behavior. But in general, as long as my choices were generally positive (or at least, net neutral / learning experiences), there was never any sense of “you should do this / wear this / be this instead.” On the other hand, I see a lot of judgment-oriented comments in my spouse’s family about the choices of other family members that are really surprising and seem really hurtful.

    • AP

      One thing I’ve observed in my husband’s family that I plan to do differently with our own future kid(s) is that they don’t know how to show genuine gratitude or apologize sincerely. My husband doesn’t know how to apologize in any way that isn’t defensively, and I’ve realized that neither do his parents or siblings. It’s just…not a thing they prioritized (actually, feelings in general are seen as weak and unnecessary among both women and men in their family.) It’s not great for their relationships, and it’s something we work on as a couple and something we’ll change as parents.

      • Natalie

        My husband doesn’t apologize well either, and reading your comment just made me realize that none of his family apologizes in a genuine, non-defensive way. I hadn’t realized that before. Maybe that will make it a little easier to cut him some slack when we’re fighting, if I remember he wasn’t taught to do this.

        • AP

          It is so interesting how that works! Blame is a big thing with my husband’s family, even with the smallest “shit happens” type things where it’s really no one’s fault. For some reason, they all act like admitting they screwed up is the absolute worst thing in the world. My husband was *shocked* when I told him there are actual steps to good apology. “Sorry you’re mad” is not enough.

          • Natalie

            Yes! Whatever we’re fighting about, it quickly becomes a blame game fight, in which he refuses to take responsibility, and whatever the issue is, no matter how small, there’s an excuse. Like, I can ask “please don’t put wooden spoons in the sink, soaking in the water warps the wood,” and he will give me an explanation of why he put the wooden spoons in the sink and really it’s all the fault of the dog chasing a squirrel in the backyard. I don’t care *why* I just want you not to do it. Obviously this example isn’t a huge issue, but when it happens with important things, it becomes a real problem.

          • littleinfinity

            That would drive me crazy. My partner is pretttty good about that even though he does slip sometimes… but I have a male coworker who constantly does that and it drives me bananas.

          • Natalie

            Yeah, it drives me nuts. I think I’m going to steal @disqus_5GrLaQLEXy:disqus’s practice apology script to use on my husband.

          • Jess

            This makes me laugh a little – we’re practicing apologies right now too. Like I will actually outline for him:

            1) I’m sorry for 2) [explicit thing I did] because 3) [explicit outcome it had on you]. 4) I love you. 5a) I’m going to work on not doing the thing I did by [explicit action] OR 5b) Can we talk about ways to avoid doing the thing I did together?

            Part 6) Thank you for apologizing, that means a lot. I love you very much. How can I support you in [explicit action]?/Do you want to talk about solutions now or in a few hours when you’ve had a little space?

            This is because he can spiral into self-blame quickly so I get apologies like, “I’m so sorry, I’m the worst, you shouldn’t have to deal with me” which are… not effective for me to feel better when all I want is for him to not do the thing.

            We agreed to do this, and it’s actually helping! I end up feeling heard and R sees that I’m not rejecting him over whatever the thing was.

            I feel like this strategy would work well with a kid, too!

          • AP

            Haha, I love this! I read an article not too long ago written by an elementary school teacher who taught her students how to apologize, much like the steps you outlined. She said it totally improved the behavior in her class because the kids could sort out arguments among themselves, plus she saw a lot more empathy.

          • SLG

            Oh this is amazing. Got a link to that article by chance? Learning to apologize is such an overlooked but totally crucial life skill.

          • AP
          • Jess

            That is super cool!!

      • BSM

        Oh man, that’s tough. I’m not great at admitting fault (although once I do, I’m pretty good at delivering a genuine apology), so that’s something I try to check myself for and am actively working on.

        • AP

          A memory that has stuck with me from childhood is a time when my grandpa yelled at me for being underfoot, and then found me later to apologize for losing his cool and let me know I hadn’t done anything wrong, and that sometimes grown ups mess up too. I was probably 6 at the time, and I distinctly remember feeling like he respected me (and like, my worth as a human being) enough to admit he was wrong and apologize. That’s…not a small lesson to impart to a kid.

          • idkmybffjill

            My mom was very very good about this. While my dad and stepmom are totally a part of my life, it was my mom and I almost all the time and that was a tough dynamic. She was also really good about saying, “I overreacted and I’m sorry, let’s talk about this again.” It was pretty huge.

          • Jess

            I have literally never heard my mom apologize out loud. I have one letter that I will keep forever that she wrote me when I was like 8 and in summer camp about how sometimes people lose their cool.

            I… should probably go re-read that for healing purposes.

          • BSM

            Up until last year, this was true for me, too. My mom went absolutely bananas during wedding planning, which lead to us not speaking for about a year and a half. We’ve slowly been rebuilding our relationship since then, and she finally did apologize to me and my husband for being awful during the holidays last year. She had had a few glasses of wine at that point, but it seemed genuine.

            Even so, I don’t think we’ll ever have very close relationship.

      • e.e.hershey

        I was about to comment that good apologies were a key for my relationship with my Dad! He has a temper and would often get pretty upset – he never yelled directly at me, but he would yell about the situation (with lots of expletives involved). He’d always calm down, apologize to me for getting upset and then explain why he’d been mad (which often included an explanation about his own past). His being genuine about it was appreciated and made me feel adult-ish and respected.

        • Knonymous

          My dad was similar – bad temper, plenty of yelling, but often an apology after the fact, once he’d had a chance to cool down. My mom was much more in control of her temper, though of course I remember her losing it on a couple of occasions, but I don’t think I ever heard her apologize when she did. There are things – temper-related and non – that my dad still apologizes about on a regular basis (Dad, I promise, I am so over that time I didn’t get any playing time in my 5th grade CYO game), whereas I suspect that to this day, if I brought up any given outburst, parenting decision, etc. from my childhood, my mom would continue to defend it as being totally deserved, given the circumstances. Many of them probably were, but even though I think she was an excellent parent, it’s striking to me that she never apologized for anything. We all do things wrong.

    • Cellistec

      My siblings and I were talking about this lately, and clear expectations was a common theme. My mom would get hot-tempered for seemingly no reason (though to be fair, she dealt with a lot of shit at work), and her (always nonviolent) outbursts always scared and confused me. My dad, on the other hand, was good about talking out why he was frustrated with us so we could follow along and understand his reactions, and not in a manipulative way or anything. Mostly though, he just laughed off whatever we did. That kind of non-judgment was huge for all of us. We felt like we could tell him anything without getting in trouble.

      • BSM

        My mom has a temper, and she would hold everything in until she boiled over, resulting in major outbursts. They were mostly non-violent (she’s never beaten us, but we were regularly shoved and sometimes slapped), but they were/are incredibly verbally abusive and downright scary.

        As a result, I am reallyyy conflict-averse (although getting better). Obviously not something I will be repeating with my kids.

        • Lisa

          Yup, that was my dad. We’ve gotten very good at looking askance and avoiding conflict in my family. I realized the other day that I also have never seen a discipline structure that didn’t involve some type of corporeal punishment. (My mother’s favorite punishments were time out/grounding, but even she’d spank us some times if she was mad enough.)

    • K. is skittish about disqus

      Congrats on the halfway mark! It’s an exciting time. The anatomy scan is incredible and such a big milestone, even if you already know the sex . :)

      My husband and I did had a conversation not too long ago where we listed three things we wanted to take from our parents and three things we wanted to change. It was really interesting in terms of sorting through my own relationship with my parents, as well as getting a perspective on parenting from my husband. We’re structured people, so kind of thinking about it in those terms helped us map out a way forward (which will inevitably change, of course, based on our kid’s needs).

      While I probably shouldn’t share my husband’s, I’ll say my own: I wanted to take my parents’ warmth and generosity, encouragement of intellectual curiosity, and their unfailing support of my dreams. I wanted to leave my dad’s tendency to tell me that I’m smart and therefore everything will work out regardless of my effort in (not his intention, but definitely the practical message that came across), my mom’s hatred of her body, and their combined tendency to want to solve all my problems for me, which is a fine line against the unfaltering support I love about them.

      I’m extremely close to my parents as an adult and so is my husband, albeit in a different, less casual way (common for first gen children), but sorting through what closeness means and how it can look, plus how we can build our own relationships with our daughter has been both really scary and also pretty exciting.

      • Jess

        I love this exercise! I’m bookmarking that for future parenting discussions.

    • honeycomehome

      This is a great thread. Thanks for asking!

      I have a good relationship with my parents, and am particularly close with my mom. There are a lot of things my parents did to get us here, as adults, but it’s worth noting that it worked for me and not for my brother. He has had a really difficult relationship with my mom, and from my position that seems to be mostly due to his personality/mental health and not as much what my mom did as a parent. So I think it’s worth remembering that no matter what kind of parent you are, the huge X factor is always going to be what kind of kid you have.

      I think that if what you want is a deeper relationship with your kid, you have to work at leaving that door open and giving them every opportunity to walk through it. One thing my parents did that I definitely think is important is that they never took any decision I made about my life to be about them. If I wanted to move away? If I didn’t want to do their preferred activity? If I dyed my hair a crazy color? That was my life, my choice, my hair. I had friends whose parents were resistant to things like that, and they became barriers to walking through that door. There isn’t room for meaningful conversations when you need to get through so many “But why did you do that to your hair?” “I like it” “But it’s so strange!” conversations.

    • Jess

      I’m not even a parent yet, but I think about this all the time, especially when R and I were having conversations about having kids or no (R = hard yes, me = I’m not super into it, and also too scared!)

      What you said to Cellistec (I could have written your comment), plus I’m hoping validate my possible future kids emotions a lot more. Like, “It does feel bad when people are mean to us,” instead of “Well, what did you do wrong to make them treat you that way?”

      I think I would like to mimic the way my dad taught (lots of patience, helping us work through something on our own instead of telling), the way they involved us in household tasks like cooking, cleaning, and laundry, and their general disciplinary strategy when we were old enough to understand it (instead of grounding us, they made us be an active part of a solution).

      • Ashlah

        I’ve watched some parents we know talk to their kids when they’re upset, and I admire it so much. They validate their feelings, talk through their emotions, but explain that there are acceptable and unacceptable ways to handle our emotions. “I understand that your upset. It’s okay to be angry, but we do not hit, so you’re in time out.” Emotional literacy is so important to me.

