Passing of the Ask Team Practical Baton

This week, now that I’m finally home from the tour and well rested, is the week of shifts in the APW staff. On Tuesday we brought on the APW Writing Interns for 2012, and all was joyful. Today is a little sadder because my very first hire ever for APW, Alyssa, is leaving us as the writer of Ask Team Practical today. She’s not leaving-leaving. She promised me she’d stay on as APW Emeritus Staff, haunt the halls like Moaning Myrtle, occasionally moderate, and send us funny emails. But she is leaving us as our Friday columnist. I’m not supposed to be crying today because Alyssa tells me that if I cry, then she’ll cry, and then everyone will be crying. But I’m not going to lie. I cried a little.

But! I only cried a little because I’m so excited about the new writer of Ask Team Practical: Liz! The thing about Liz is that she and Alyssa started at APW in a semi-official capacity at exactly the same time. They were co-moderators when I went to Italy, but back then, Liz was pregnant, and I was bringing on a writer on a volunteer basis, and I know that you ALWAYS pay pregnant ladies (my mamma raised me right). So, ever since then, I’ve been desperate to hire Liz to join the APW team. And now, in a funny moment of symmetry, Alyssa is pregnant, and it’s time to pass the baton. So, without further ado, I bring you the ladies themselves:

From Alyssa:

If you were expecting a tearful goodbye, you’ll have to mosey on elsewhere. Oh, there were tears, but they were tears in response to change, no matter how good. There were also tears because I happen to be a giant bawl-baby and lose it over the slightest things anyway. And I’m not leaving in a flounce and I haven’t been fired, so there’s no good internetz-drama to be had either. My apologies if either disappointment ruined your day.

I’m leaving ATP because I’m currently scaling down a big part of my life just to make room for work, school, and baby so I can be present in each one and try my best not to suck at any of them. And actually, this started because of work and school. Baby just wandered into the picture, as they are wont to do, and suddenly made sh*t get very real. And as fun as it wold have been to juggle everything on my plate and prove to the world that I am, in fact, amazing, I’m going re-prioritize rather than hang on and be generally mediocre. Which is completely different than the specific mediocrity I normally produce. (HA! See what I did there? I insulted myself before y’all could. I’m wily, like a duck.)

So, this is basically just a changing of the guard because, um…I don’t plan on going anywhere. I may not write Ask Team Practical anymore, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be a part of the site. I started as a reader and, like all the other readers, I’m built into the bones of this place and just because I’m not a weekly feature doesn’t mean I’m not around. I promised Maddie I’d be the Moaning Myrtle of APW, wandering the hallways and popping in occasionally to be annoying, helpful, or sometimes both. Plus, Meg is letting me stay blue in the comments, so I’ll have to comment just to see that occasionally because it’s SO PRETTY.

Also? YOU GUYS GET LIZ. I’d be jealous, but I’ve already had Liz for a while. Know who advice columnists go to for advice? Liz. She’s funny, cool-headed, points out all those little nuances that you forget in your panic-induced haze of “OMG,OMG,OMG,OMG; FML,FML,FML…” and will offer to do bodily harm to people who make you cry but is so nice you know she’d never ACTUALLY set someone on fire for you. (Maybe.) Liz is not new around these parts and she’s had her hand in so much of the site that it already feels like she’s been staff for a while. Her maturity and wisdom, plus her ability to make me giggle, make me incredibly happy to be leaving ATP in her hands. Hell, I might even write in with my own questions.

So whatever this is, this ain’t goodbye. It’s a “See ya’ll later”, “Peace out,” and “So long and thanks for all the fish.” And it’s also a “Welcome Liz!,” “Yay for change,” and a big “Allons-y!” into ATP 2.0 tomorrow. I’ll see y’all in the comments!


From Liz:

I might be the saddest to see Alyssa go. I don’t want to make this a competition or anything, but if it were, I would win. I even offered the girl a retainer to stay on as my personal consultant. But she made some excuse about having a life and a baby or something?

It’s pretty clear that I won’t be able to replace Alyssa. Really, I won’t. But that’s fine because I’ve been told that I won’t need to fill her shoes (fabulous, really, considering I don’t look so great in cowboy boots). So instead of trying to be The New Alyssa, I’m just going to be Liz. Whereas Alyssa would offer BBQ scented hugs, kindly meant “sweeties” and “darlins,” and loads and loads of funny, I’ll be bringing the smackdown and the Teacher Voice (ask anyone from the DC book talk).