        • Jess

          I am just in awe watching some of my friends parent. Like, who knew this was an option!?

          It’s really raised the importance I put on emotional literacy, especially with kids.

      • BSM

        *Hugs*

        • Jess

          thank you! :)

      • AP

        Oh gosh, yes. “Don’t be so sensitive” is something I never want to say to my kids.

    • CII

      When my mom was angry about my behavior (or my father’s), she would scold and be shrill, and then refuse to interact with me (or my father) for the remainder of the day (or if it was in the morning, a large chunk of the day), regardless of whether the other person was sorry or took steps to correct the “offensive” behavior. Then the next day, everything would be back to normal, like it had never happened. This was true regardless of whether the person on the receiving end of the frustration apologized, took steps to remedy the situation, etc. My dad, on the other hand, would yell (sort of loudly and unreasonably, but never any threat or concern of violence) and then within 10 minutes, would apologize and hug it out (without any need to do anything on my part).

      As a result, when I got together with my now spouse, I had no model for conflict resolution in the context of a relationship (we were each other’s first serious relationship). I thought that once we disagreed or argued about something, the day was ruined and there was no way to resolve it. Not surprisingly, this was baffling to him, and I had a lot of work to do on my part to learn how to talk out an issue and offer and receive apologies. So to answer your question, I wish my parents (who were, in many other ways who modeled lots of other healthy behavior) different models for conflict resolution with your spouse and kids.

      • AP

        “I thought that once we disagreed or argued about something, the day was ruined and there was no way to resolve it.” This took me going through my own divorce to unlearn. My mom was bad about the silent treatment when she was upset about something- she’d freeze out the whole family, too, not just the offending party. Healthy conflict resolution is sooooo important.

    • Leah

      I have developed a really great relationship with my parents as an adult, and one of the (many) things I think I attribute it to is the way my parents were always honest with us about their own failings and needs and the way that they were actual people and not just parents. I remember from an early age being told that ‘dad gets frustrated when x happens’ or ‘y makes mom really upset’ or ‘we are having this problem right now’ or ‘we are struggling with this issue’. In age-appropriate ways, mostly.
      But I think that it really helped as I got older and started seeing the ways my parents were real people with real flaws and I could get to know them as adults gradually rather than having a strange artificial break between my-parents-are-infallible-Others and my-parents-are-adults-i-can-be-friends with, which I think a lot of people have. So it feels like I slowly was able to develop a friendship with them over the course of growing up.Ok that’s confusing, I hope it makes sense.

    • Ella

      There’s plenty of good answers already, but I just want to add that despite basically the same upbringing, I share a lot more with my parents than my brother does, and ditto for my partner and his brother. So I don’t think you can guarantee closeness. For me, I think I would be friends with my parents in an alternate reality in which they were just random people. For my partner, it’s just part of his personality to prioritise family. What is more easily controlled is whether the relationship is basically healthy and loving, and this is true for our brothers also (due to already mentioned good advice. )

    • emilyg25

      My family is and was very close–we just did a ton of stuff together. Like dinner every night and breakfast most days and even lunches in the summer because my dad is a teacher. Lots of hiking and biking and board games and special TV nights with popcorn. Low key stuff. My parents also took an interest in our interests. Like my mom used to watch The OC every week with my brother and ER every week with me. My husband was raised the same way (though his mother was more challenging). I definitely have some painful memories of times my parents have hurt me. I also know my mom thinks a lot about times she thinks she screwed up, but there’s not a ton of overlap there. I’ve accepted that I’ll fuck up sometimes, but just being there and loving my kid and letting him be his own person is the best I can do.

    • nutbrownrose

      There are a couple of things I really love about the way my mom raised my brother and I (We lived with our dad half the time, but I feel like the majority of my issues come from him and his narcissistic emotional abuse). First of all, she basically used the Socratic method on us all the time. So like: “Mama, how do I do [specific thing]?” or “Why is [specific thing] a thing that we do?” and her answer was first and foremost: “What do you think?” This applied to everything from words we didn’t know in a book (I learned early how to use the big dictionary on the hall bookcase) to why kids at school were mean to fixing the toilet or installing a light fixture. BUT for the big stuff that could hurt us, sometimes the answer was “because I said so” and then later an explanation (or not). We were never treated as anything less than people, but it was also always very clear that she was the mom and this was not a democracy. We were not her equals, we were her well-respected citizens.
      A lot of it I think comes from her being a high school teacher, she runs her classroom in a very similar way. She’s in charge, but the residents of her kingdom are welcome and encouraged to ask questions. Learning was the most important thing, but very few things felt like lessons, even problems to solve, because it improved the household.
      Especially with me, she was very concerned that we be able to care for ourselves without NEEDING anyone else, though it was fine if we wanted them. My dad left her when I was seven, and she had to figure out how to handle a lot of the stuff he used to do, and made sure I learned with her. I am now the designated IKEA queen at work.
      Now that I’m older, and especially now that I live in the same area as her but not with her and no longer have a designated bedroom at her house, we’re more like friends. She’s my very smart friend who frequently lends me money and never lets me starve. I help her out around the house (she pays me, because she would have to pay someone else anyway), and she’s my sounding board for my relationships sometimes. I’m her sounding board for her work problems. We don’t talk about sex, but nothing else is off limits. I hope I’m as good a mom for my future kids as she is for me.

      FH’s relationship with his mom couldn’t be more different. She’s very much a helicopter parent, and he responded by pushing her away. He and his sister were homeschooled, his family was very religious, and just so totally different in all aspects. For one thing, his parents talk to one another and generally like one another.

      I’m still figuring all this out, so I’ll definitely be reading the responses :)

  • E.

    Thanks to your encouragement last week I emailed the other principals to see if I could visit while I was in town. It didn’t work out, but hopefully by expressing interest it’ll boost my chances if they have openings. But the interview I did have went really well! I was teaching a model lesson and the kids were super engaged and having fun, as was I. I barely even noticed the 6 adults watching me! I really liked the school, but trying not to get my hopes up, though I know they called my references yesterday.

    In other news, the last day of school was Wednesday so I am staying up late and sleeping in and trying to find motivation to start packing our apartment to get ready to move to Ann Arbor. Anyone have good recommendations for audiobooks?

    • Cdn icecube

      The girl with a dragon tattoo series is exceptionally good on audio book.

      • E.

        downloaded!

    • Sarah

      If someone calls your references that’s a very good sign, IMO.

    • Natalie

      Fingers crossed!

      Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime is fantastic as an audiobook. He reads it himself, and he’s an excellent storyteller (as you’d expect for a comedian). Even when he’s describing the terrible poverty and racism he suffered as a kid, his telling of it is infused with humor and hope.

      The Night Circus is a beautifully told, richly imagined fantasy story read by Jim Dale (who reads the Harry Potter series, which are also so amazing as audiobooks, I’ve listened to them all the way through at least twice).

      I really enjoyed Elizabeth Warren’s 2014 book A Fighting Chance, read by the author. She talks about growing up poor, fighting for a scholarship to go to college, dropping out to get married at age 19, then going back to school and then law school with two babies. At various points I was in tears of gratitude that her generation fought so hard for a place at the table, and in tears of sorrow that it’s still so hard for women, and that we’re still “bad mothers” for working outside the home.

      • E.

        I love Jim Dale! I’m in the 30 range on the waitlist for all the Harry Potter books on Overdrive at the moment, just finished the 3rd. I’ve read them so many times I’m doing them in whatever order I get them at this point haha. Adding these to my list to get me through the wait!

      • penguin

        It’s funny, people always recommend the Harry Potter audiobooks, and I just could NOT get past the first one. I love (LOVE) Harry Potter, but that narrator (Jim Dale) makes the female characters (mainly Hermione) sound super nasally and whiny and I couldn’t deal with it. All of this to say, listen to a snippet of it before purchasing it if you can, and decide for yourself!

        • LadyJanee

          That was my one critique of is reading of the books! Oh and the fact he said ‘Voldemore’ instead of ‘VoldemorT’ til like the fourth book. Stephen Fry also does a reading of the Harry Potter books – I haven’t listened to them yet but I could imagine they’d be wonderful!

          • penguin

            I wanted to get these so badly! Unfortunately you can’t get them in the US through Audible for some reason, and I didn’t want to get them on CD and have like 10,000 discs to wade through. Someday…

        • Lisa

          I am so. glad. to hear that I’m not the only who doesn’t love Jim Dale. Everyone raves about the audio books, and I can barely stand them! (I did listen to the sixth one on audio when I had a six hour car trip and was trying to power through a re-read before our London trip. It re-confirmed my dislike of his voices.)

          • penguin

            Thank you!! I’ve literally never found anyone else who disliked his voices haha. I listened to the first one and never bothered getting the others.

          • Lisa

            Same!! You are so spot on about Hermione, too. I couldn’t stand how “Oh, Harry!” became the whiniest, longest, “Oh, Haaaaaarryyyyyyyy” every. single. time. I never realized how often Hermione says this until I listened to six hours of audiobook!

    • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

      Oh, Ann Arbor is AWESOME. There are so many great restaurants and bars, and the Arboretum is so lovely to walk through!

      For audiobooks, I always love Bill Bryson- The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid is great, and since it’s episodic, it’s great for road trips. I also will forever recommend the His Dark Materials audiobooks. They’re done with voice actors, and it’s amazing.

      • E.

        Great idea! Just got on the wait list

    • penguin

      My favorite audio books (in no particular order):

      -The Black Dagger Brotherhood series (lots of books, good narrator if you like vampire romance and action)
      -Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King (FANTASTIC narrator, good story about life in small town Maine)
      -Highland Wishes series (if you like Scottish brogues and romances, but don’t want to dedicate 40+ hours to Outlander)
      -The Butterfly Garden (for crime series fans, first person narrative of a girl who is held captive in “the butterfly garden”, where the butterflies are other girls)
      -Surrender, New York by Caleb Carr (also for crime fans)
      -Any of the Discworld by Terry Pratchett audio books. Nigel Planer is a treasure.
      -Divergent series (if you liked Hunger Games and don’t mind books with stupid endings, not that I’m still bitter)
      -Dark Tower series by Stephen King (super good narration, great story also)
      -The Stand and It, also by Stephen King, both narrators are phenomenal. Not that Stephen King is my favorite author or anything (he totally is).

    • ssha

      Dreams from my Father by Barack Obama-read by the author! I also loved listening to Toni Morrison reading her own work, the audiobook of That Thing Around Your Neck read by Adjoa Andoh and Howl’s Moving Castle- don’t remember who it was read by.

  • BirthControlQuestion

    Long time lurker; first time poster. My OB/GYN recommended the Kyleena IUD for me. I’ve been taking Ocella (generic for Yasmin) for 10 years, since I was 18.

    Besides pregnancy prevention, the other great side effect has been that it’s cleared up my skin. Has anyone gone off birth control and gotten an IUD and had their acne come back? As vain as it may be, that’s my chief concern. My OB/GYN said that it may be fine now since I’m older, but I was still curious as to others’ experience. Thanks!

    • CMT

      I’ve never really had problems with acne, but I have noticed more jaw line acne since I got an IUD a few years ago.

    • Lexipedia

      Is Kyleena hormonal (I have Mirena and don’t know much about other options than copper)? Unfortunately yes, my acne came back with a vengeance when I switched to an IUD. If you’re concerned maybe you should take some proactive measures? Spironolactone or Retin-A could be helpful, and are things you could start before you make the switch.

    • rebecca

      The hormones in IUDs work locally instead of systemically, so even a hormonal IUD isn’t likely to clear up your skin. Spironolactone might be a good option to control hormonal acne if you discover it coming back (esp along your jaw or neck)

    • Angela’s Back

      I had a copper IUD for about a year after switching from hormonal birth control and didn’t notice any acne resurgence (it did make my periods much heavier though, as someone whose periods are pretty light even when not on BC). Thank goodness re” acne though because I went on Accutane in college to clear that shit up and I do not have time in my life for negative zit-based energy.

    • Natalie

      I didn’t notice a change in acne when I switched from the pill to the copper IUD. When I went off the copper IUD, I now get a bunch of red zits on my cheeks the week I ovulate every month. So I guess the IUD and pill were both preventing those zits. Yay, I look like I’m 16 again….?

  • louise danger

    we did our engagement photos last Friday in DC and you guys. i HATE how i look in photos and hate having a camera nearby and our photographer is AMAZE and i am so so so hopeful that these turn out because i didn’t feel awkward AT. ALL. /confetti

    i’m starting to plan the layout of our reception (it’s a local restaurant so some tables are being scooted around etc), i’m ordering the invitations very soon (eek), and both mr danger and the best man have picked up their suits. /more confetti

    QUESTION: mom keeps telling me the sky is the limit in terms of if i need or want help, all i have to do is ask – but i know things are tight for her and dad, and she’s cagey about specific numbers/”anything for you, don’t worry about it” type replies. i’ve politely demurred a few times but she’s still insisting/asking about it. there are a few smaller financial loose ends that mr danger and i could/are able to cover, but if i delegated them, she’d feel like she’s contributing (because she would be) and it’d give us a little more breathing room, too.

    what would you do?
    a – allow/ask mom to chip in for small balance(s)-due contract amount(s) – small defined as ‘each balance is less than $250,’ and there’s only about three of those
    b – refuse to let mom help, you’re able to pay for it on your own and things are tight for your folks right now
    c – other, please specify?

    • Lisa

      This is so hard. My initial idea is to toss one or two of the smaller bills her way so that you can feel out whether it wouldn’t be a burden, but I can sympathize that it might make you uncomfortable for them to stretch their finances/take on debt without telling you. Is she asking if she can pay the bills directly (“I want to contribute financially to your wedding. Let me know what I can pay for.”), or is she making more casual remarks (“If you need help, just ask!”)? The latter is really unhelpful, but it leaves some room that she might be offering because it’s what she’s supposed to do. The former would be more definite that they have planned/expected to pay for part of the wedding, and it’s important to them.

    • Amy March

      C- non financial help? Is there a task she can do?

      • louise danger

        only if i want emotional blackmail and bullying – her way is the only good way, so i’ve only been looping her in after things are done and dusted “this is the way it’s going to be, money has changed hands”

        • Alex K

          I know this doesn’t really count as help…but it isn’t unhelpful :) Could you ask her to do something that you don’t care at all about? I had MIL make bathroom baskets for the reception site- she offered and I didn’t care what she did with them.

          • MC

            This is what I did with my MIL – asked her to do some of the decorations that I legitimately did not care about. Worked great!

          • emmers

            My mom did our favors cuz she wanted a project and I cared 0% about favors. She did some reesy cups in little packets I think and made a box for them, but it was 100% done/initiated by her, and it would have been fine if it didn’t work out.

        • emmers

          And let me just say that you’re being a really kind person by trying to find a way for her to help. Major props to you for even wanting to do that, since it sounds super complicated!

          • louise danger

            ehh if i don’t agree she’ll just keep bulldogging about it, it’s easier to find a solution. mr danger’s mom is an immovable object and my mom is an unstoppable force. mr danger and i have agreed they will not meet until the rehearsal :’)

    • Emily

      A+C I would tell my mom that I had X, Y, Z coming up and the exact amounts for it and when they are due (hopefully not too last minute?), I would then ask if she felt comfortable with making those payments. If she says yes, then you’ve been honest and direct so I would expect her to be as well. If she says she just can’t right now, then no biggie–but if she’s feeling badly about that then let her know all of the non-monetary things you need help with and re-focus her.

      • louise danger

        she’ll tell me she’s comfortable with whatever number, that’s the problem. everything must be perfect for her only daughter’s big special day~ it’s a nice sentiment until she tells me a week later how rough her finances are

    • another lady

      a – make if very clear that they can tell you if it’s too much or if they can’t pay them as they go along. they will let you know (in words or through how they react) if they can afford it or not. (b would never work with my parents or in-laws!)

    • rg223

      Could you start with one small payment and see how that goes? Maybe if she does one payment, that will be enough to make her feel like she’s contributed. Or, is there something small but significant that she could pay for?

      • louise danger

        that’s my hope with one of these two things – one is the balance of the flowers, the other is the balance of the cake. both are small $ items with big visual impact so i was thinking they’d be a good solution. i just don’t know if they’re the right one. yay anxiety and indecision :’D

        • rg223

          Yeah sorry, was writing my other comment on the fly as my son was climbing all over me and I didn’t specify like I wanted to! #toddlerlife. I was trying to say, ask her to pay for the entirety of something small – that might feel more meaningful than paying for part of something.

    • Lexipedia

      Oooh, where did you get your pictures taken? We aren’t getting married here, but I’d love to get some taken in the city we live in together.

      • louise danger

        We started in the Hirshhorn’s Sculpture Garden (which was pretty sparsely populated at 6:30pm), then tried to get some photos on the carousel outside of the castle (it was closed, womp womp) before we wandered over to the Butterfly/Pollinator garden next to the Natural History Museum. We hung out there for a little while and tried to go to the National Gallery’s sculpture garden, but it was packed for the Friday Night Jazz doodad, so we wound up doing a few last shots on the steps/porch of the Archives. Super fun, highly recommended!

        If you’re able to go while the museums are open, the National Gallery has a lot of beautiful exhibits in its modern wing that would make great backdrops, too.

    • I think A. sounds like a good plan — I know 1st hand it’s hard to let parents give you money when things are tight from them, but I think for some people (at least for my parents) knowing that they were able to contribute financially is meaningful.

    • scw

      I like a, but if you’re looking for other ideas- is there anything you’d feel comfortable letting her be in charge of? like guest book or some kind of decoration &c. this might not work, depending on your plans/relationship, but if there’s something you can think of letting her do on her own/with you, she might feel like she’s contributed and also been part of the process.

  • MC

    So I was in a car accident on Monday morning (I was backing out of my driveway and due to other cars parked on the street I had limited visibility and backed into a car that was driving down the street). I have anxiety and am often anxious about driving and getting into accidents so for a few seconds it seemed like all my worst fears had come true. Luckily, no one was injured and since both cars were going like 5 mph the damage is minimal, but what’s really helped me feel SO much better than I thought I would is that my husband has been AMAZING. He called the body shop and our insurance and within hours had done all the administrative stuff we needed to do, he gave me a ton of emotional support and keeps reminding me that this is what savings accounts are for. I was worried he would be upset with me, but on Monday night he told me that he was really proud of how well prepared we were to take care of an accident like this financially and it made him feel really good about our marriage. You guys!!

    So, important lesson: Sometimes a thing you are dreading happens and the world doesn’t end. Also, therapy is awesome, because without it I would have definitely been 100% more anxious this week.

    • Jess

      I’m sorry that happened to you!

      I was in a car accident two years ago (luckily nobody was severely injured) and I was in a straight panic. It took me a while to really be comfortable driving again.

      It was actually a cementing moment for our relationship that R came to get me (car totaled), and helped me through all the things related to that. Like, I had admit very embarassing things to him (I had let my insurance lapse due to depression not letting me get stuff done), and the way he handled was like, “Hey. This is literally what I’m here for – to help you pay bills and let you cry and give you rides”

      So yeah, the thing you are dreading probably won’t be the end of the world, having a partner is extremely comforting, and therapy is awesome.

    • BSM

      Sounds like you both handled it amazingly well!

  • Can’t-deal-with-drama-Diana

    So I have a question about how to deal with telling a difficult friend about a wedding. Let’s call her Lisa. So, years ago Lisa introduced me to a girl on her course – Anne. Anne and I hit it off immediately – we had loads of common interests and had lots of fun road tripping together a few months later. And then Anne went back to her country of origin – but due to the glories of the internet we were able to keep in close touch.
    Lisa is great fun to spend time with in person but I find her so difficult over the internet, which unfortunately is the primary way we keep in touch. She’s fairly self centred and if you’re having a bad day – well then her’s has been so much worse than yours.
    So, Anne and Lisa are no longer friends due to them having a bust up over my wedding (long story of the TLDR variety). However, Anne is getting married this summer and I’m being one of her bridesmaids. I’m so excited to see her again and so honoured to be part of her wedding party.

    However the question is, how do I tell Lisa that Anne is getting married and that I’m a bridesmaid. I know that she is going to make this all about her when I do and I’ll have to listen to her and talk her off whatever Cliff Of Emotions she’s decided to park herself on.

    Does anyone have any advice on how I should do this please? I’d so appreciate it.

    • Yael

      Do you have to tell Lisa? If it doesn’t affect her, then why put yourself thru it?

      • Can’t-deal-with-drama

        She’s going to see on fb as weirdly, while Lisa and Anne are no longer fb friends Lisa’s brother and parents still are. And they’re not not going to draw attention to it.

        I realise that this has a lot to do with my bad boundary setting with Lisa – I can foresee her sulking about why I didn’t tell her and so on, and of course the answer I want to give ‘really it’s none of your business’ will beget more sulking.

        • Yael

          My advice would be to not engage. If she says something about why did you tell her, you can always respond “Oh, I thought you knew” and then leave it at that. If she starts backing up to the cliff edge, either change the subject or disengage. Just because you’ve always interacted with her in this way doesn’t mean you have to keep doing it!

        • Amy March

          Let her sulk. “Wasn’t my news to share.”

    • Sarah E

      Why say anything at all about it?

  • First a question, then cuteness…

    Tell me where to go to get cute tops – I realized that my normal summer wardrobe of all dresses doesn’t work now that I’m nursing & pumping at work. I need more cute tops for the office.

    In cuteness, #BabyPi is 5 months old! I love this little girl so much, she is an absolute joy and my whole entire heart.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4b6804f37b27940d6bb51ddbffcd1049ff8e938c482f015c44f43f24523f0163.jpg

    • Ashlah

      <3 <3 <3 SO cute

    • JLily

      OMG she is so adorable!!!!

    • Lisa

      She has such an expressive face! What beautiful eyes and smile!

    • Eh

      No advice on where to buy tops, but a tip for pumping at work: wear a camisole under your shirt or layer shirts.

      And she is so adorable!

      • I’m doing that now, but I’m also rotating like the same 5 tops! I need a bit more variety. Typically I’d wear a dress or something but I realized that most of my dresses don’t allow for pumping.

        • Eh

          I totally understand the want for variety. I was stuck with rotating the same tops the whole time I was pumping.

        • AGCourtney

          Haha, that sounds familiar! For me, it was a few nursing camis with various cardigans, forever and ever. :P

        • Alex K

          Have you looked a stitch fix? I love them to find stuff for my specific needs. I’ve heard other people say they are pretty good for maternity and nursing needs but haven’t tried them myself.

          • Mer

            Isn’t there a stitchfix for maternity wear, too? Not from stitchfix but same business model just for maternity/ nursing clothes? Pretty sure I saw it on a blog somewhere.

            ETA: the one I read about on a blog was called Mama’s Milkbox.

          • Sarah

            I know a lot of moms who like mama’s milkbox. great shirts/dresses for nursing and pumping at momzelle. they frequently do free shipping…and all prices are in Canadian dollars so even cheaper!

          • Last I checked they dont do plus size :-/

          • Jenny

            They do now! And it’s really great. My second fix I kept it all.

        • S

          This is an Australian company and I don’t know what their shipping is like….and the dresses might be too casual and they don’t have heaps of options… but the functionality of these nursing dresses looks amazing! https://www.stylefeed.com.au They’re specifically made for breastfeeding, and I think they’re so cute. Maybe if they’re too casual for work they’d be fun for non-work summering. I’d wear them when I wasn’t even nursing because they’re so cute!

    • BSM

      Omg, she is THE CUTEST!

      I’m not sure how formal your office is, but I’ve seen some nursing-friendly tops online from Gap, Old Navy, H&M, Asos. Since I’ve never actually done any nursing or pumping before, I can’t comment on functionality, but they look cute and are pretty reasonably priced!

      • That is exactly what I’m going for since my office is business casual. Thanks!

    • Kalë

      I’m one of those people that loves all babies and thinks they’re all cute, but seriously, she is the CUTEST EVER

      • Violet

        I’m one of those people who thinks all babies look the same and puppies are cuter, but Baby Pi is Cuter Than A Puppy!

    • I wear a lot of button down tops that can be washed, like the utility blouses from Ann Taylor Loft. So I just unbutton and if milk (or spit up, etc, etc) spills on them its not a big deal.

      edited to add: your daughter is adorable!

    • Lesley

      No suggestions for tops, but if you’re into dresses the fit and flare dress from lands end is awesome. I have 5 of them! I wore it while pregnant, while nursing, and now just as a fun summer dress!

    • juliadee

      Also not sure how formal your work attire needs to be, but I loved Bun Maternity (https://www.bunmaternity.com/) nursing tanks for summertime pumping/nursing needs — they have snaps at the shoulders and a second panel underneath to lift up but still have some coverage. I paired them tucked in with skirts & had a few longer, drapey ones to wear like tunics with pants. Add a blazer or cardigan for air conditioning/extra polish. I actually cried when I felt like it was time to retire my striped one!

      Also, BabyPi is adorable! Love the smile!

    • Hannah

      Oh my gosh what a cutie!! She looks so happy :)

    • macrain

      Five months is such a fun age! And it just gets better and better too. Cannot with those cheeks!
      (Also, how is she five months?! I feel like you were just pregnant!)

    • K. is skittish about disqus

      :D She’s so adorable and charismatic! And such a happy girl!

    • Sarah

      cute maternity tanks at H&M (online, unless you live near one of their really big stores). I paired them with cardigans from Eddie Bauer…still wear the cardigans. Motherhood Maternity sells nursing tops….those with a super stretchy neck. Some of flowing and can be worn for future pregnancies.

      • Thanks! I shopped Motherhood when I was pregnant but never thought about them for nursing tops.

    • Meg

      oh my god so cute!!!

    • I don’t have an answer to your question, but zomg what a cutie!! That smile though!

    • Kate

      I am guilty of being a bit of a lurker, but I was pregnant at the same time (my little dude just hit 6 months), and this picture is just so much joy. She’s adorable! I was actually chiming in to say that for summer, I love a breastfeeding cami under a button shirt/blouse, or a good wrap top where you can just slide one side down. I gave up on breastfeeding brands and stuck to buttons and wraps. I’m in Oz, so we’re in winter now, but those staples got me through summer. Bonus was that I could dress them up for work or wear them with jeans. Wrap dresses are also fun!

    • emilyg25

      Loft for tops! CUUUUUTE baby.

    • Fushigidane

      I was literally just thinking today that my birth control pill might be making me hate babies and think they’re all ugly but your baby is absolutely adorable.

    • scw

      five months already!? and ahh she looks like such a fun little kid.

    • Jenny

      For tops I tried a bunch of stuff (my boobs/body never worked in buttons downs, and still didn’t when I was nursing). I ended up using the under cover mama tank (http://undercovermama.com/uc-mama-tank) under just regular shirts. it worked well for nursing, and for pumping I would just take my top shirt off and pump in the tank. Then I was going to make my own using this method (http://thejensonjaunts.blogspot.com/2011/07/thrifty-fun-diy-make-your-own-nursing.html), so I bought the camis at old navy and then remembered that oh yeah I have a newborn and no time to craft, and ended up just using them as nursing/pumping tanks by letting down the adjustable straps and pulling it down. it worked better for pumping than nursing, but since I was doing that more often outside of my house, it was great.

      I used these as nursing dresses (often with a cami underneath)
      https://milknursingwear.com/striped-nursing-tank-dress-in-red/ (my wasn’t striped but I used this most often, great for pumping and nursing)]
      http://www.fashiontofigure.com/plus-size-floral-v-neck-maxi-dress? (last year they had a bunch of these v-neck cross over and it was deep enough and had like a cross over of fabric that make it easy to nurse in, also ok for pumping)
      H and M and ASOS had some cute nursing stuff last year, but I can’t find the styles I used.

      Baby Pi is super cute!

  • Kalë

    Engagement photos on Monday or Tuesday (weather dependent)!! We took some in Amsterdam over the holidays with a friend of a friend, but our actual wedding photographer does a free engagement shoot so… Fingers crossed the weather cooperates – it’s gloomy and raining like crazy right now – and that we don’t look as awkward as we feel in front of the camera. Also, outfits?!?!?

    • Henri

      We’re getting ours done tomorrow! And yeah, I’m just looking in my closet like ¯_(ツ)_/¯

    • Jess

      Outfits!

      What I wore: Skinny Blue Jeans, Red Heels, A White Sweater/A Grey Sweater (2 outfits), A blue sheath dress and tan heels

      What R wore: Jeans, a grey w/ blue-and-red accented button down, khakis and a multi-colored plaid shirt.

      I really struggled with outfits, and finally just said, “What do I feel most like myself in?” and picked that.

      • Kalë

        Ooh, this helps a lot! I’m thinking jeans, fave yellow top, and booties; long black floral dress; and either a casual swingy tshirt dress, or fave but impractical off the shoulder seersucker dress. Mr. Kalë has way different style than I do (“streetwear”), so… I guess we’ll see how well we’re able to coordinate (or not).

        • Jess

          your outfits sound super cute!

          Hot coordination tip: Lay down what you’re wearing and go through Mr. Kale’s (I don’t know how to do the e!) preferred options and approve based on the colors going together or clashing. Quick and easy elimination round style!

          • Kalë

            Oooh thank you! This is a good tip! Just scheduled a conference with him to do this over the weekend :)

  • Sarah Jane Tinnelly-Williams

    So, father’s day – is a little strange for me this year. But, in a good way.
    I was a single mom until I got married last year, so for the first 5 years of mini’s life, I went to her donuts with dad stuff at school. This year, my husband went with her. He’s been super involved in her life since we started seriously dating 3 years ago, and has been a fantastic father to her. He loves being her dad, and she loves him to bits, and I’m just so incredibly happy with the relationship that they’ve built.
    So…idk, watching the two of them head off to school this morning gave me all the feels ^_^

    • Natalie

      Aww :-) That’s so sweet and wonderful. <3

    • BSM

      Awwwwww. Also, donuts with dad just sounds adorable, in general.

      • Sarah Jane Tinnelly-Williams

        it’s super cute :) they do ‘muffins with mom’ in the morning on mother’s day weekend, it’s really awesome

        • BSM

          Alliterations and kiddos with their parents? 😭😭😭

    • Jess

      Awww now I have the feels.

  • Cellistec

    I finished my first quarter of going back to school as an adult! After being up until midnight turning in the last section of a big group project, I got my grades back this morning (online courses work fast) and I swept the board. Aced everything. I’m still running on adrenaline and caffeine but I can’t wait to crash hard tonight and sleep in tomorrow. Next quarter: starting the prerequisites for a nursing program! What!

    • Natalie

      Congrats!!! :-D

    • emmers

      That’s awesome! What are you studying? Is it related to nursing? I had a great nurse this week at a dr’s appointment this week, and it made me appreciate nurses (more than I already did). I had slightly low blood pressure, and she explained I could fix it by drinking water because that helps raise the pressure, just like high blood pressure folks avoid sodium because it pulls in water to your system. Physics! I thought it was fascinating! Nurses are cool!

      • Cellistec

        Science FTW! I plan to apply to a nursing program next year, so this year I’m knocking out the science and gen ed requirements. It all feels so abstract right now, so it’s great to hear stories like yours that remind me of the human side of the profession–which is why I want to go into it in the first place!

  • Her Lindsayship

    DC was awesome, I had a lot of fun going around doing touristy stuff with my mom and I also enjoyed the neighborhood we stayed in (Convention Center/Downtown North I believe). I had to sit on a panel at the conference I went to and I spent a lot of time in a hyper-anxious state, breathing really weirdly so as not to puke in the hours leading up to it, and had a migraine once it was done – but the actual panel went ok! I had to sit on a STAGE with LIGHTS on me ok, it was too much. But when I was actually up there, I was totally composed and fine.

    Anyway, another development is that I finally decided I’d like to get my hair professionally done for the wedding. (Unfortunately I’m a little over a month out so no idea if this is too late to book someone.) I was sure I wanted my sister to do my hair, she’s done it before, she would know how to keep me relaxed, etc. But I kept obsessing over the fact that I couldn’t do a trial run with her since she lives on the other side of the country, and worrying that I would be really upset if it didn’t turn out great. So anyway, now that I’m finally looking into this, any Boston brides out there wanna give me recommendations? A couple weeks ago someone suggested looking on instagram but I’ve had no luck with that.

    (PS: tonight we’re going to sit down with a couple of Manhattans and consult the excellent APW archives to figure out what music we want to play at our ceremony and I am so pumped!! Definitely the Up theme will be in there somewhere.)

    • penguin

      I’m looking at people for hair too, Boston area! Here are the recs I’ve gotten from people so far:

      http://instagram.com/sarahmillerhair
      http://www.sarahmillerhair.com/locations/

      http://www.lizkidderhair.com/portfolio.php

      I’ve been talking to Sarah Miller and she’s been super duper nice for what it’s worth, and I’m probably going to try and book her. Good luck!

    • Lisa

      Your evening sounds lovely. If I could go back, I might try to see about incorporating the Up theme as a prelude or something.

      You shouldn’t be too late to find someone for hair. If I can find a make-up artist with two weeks to go to my wedding, you can surely find a hairstylist in a month!

      And glad to hear the panel went well and that mom time was fun!

    • E.

      oh my gosh we just decided to use the Up song as the processional for the wedding party. I hadn’t thought of it until my fiance started playing it and I started crying!

      • Her Lindsayship

        Totally started crying when I played it for my mom one time many months ago and have intentionally not listened to it since then in order to preserve that specialness (or I guess to just make extra sure I’m ugly crying as I walk down the aisle?).

      • EF

        we used it as the recession song! not a dry eye in the house :-D

    • Jane

      I had a similar thing re: wedding hair, only I’m still a little further out from my wedding. My friend who was planning to do my hair and I talked and she was super nervous about trying new things in my hair because we weren’t going to get many chances to practice. When I asked if her feelings would be hurt if I got it professionally done, she looked visibly relieved (noticeable even over a bad Skype connection) and said she would love for me to do that instead.

      So, solidarity on the changing your plan thing. You’ve got enough time! It will look great!

    • Eenie

      I booked an appointment 5 days before my wedding but ended up cancelling it when my friend made it. You have enough time.

  • JSK

    Hey friends! I’m traveling for work next week (solo, which is rare) and heading to Minneapolis. Staying downtown at the W Monday evening. Best restaurants? I’m 9 wks pregnant, so no drink spots unfortunately :(

    • StevenPortland

      I’ve been away from Minneapolis for too long to be able to give you good restaurant recommendations. I really miss working downtown there. I see that the W is in the Foshay Tower. That’s Minneapolis’ original skyscraper. When you see it, imagine how it must have looked with it being the tallest building.

      • JSK

        That’s such a cool bit of trivia! I haven’t been to Minneapolis in years, either, but fell in love with the city in prior visits – including a visit during a “cold snap” in January…

        • InTheBurbs

          I’m likely in the minority – but I love MN in January – the snow tends to be bright – and the beauty of cold is that you can always put on more layers…

      • Jessica

        That’s where my husband proposed!

        In January.

        On the observation deck.

    • InTheBurbs

      So many choices….Butcher and The Boar is walk-able. Spoon and Stable or the Bachelor Farmer are in the North Loop and might be too far to walk but it’s a cheap Lyft. Murray’s is an old school supper club and not a chain. If you’re looking for something less fancy – Matt’s Bar for the quintessential Jucy Lucy burger – not walk-able. Nicollet Mall is all torn up so I’d stay away from there.

      • StevenPortland

        Wow — I wanted to mention Matt’s Bar but thought everyone would find that a strange recommendation. If you are a meat eater and want an old-school “dive” to eat a JuicyLucy (two hamburger patties enclosing molten hot cheese) then go there. But if you want great food, then go elsewhere.

        • InTheBurbs

          It’s not my favorite lucy in town – but it’s iconic – and the closest to downtown. I’m partial to the Blue Door Pub or the Nook. When I think of food that’s unique to the Twin Cities – the lucy is the first thing that comes to mind…

          • JSK

            Thanks so much! I love trying the “local” thing on my trips!

            Depending on which way my pregnancy whims go that day, a burger and fries may be just the ticket!

          • Jessica

            I’d definitely suggest the Blue Door–Southeast Como has a location now and it’d be a great ride using Nice Ride from Downtown on the Dinkytown Greenway.

            OH! If you take the Green Line to the Prospect Park stop, Surly Brewery has an amazing menu. I don’t drink beer, but eat there all the time.

    • honeycomehome

      Black Sheep Pizza in the North Loop (take a Lyft, probably) is delicious. If you are solo you can sit at the bar and eat and see them bake the pizzas in the big oven.

      For lunches, follow everyone to the food trucks that park near Nicolett, downtown.

      If you want to venture out of Downtown you have a lot more options that are a bus ride away/easy Lyft rides. Check out Eat Street options!

      • The food trucks downtown have moved to Marquette and 2nd Ave due to the Nicollet construction. But lots of great trucks down there from 11am-1pm!

        • InTheBurbs

          Between O’Cheez and Butcher Salt…mmmm!

    • Definitely hit Brasa if you can – amazing organic soul food (pulled pork, pulled chicken, collard greens, mac & cheese, etc).

      If you like Ramen, try Ramen Kazama in South Minneapolis.

      In the downtown area, I love Hell’s Kitchen on 9th & Nicolllet, Masu Sushi & Robata in NE (just over the Mississippi River from downtown), and Cafe Lurcat near Loring Park.

    • ssha

      I second Hell’s Kitchen, and Copper Pot for Indian food (also have heard Dancing Ganesha is good). The Crooked Pint is good pub food and they have amazing cheesecake.

    • Jessica

      I just took some out-of-town guests to the Sea Change at the Guthrie–beautiful outdoor views of the river and Saint Anthony Main area (the old main street). They do half priced burgers and bottles of wine on Monday nights.

      I would suggest a Lyft or bus ride to NE Minneapolis. I like the Aster Cafe–again, great views of the river and a very nice menu. They will make you a fancy N/A beverage if you ask!

      Seconding Butcher and the Boar, also want to suggest the bar at Bachelor Farmer–great people watching.

  • K. is skittish about disqus

    Ooooh boy, it’s in-law visit time! So far it’s been pretty good. They’re respecting my need for rest, especially since I’m on strict doctor orders to rest to keep my blood pressure down. My MIL rubs my stomach a little bit too much for my comfort, but she means so well and it’s not ever the hill I’d die on. The ratio of her hurt at being asked to stop to my need for personal space definitely falls in her favor there. But they’re helping us get everything organized and going with the flow, so I really appreciate their flexibility and big heartedness.

    Only real snag so far has been the most random thing – the idea of piercing my daughter’s ears when she’s very, very young. I vaguely knew that it’s a cultural tradition for many Latin Americans, but had never really thought about it in terms of my husband’s family until my MIL asked me *when* we were going to do it and told us which pediatrician’s visit is generally the best, and started making plans for her first studs, etc. Which…while I think everyone should do what works for them and their family, I actually feel pretty strongly against piercing her ears until later in life/she asks for it.

    It’s totally a cultural difference, but one that actually matters to me (my husband is on board with me too, though he had never really thought about it before). So it was kind of awkward. My husband just let her know very matter-of-factly that it’s not in our plans and she mostly graciously accepted it, but I could see the slightly crushed look on her face. I’m hoping it can stay something that is just different strokes for different folks, rather than either of us feeling badly about the other’s opinion on it! But still feels like the oddest parenting thing to already be at odds about.

    • Violet

      I’m glad they’ve been respectful overall!
      Question for you and some others who want to chime in- how did you decide it was okay for your MIL to touch your abdomen? Next time I’m in my hometown will be the first time I’ll be around my MIL and SIL when the baby is actually moving and able to be felt from the outside. But… I don’t want them touching me! They wouldn’t have touched me when I wasn’t pregnant. But I also don’t want to do anything to prevent them from bonding and such. Thoughts?

      • BSM

        We are seeing my in-laws on Sunday, and it’s the first time since having a noticeable bump. I’m hoping they’ll ask first and then I can just politely decline (“I’m not really comfortable with that, but only a few more months until you can hold him!”).

        They can bond with him when he’s outside my uterus in November.

        • Violet

          I might have my husband get the message to them through the grapevine that I’m not going to be letting people touch me. I too think that bonding can begin once it’s a person in the external world. But they’re already a much more, erm, boundary-less family who experiences me as kind of cold because I like some boundaries, so I wanted to make sure I wasn’t being too extreme here.

          • BSM

            Not extreme at all! I hate how being pregnant is somehow perceived as giving people permission to make your body, health, sex life, etc. a public matter.

            Given the dynamics, I think getting your husband involved is a good idea. I don’t think my husband needs to or will spread it to his fam, but I did tell him that belly rubs are a no for me, on the off chance I need back up.

          • Violet

            Thanks for the validation, BSM.

          • ART

            I was angry about something the other day (???) and was totally writing my “if my pregnancy wasn’t visible, YOU wouldn’t know about it” speech in my head (it’s…not visible yet, I just like to be prepared?) I’m fairly certain I won’t ever have to use it but it kind of helped direct my anger in the moment…

          • K. is skittish about disqus

            Asking your husband is a GREAT idea. I wish I had done that. It’s good to be proactive, especially with in-laws.

            And you’re totally not being extreme, at all.

      • Jess

        So, I have a thing about not liking being touched. May I suggest avoiding what I did – reaching the end of your rope yelling, “STOP TOUCHING ME AND BACK OFF!!!”

        Personally, I would simply ask that they not touch you without your permission the very first time they move to touch you.

        ETA: This assumes they do not do what BSM is hoping for, which is asking for permission first.

        • Violet

          Okay, scenario: I hug my MIL hello, as I normally would. As we’re moving away from the embrace, she takes the opportunity (because she’s already so close) to touch. So you’re saying you DON’T recommend swatting her hand away!? Haha, only partially kidding. Sigh.

          • another lady

            lolol – le sigh! like I said below – If it happens, just make a comment that you would like to be asked before they touch your belly next time. then, see how you feel or if it’s awkward when they ask to rub your belly in the future.

          • Amy March

            Eh I think swatting her hand away is actually a good way to deal with it? Not, like, violently, but it is direct, in the moment, and doesn’t require awkward and likely ineffective conversation because it’s not like she’s plotting and planning to touch your stomach, she just will because it is a thing she does.

          • Violet

            Sometimes my knee-jerk reaction is the one I’m most proud of later. Like when my boss asked me if I was peeing all the time yet. I just said, “I’m not talking about that with you.” He tried to go all, “Oh, okay, uh, I’ve just known so many pregnant people, and I’m a doctor so yeah, it doesn’t seem weird.” (And I have heard him ask other pregnant women in our office this question, I kid you not.) And I responded, “Well, you’re not my doctor, so don’t worry, you don’t need to check up on me.” All easy breezy, and he got the point while I let him save face a tiny bit.

          • penguin

            You could try hissing at her (mostly kidding).

          • Violet

            I can’t guarantee I wouldn’t let out an involuntary, undignified-sounding “Waugh!” exclamation. Sort of like when I see a centipede.

          • BSM

            This is exactly how I think I would react.

          • Jess

            Swat and THEN say she needs to ask permission! ;)

          • Not related to being pregnant, but I have 100% swatted a co-worker’s hand — She had a habit of like, trying to pick fuzz off me or something (I’m really not sure exactly what was going on, I’m not that fuzzy a human) even after I’d very firmly told her not to. It was an unintentional knee-jerk reaction, buuuut not one that I feel even a little bit bad about and it worked!

      • another lady

        I generally didn’t let people touch me, prego or not. we will usually hug when saying hi or bye, but that’s about it. so, we did the same things when prego. If people would make a move towards my belly, I would just kind of back away or make some comment about people touching people’s pregnant bellies being weird or odd to me. And, I kind of did that throughout the pregnancy to put the idea out there that I didn’t want people to touch my belly. I made an exception for the baby shower (everyone get your belly feels in, ’cause this is your one chance!) or for certain people (SIL and MIL asked if they could once or twice, and I obliged.) and there was once or twice when I would feel the baby move and ask if they wanted to feel, too. But, I don’t think you ‘owe’ it to people to let them touch you/feel your belly/feel the baby move! If people at work would make comments about touching my belly (‘oh you are so cute, I just want to rub your belly!’) I would just say that ‘I would really prefer if you didn’t’ or ‘I would rather you not touch me right now.’ people respected that. Since they are not touchy feely or since you don’t have that kind of relationship, I would assume that it won’t be much of an issue. If it happens, just make a comment that you would like to be asked before they touch your belly next time. then, see how you feel or if it’s awkward when they ask to rub your belly in the future.

        • Violet

          I think I’m good with most of my coworkers; when any of them have even started discussing “the bump,” I just say, “Oh yeah, if I had my way, I’d be invisible from the neck down for the next few months.” And they’ve all gotten the message. Maybe I’d be okay letting MIL/SIL feel once or twice, but on my terms would definitely feel better to me than them just going for it.

      • K. is skittish about disqus

        Well, the touching of the abdomen just kind of happened as soon as she walked in the door! I am NOT a touchy-feely person with anyone but my husband, so it threw me off guard. But my MIL has severe social anxiety and yet she was so giddy as soon as she saw my stomach, so I know that if I asked her not to do it, she’d completely shut down. Basically, I decided that it wasn’t worth the risk to our relationship, even if I wasn’t comfortable.

        But that’s my own calculus based on my own situation! I am 100% in support of women figuring out the ways to shut it down if it makes them uncomfortable, trust me. I’ve heard of women saying that they feel tender there, blocking with purses, and/or more directly saying, “Oh, no thank you” with a smile when touched. I don’t think any woman should ever feel like this is something they have to stand for.

        • Violet

          Gotcha. Thanks for sharing how you handled it, especially given the specific circumstances.

      • Ashlah

        It just kind of turned out that I was okay with being touched? Once I had an actual bump, that is. I didn’t really know how I would feel, but it turns out I find it kind of endearing how smitten people are with it, even if it feels a little strange. Fortunately, most people in my family have respectfully asked first and haven’t done the weird extended rubbing, otherwise I might feel differently. My mom, though kept fucking tickling my belly “to get the baby to move” and I had to shut that shit down (“That’s still my stomach, and I will revoke your touching privilege!”)

        You’re well within your rights to not want to be touched, especially by people you might not be as close to (in-law touches feel a little weirder than my family), and they will bond absolutely fine once the baby is here!

        • Violet

          I think my mom is a good trial run to see how I feel about it!

        • BSM

          See, I think I would be OK with my MIL touching my stomach, but not my FIL, SIL, or any other extended family, and, since we don’t hang out with her individually, I’d have no simple way of enforcing that boundary. So just my husband for now :)

      • Yet another Meg

        I would agree with what others have said, which is sometimes it’s a matter of deciding if your discomfort at being touched trumps the other person’s needs and feelings. I’ve been ok with my own mom touching me, but found that my mother in law was driving me a bit nuts with the belly rubs, especially since she is/was prone to doing it a lot in large public venues. However, she is doing it because it’s the first grandchild, and she’s just so darned excited. I basically came to the decision that in her case I was willing to put up with it. Though I did mention to my husband that maybe we could try an reign it in when in public, because that just ends up being an invitation for everyone to try and touch.

        • Violet

          I feel like I can find a middle ground to maximize happiness and minimize discomfort for all involved. Maybe something along the lines of, she can touch, with permission. But no rubbing, and nothing in public. But a “Hey, it’s moving, if you wanna feel,” seems okay with me, given how happy it would probably make her.

    • Kalë

      Did I miss your update about the baby shower? How did it end up going? Also, good for you and husband about standing up for baby! I know it can be difficult sensitively navigating cultural traditions that yes, are traditions, but not something you’re comfortable with

      • K. is skittish about disqus

        Aw, thanks for remembering! I wrote last week that we got to go because my doctor cleared it, which I was totally thrilled about. And it was AMAZING. Such an awesome day and exactly what I needed at this point in my pregnancy!

        And yeah, the cultural stuff can be tough and shows up in unexpected places. We’re both dedicated to keeping her deeply in touch with her heritage, but if there are things I’m not comfortable with, I don’t feel bad about standing my ground. It’s not that I think my MIL or all her sisters are horrible women who don’t respect bodily autonomy or anything; I just have a different perspective than they do and that should be okay.

    • BSM

      Hopefully she just needs some time to adjust to the new plan, and, like you said, it’ll be a different strokes for different folks situation. Maybe if/when your daughter decides to pierce her ears, your MIL can be involved.

      I am just keeping my fingers crossed no one asks us about circumcision.

      • idkmybffjill

        I pray this daily.

  • InTheBurbs

    We’re going to the pizza farm for the first time this summer tonight and I can’t wait! In unrelated news – I’ve decided to apply to an Ed.D program for Fall of 2018, does anyone have any academic writing resources they’ve found helpful? I’m giving myself a year to prepare.

    • BSM

      What is a pizza farm? I feel like I need much more information.

      • InTheBurbs

        It’s magic – and apparently a MN/WI thing. A farm – with veggie fields and animals, and a wood burning brick oven. You bring your own tables, chairs, dinnerware and non-alcoholic beverages. You order your pizza(s) which contain ingredients grown on the farm – sometimes down to the flour used, and then relax until they call your number.

        Within driving distance of St. Paul/Minneapolis there are 5 that I can think of off the top of my head…

        • AGCourtney

          We have one just outside our town! (MN) It’s getting to be a popular wedding venue. I looked at it for our wedding and it’s so pretty but $$$. I’d still like to go there for pizza sometime, haha.

          • InTheBurbs

            We go to Prescott, WI – Borner Farm Project – haven’t been to the Red Barn down your way…yet!

          • Cellistec

            On first read my eyes skipped the first R in the name of the farm and I had some serious questions about what they grow there.

          • penguin

            Wood!

          • ssha

            I live in MN and will definitely check this out!

          • InTheBurbs

            Do it – it’s every other Friday night!

          • gonzalesbeach

            I know of one up here (western Canada) too! they also do a lot of weddings

        • BSM

          What?! Ok, so weird, without knowing that these are a thing, my husband and I have been dreaming/planning on opening a pizza farm in like 5-10 years as our early retirement plan.

          So cool!!!

    • Kalë

      Is that where the baby pizzas are born? Grass fed, pasture raised pizza?

      • Violet

        Are they free range pizzas? Would I need to catch and kill my own?

        • Lisa

          Did the pizza have a lot of friends? What was his life like up until he reached the oven?

          • BSM

            Not like those factory pizzas. Poor bastards.

          • Violet

            I’d never eat a pizza from a factory. So cruel and unethical.

          • Violet

            Do they start out as small, personal pan-sized and then grow into full-sized Sicilians?

      • InTheBurbs

        Close – brick pizza oven – pizza ingredients come from the farm. There are chickens. You bring your own utensils and table and chairs…there pizza, salads, dessert and alcoholic beverages for sale.

        • Kalë

          *heart eyes* this place must be what dreams are made of

          • InTheBurbs

            It’s amazing.

    • Yael

      Not for an Ed.D, but I gave my mom this: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0520288300/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1 when she went back to school. I never checked back with her to see if it was useful, but it got really good reviews on Amazon! I also use this: https://www.amazon.com/Manual-Writers-Research-Papers-Dissertations/dp/0226816389/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1497647544&sr=1-4&keywords=academic+writing, mostly as a reference for citations but the beginning chapters were also helpful when I was getting started.

    • nutbrownrose

      If you live near the program you’re applying to already, for real go pick the brains of the librarians at the reference desk and find out about the resources they have that are available both now as a community member and then when you’re a student. We love people! And learning people make our librarian hearts sing!
      If you don’t already live by your program, find your nearest community college and talk to their librarians.
      For real, your best academic writing resource is your local college/university librarian.

      • nutbrownrose

        And online: Purdue OWL has the most comprehensive yet understandable citation guide I’ve seen. MLA, APA, Chicago, hell they probably have Brazilian National Standard (ABNT), which one of my college’s databases defaults to when citing because it’s alphabetically first.

      • InTheBurbs

        Thank you!!!

    • zana

      The Professor Is In blog. More geared toward applying to faculty jobs, but also might have some stuff on applying to grad school.

      • InTheBurbs

        Thank you!

  • ruth

    Hi APW folks – do you guys still do the list of “Happy Hour” links? Is this something that’s going to be brought back? (Or maybe appear on The Compact?) Those links were often my favorite part of APW – it was such a treat to have the editors curate the best of the Internet for us each week! I do hope that feature returns! Thanks for all the great articles you linked to over the years!

    • S

      As far as I know they almost always do them, and just didn’t today because there is the competition? They’ve definitely been there for the past several weeks, unless I’m remembering wrong.

  • Alex K

    My best friend’s bachelorette (I’m the MOH) is in a few weeks and I’d love some ideasa/thoughts on this.

    Our dads were really good friends while we were growing up (that’s how we met), but unfortunately her dad passed away a few years ago. Our dads and their group of friends used to go to a place in Maine togetherness every year and that’s where we are having her bachelorette. She asked me to find picture of all of them up in Maine (I found some great ones) and wants to “recreate” them while we are there. I’d like to do something more than put the pictures side by side in a frame. Would it be weird if I had all of our dads friends sign their side of the frame and all of hers sign the other? Do people have any ideas or should I just put them all in a frame in be done with it?

    • Emily

      that’s so nice! I would love love love this as a gift

    • K. is skittish about disqus

      I think the signing idea is one of the sweetest things I’ve heard in awhile. Definitely not weird! Thoughtful and heartfelt and awesome, from my perspective.

    • Jess

      This is the most lovely idea I have heard of. If you think they would be willing to do it, I would definitely try!

    • Cellistec

      As someone who lost my dad and is in a longtime family-friends circle, I think that’s utterly thoughtful and perfect.

    • suchbrightlights

      Chiming in as someone else whose dad is no longer with us- I’m tearing up at the thought of this. Very thoughtful idea.

  • C&B Registry Expert

    Hi Everyone! It’s Crate and Barrel’s Registry team here – so excited to join you all. Ready to hear all your registry questions!

    • Violet

      No questions, but you guys are the best! APWers, we registered for these beauties (https://www.crateandbarrel.com/lidded-bowl-with-clear-lid-set-of-12/s380520?a=1552&campaignid=657519289&adgroupid=34201459355&targetid=pla-301293497241&pla_sku=380520&scid=scplp380520&sc_intid=380520&adpos=1o2&device=c&network=g&gclid=CIjPr-2Rw9QCFZyEswodP5gPoA) and years later, they have been hands-down one of our most-used wedding gifts off our C&B registry.

      • C&B Registry Expert

        We love the love! Thanks, Violet!

      • Natalie

        Oooh, I’ve been needing like this to bring leftovers to work. I’ve been using tupperware, but really want to avoid microwaving food in plastic, and sometimes mason jars, but they’re an odd shape for eating leftovers out of.

        • Violet

          These are the greatest for leftovers. Microwave great, can also be in the freezer without that weird puckering plastic does. And perfect work-lunch-leftover portion size. You can also use them as little prep bowls when cooking.

      • penguin

        Just added these to our registry, thanks!!

      • jem

        I love those!!!! It’s nice that they’re not as heavy as other glass containers, too

    • emmers

      Hi C&B! I’m already married and don’t need to register for things, but I did just break my favorite tea kettle (I forgot about it on the stove.. oops!), so I’m looking to get a new one.

      This may be too specific, but do you have any advice for things to consider when getting a tea kettle? I mainly used my old one to boil water in the mornings.

      • Katharine Parker

        Not a C&B registry expert, but I do make a lot of tea and boil a lot of water. Have you thought about an electric kettle? I could not imagine living without one (I lived in Spain for two months and bought one the second day I was there–it is a real priority). It eliminates the possibility of your kettle boiling dry and I find it much more efficient than the stove.

        • penguin

          We have an electric kettle and I love it.

        • S

          As an Australian who only just recently found out Americans typically don’t use electric kettles, this is so hilarious to me. I have no idea what the cultural difference is about in this case, it just seems so wildly more convenient and they’ve been around at LEAST all my life (so like 30 years) so it’s clearly not that Americans are just behind. Plus surely Americans travel and then use electric kettles and realise they’re so much easier? Why haven’t they caught on? I feel like I’m missing something big here. Maybe stove kettles are better and easier and I have no idea because I’ve never used one, but it’s hard to imagine anything easier than just flipping a switch/pressing a button. (I will admit I like the aesthetics of the stove kettle though in theory. Very quaint.)

          • Amy March

            Americans just aren’t typically tea drinkers like Australians. If you’re having tea a few times a week you don’t need as much efficiency as if you’re have tea with breakfast, morning tea, afternoon tea, and tea after dinner. When my whole family is home for the holidays sometimes it feels like all we do all day is make and drink tea.

          • Hope

            TMI: When visiting my family I go to the bathroom all the time because of how much tea we drink!

          • S

            Late to reply but this perplexes me even more. I don’t drink tea but I use my kettle several times a day – coffee, making up hot water bottles, maybe making ramen or instant cup soup etc if I’m lazy. I guess it must just be a deeply intrenched cultural thing where you guys just don’t use boiling water for as much stuff? So funny.

          • Hope

            As a Brit I grew up using electric kettles. Now living in America, I have limited counter space and a giant empty stove top so we use a stove kettle. Speaking from experience, I need a working whistle or I let it boil dry.

        • zana

          YAAAAAAAAAAS electric kettle. Never worry about leaving the house with the stove on again!

      • Kate Levy

        Hi Emmers! This is the tea kettle I use everyday and loooove it! I’ve had it for years. https://www.crateandbarrel.com/le-creuset-classic-caribbean-blue-kettle/s317536 I keep it on the stove so it occasionally gets splattered but it’s a breeze to clean up.

      • C&B Registry Expert

        Don’t you wish you still could? I would LOVE to register again!

        Only advice I could provide is make sure you get a kettle that can stand the test of time and wear – this is definitely a registry favorite: https://www.crateandbarrel.com/chantal-classic-copper-tea-kettle/s629532

      • Fushigidane

        I registered for an electric kettle and I love it. As a side effect, a lot of people got me tea since they think I like tea. In reality I only drink tea a few times a year. I just get annoyed waiting for water to boil. The kettle will tell me when the water has boiled plus it’s so much faster than boiling water on the stove (especially an electric stove). Loved my old roommate’s kettle; it made making ramen even easier and faster.

    • Jane

      Do you have recommendations of things to add to your registry once you’ve realized that people are using your main registry for bridal showers too? Mostly I’m just assuming people will buy some of the cheaper general registry items, but it seems like some female relatives think gifts should be more bridal shower specific, and I have no idea what that means. (And I’m getting the questions filtered through other people, so I don’t really know what it is they want me to add.)

      Prettier stuff? I already have a lot of the pretty entertaining stuff I would want.

      • C&B Registry Expert

        Hi Jane! Great question! Absolutely. We’ve built these pretty awesome inspiration guides on our website based on category of items and your style. Check them out here: https://www.crateandbarrel.com/wedding-registrant-favorites/f65206

        Also, have fun registering! Seriously, this is your opportunity to really express yourselves as a couple and request what YOU what :) That being said, register for things in a variety of price points and check your registry after your shower to see if you need to add items so your wedding guests can purchase things, too.

      • Amy March

        Maybe some of the fun seasonal items they have?

    • Jess

      I’m with emmers, I wish I could register again. My IL’s got us a 6-pack of plates like this: https://www.crateandbarrel.com/rectangular-10×5.75-plate/s406442 only printed (from C&B, but maybe discontinued now).

      They are the perfect size for hosting parties with appetizers. Highly recommend.

  • anonymous sex question

    I have a sex question about what is normal for couples my age, and I wasn’t sure where else to go. My husband and I are in our early 30’s and have been a couple for over a decade. We’re both in decent physical condition, but not at our best. We have sex about every 5-7 days. He doesn’t have any trouble getting an erection, but about 10-20% of the time, during sex he loses his erection. Also, I really like it when he’s able to stay hard inside me after he finishes, but that seems to be getting more difficult for him in recent years. Are these changes normal for guys our age? Or is it an early sign of erectile dysfunction? Is it too much for me to hope that he can stay hard even after he comes? At what point should I insist on him talking to a doctor about this issue? Or is this totally normal, a non-issue?

    • So Anon For This

      Not staying hard after he comes is completely normal. I’m surprised that’s ever been a thing. TBH, this all sounds like how normal human bodies work.

    • K. is skittish about disqus

      I didn’t know it was physically possible for a man to maintain erection after orgasm, to be honest. But if that’s a change for your husband, it could be worth talking to a doctor about. Everyone’s normal is different.

    • Jess

      During stuff – maybe a warning sign? maybe he’s just kind of stressed or distracted or tired those 10-20% of the times? If you’re not already, you can try adding manual stimulation during penetrative sex, or stopping and doing other things and going back. You can talk about the distracted/stressed aspect, which may help at least you know what’s up.

      Post-finish stuff – I’ve been with guys who do for a little while and guys who don’t and some where it’s hit-or-miss. If it’s a change from what he usually does, maybe it’s worth talking about in light of the during stuff too.

      I’m an advocate for talking about sex stuff before it’s a big issue, so the earlier you do, the better. Once it’s bothering you a bunch, it’s easier to pass blame and forget that ED can be kind of vulnerable for guys what with the whole loss of masculinity thing.

    • Since it’s new I’d say it’s something to maybe bring up with a doctor at his next general physical, but that sounds pretty normal to me? Like, I think it’s maybe slightly more common for penis-havers to start to notice erection changes in their late 30’s/early 40’s but that is a thing lots of people experience as they age.

      Not to get too graphic (?) but penis rings are an suggestion I’ve heard brought up a lot in teh lands of sex-advice for stronger erections… I have no idea if that would be relevant for your situation, but just thought I’d throw it out there.

    • anon for this

      That sounds almost exactly like us. my OH is more like to lose his erection if it’s hot or he’s tired. I’ve wondered whether it’s worth looking into more, but I think we might wait until we’re ttc and see if it becomes a barrier then. To be completely honest, I think it’s partly a stamina issue; he’s in decent shape (probably better than me!) but he works from home and isn’t as active as he used to be, so he’s getting worn out more quickly.

  • nutbrownrose

    Sooo…July 22nd is less than the length of Lent from now, and I have officially entered freak out mode. I still have an absolute million things to do (I tried to respond with a list last week to someone else and deleted it because it was giving me anxiety.) Like, July 23rd is sounding really awesome right now. FH and I are fighting about the stupidest shit (he cleaned off my desk for me…NOT. COOL.=giant argument about states of living), and both of us are kind of melting from the anxiety. He doesn’t have his ring yet. It’s freaking me out. BUT: We will be getting married at this fancy-ass party we’re throwing, which is more than I could have said 3 weeks ago. And that’s all that matters.

    • Cdn icecube

      I don’t know if this will help (or make you cry) but someone very close to me stopped at the mall to get a ring on their way to the courthouse to get married. So unless you’re getting married outside of a city that is always a (stress-inducing) option.

      • nutbrownrose

        OH! That is helpful. We live next door to a mall. He wouldn’t get the ring he wants, but he would have a ring. They do have some in his size there.

        • Cdn icecube

          That was a similar situation for them. They realized on the way that they didn’t have one and picked one up quickly. It’s not THE one, but it doesn’t make them any less married.

    • ART

      YMMV but…we ended up getting my now-husband a very cheap, simple ring from Amazon to use as a placeholder during the ceremony and it was fine. We still haven’t replaced it (3 years lol)…but someday maybe we will, because neither of us necessarily feels like it would matter that it wasn’t the one we used on the wedding day.

    • AmandaBee

      We totally dropped the ball on rings, and got ours on Amazon. Prime shipping! Husband got the wrong size and they sent us an exchange super fast.

    • LindseyM

      Yeah, don’t worry about rings. My husband bought his the week before online, and its great. You also don’t need rings to be married, so its not a showstopper.

    • suchbrightlights

      I don’t know the story behind your gent not having his ring yet, but I can plug both e-weddingbands.com (traditional) and Boone Rings (more eclectic) for super fast shipping if that information is of use to you.

      • nutbrownrose

        The story is he’s melting from impending change and unable to get his shit together because of it. But it makes me feel better knowing there are other options. Thank you!

    • E.

      Date twins! So much to do!

  • Colleen

    Philando Castile #sayhisname

    https://www.aclu.org/news/aclu-statement-philando-castile-shooting

    Tonight I’ll be continuing to attempt to best direct my rage to work to prevent further tragedy and injustice. I had hoped that my state would do better.

    • AGCourtney

      oh for the love of – did they decide not guilty?! Ffffffffffffffffffffffffffff

    • I’m taking this really hard – we live in the Twin Cities and he was murdered on my birthday (I was out celebrating when we saw the FB Live video of the aftermath). I really thought the right thing was going to happen when the DA filed charges, but I lost most of my hope when the jury said they were deadlocked on Wednesday.

      I weep for his family and his friends. I weep for my community – we’re walking around with targets on our backs. I feel helpless and I’m full of rage…I don’t know what to do. I wanna just burn it all down and cuddle my baby.

      • scw

        I thought of you when I heard the news. <3

    • Such an unacceptable, enraging outcome. I don’t have words…

  • sage

    Fiance and I looked at a house today that’s been on the market for 5 days and would be really great for us and is reasonably priced. We have been scrambling to get a pre-qualification letter so we can hopefully put an offer in today, but it’s looking like that might not happen until Monday. Also, fiance’s phone just completely died. This is all a mess, but I’m excited and hopeful! Trying not to get too excited!

    • AGCourtney

      best of luck!

      • sage

        Thank you!

  • Cdn icecube

    Looking for some advice re: wedding budget. How did people come up with them? Ie. how did you determine either what the $$ (big money) goal was, or how much of a % of your paycheck to save for it. We are in the EARLY stages of planning and can’t seem to find any advice in the archives about this particular question. If it makes a difference we are going to have a long engagement.

    • anon

      We thought about what kind of wedding we wanted, then looked at what we could feasibly come up as a maximum with between ourselves and both sets of parents, then whittled away at what kind of wedding we wanted until it was equal to or less than the maximum. We then looked at what kind of stresses and deprivation would be involved in achieving that maximum and cut even further so we wouldn’t be miserable for the engagement.

      In the end, we decided on a small intimate wedding because we didn’t want to have to give up the opportunity for weekend road trips or travels or eating dinner at restaurants for a year. So really it depends how much you are willing to cut into your potential future savings/quality of life for a wedding celebration. YMMV considerably.

    • AmandaBee

      Our engagement was short, but we looked at the time we had + the monthly money we could set aside and based it on that. We also built in lots of cushion, which came in handy b/c my husband lost his job 3 months out. Life happens, so build yourself some wiggle room.

      We also asked our families if they wanted to chip in anything and adjusted accordingly. But we based the initial budget on our own incomes, figuring we could always add but we didn’t want to want to have to cut.

    • Katharine Parker

      You can go from either side of it–start from the big number and figure out how to save to get there, or start with the amount you can save and figure out what kind of wedding will fit that amount.

      In either case, it’s worth knowing what weddings in your area cost. You can spend any amount of money on a wedding, but there are two main variables–number of people and per head cost of food/drink. I’d call a few venues to ask for their rental fees and ask a few caterers for their menu list (or a sample invoice, if they’ll send it), if you haven’t already.

    • Kalë

      We just did this! We are some of the first in our friend group and the first of our generation in our families to get married, so we didn’t have a great basis and it was tough to figure it out. First, we did a rough guest list – who do we absolutely HAVE to have? Once we had that, repeated googling “what should my wedding budget be” led me to this website that actually helped a lot (though it comes across as a little gimmicky): http://www.costofwedding.com/index.cfm/action/costest.index. Some of the things it spit out were wayyyy more than we’d wanted to spend or not something we would consider, like $1,000 for a DJ, but it gave us a good place to start. From that starting point, I did a bunch more research – found a photographer I wanted to book and got her pricing, ditto for caterer, etc. – and created a spreadsheet based off the APW spreadsheets, with every cost listed and broken down, each category’s price summed up, with the total cost at the bottom. So anytime I made a change to a budget line item, the category total would change as well as the whole budget total. If it helps, we initially spitballed $15,000 without doing much research (“does $4,000 for food for 100 sound reasonable?” “sure!” “how about dress – how bout I spend $1,000?” “ok!”), ended up with a firm budget of $18,000 after pricing out vendors we want and eliminating things we’re not interested in, and right now we are on track to spend about $17,000 (but have the savings to spend up to $20,000 if it happens) at seven months into a nineteen month engagement.

    • emilyg25

      It really depends. We sat down and chose our top three priorities (photography, food, good party) and put our money toward those things and skipped a bunch of stuff like fancy dress, fancy invitations, DJ. We were lucky to get a gift from my parents that covered the type of wedding we wanted. If we hadn’t, we would have grilled burgers in a public park pavilion. A big wedding was not a financial priority for us. Do you want a big, fancy wedding? If so, do you want to live frugally so you can save for it? It’s all about what your priorities are.

    • Her Lindsayship

      I was able to find a spreadsheet with averages broken down by wedding vendor/product in my city. We used that to make a rough budget based on what our priorities were. We had some savings and knew my mom would be chipping in a bit, so we were able to be a little flexible – but we knew we weren’t willing to spend the full average cost in our area, so it was helpful to have that parsed out so we could make cuts. I definitely recommend getting averages for your area at the start if you can! There is a really handy APW post for understanding what different budgets can do for you too: https://apracticalwedding.com/creative-sample-wedding-budgets/

    • Yet another Meg

      We started with an amount we could reasonably save and devote to a wedding ( we bought a house a few months before the wedding as well) and then decided what our three big priorities were. In our case, having as much family there as possible, the food, and a venue with a good dance floor. After that it became a matter of figuring out how much those three things were going to cost us and then deciding what we could live without. I should note that both our sets of parents were very generous in helping, and we were very lucky that my family is very diy. We also had some very frank discussions with both sets of parents about things that we weren’t going to have because they weren’t on our priority list ( wedding favours), which in the end turned out to be surprisingly important to our parents. In cases like that, our parents paid for the item that was important to them.

  • EF

    so i am in london and just HURTING this week. i was really hoping meg would write this week’s happy hour, and mention the horrors of this fire and the wealth disparity that caused it. we’re looking at probably over 100 dead to save a few £thousand. so absolutely heartbreaking. I woke up wednesday to a plume of smoke not too far away and am just angry at the whole thing. and so soon after borough market, too.

    anyway, solidarity to the other uk residents. tough times.

    • Amy March

      I can’t get it out of my mind. My heart breaks.

  • davidcurry

    Thanks for sharing!!