I’ve been milling around APW since Meg was a newlywed. During that stretch, I’ve spouted off more opinions than should’ve been allowed (Meg is very generous). Opinions on being a wedding graduate, on DIY wedding food, on  married sexytimes, on woman-being lessons, and on babies and marriage. I’ve also been lucky enough to guest moderate while Meg takes the rare vacation. But, let’s be honest. If you recognize me, it’s probably not for any of those reasons. You probably recognize me as the mom who brought her moon-faced baby son into a Brooklyn bar for the NYC book talk.

This whole thing is sort of bittersweet. Alyssa promises she’ll be around (SHE BETTER), but I’ll certainly miss her sweet and frank Friday posts. At the same time, I’m so so excited to be able to contribute to an awesome community.


And with that, I’ll let you say your “Goodbye for nows” to Alyssa, and “Hello and welcome homes” to Liz. Let’s do this up right. Pretend I snuck booze into the punch, and there is stale cake, and we’re having a not-going-away-forever party for Alyssa. Here is my toast:

Alyssa, you were my number one reader back when you were Lysachelle in the comments, and I thought that was your name. You made me laugh when people were making me cry. And as the first staff member of APW ever (other than me), you made me see that it was ok to ask for help. Better than ok, really. That asking for help is what made this project great instead of just good. Thank you for that, and even though you handpicked the best non-replacement in the whole world, we’ll still miss you. Cheers to you, and tiny cheers for the tiny baby too!

Now have some punch, y’all.

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  • Whoa! I’m first! Then let me be the first to wish Alyssa a hug and congratulations and the first to welcome Liz. Both of you are awesome and I’m excited to see what kind of answers Liz has. I’ve read your comments (and posts) and always thought how wise you sound, very calm and levelheaded. :)

    Seriously, congratulations Alyssa and welcome Liz!

  • Yay for all good things! New adventures await for all! :D

  • carrie

    Awwwww. Sniff. Alyssa, thank you thank you THANK YOU for all the goodness and funny you brought to Fridays. And so much love and luck on the little one, too!

    Welcome to Fridays, Liz! You scared the crap out of me when you whipped out your teacher voice in DC, so I can’t wait to see what you bring to Fridays. :-)

  • Alison

    Alyssa, best wishes and thank you for your wonderful,amazing, funny, sweet, ATP advice. Lots of love and hugs and laughter to you, your baby family, and your actual, soon-to-be, baby!

    Liz, I love following you on Twitter and someday, the Philly book club WILL meet up. I can’t wait to see how you handle the ATP column; I’m sure it will be brilliant and exciting in all new ways.


  • Congratulations all around, ladies. Here’s to bigger and better things for you both! Cheers!


    Awww! ATP won’t be the same without your sass Alyssa. Looking forward to Liz though!

  • !!!!!!!!! this news is simultaneously sad and thrilling. THANK GOODNESS we have Liz, no other replacement would do.

    With my imaginary drinky punch, I offer these haikus as my toast. Slurring the words make them better.

    With sass and sparkles
    You have been the cheerleader
    Please never quit us

    Rockstar, Mom, Artist
    You made me Think about sex
    Teacher Voice scares me

    I HEART BOTH YOUR FACES. forever-ever.

    • meg

      WHAT? Comment of the month!

    • Well. I was going to comment, but really – WHAT’S THE POINT. D-Day said it all.

      • Zan

        As usual Dday got us all, and said everything there was to say. The only thing left to do now is frame the glorious creation that Dday has inevitably made on MS Paint to mark the occasion. Liz, Alyssa, big love to you ladies (the platonic kind, not the polygamous kind). Muwah!!

        • Brit

          I love that you specified platonic! (Cause, ya know, options.)

        • meg


        • KA

          Yessss. As I was reading those haikus I could see an MS Paint masterpiece in my mind.

          As someone who entered the fray when Alyssa and Liz were moderating during Meg’s vacay, I hold a special place in my heart for your unique brands of wisdom. So yes yes, the only person who could succeed Alyssa is Liz. Period, the end. :-D

        • ask, and you shall receive.

          (I wouldn’t use glorious or masterpiece in describing it, but it’s definitely MS Paint)

  • I’m sad to see Alyssa go but I’m excited to welcome Liz :-) Congratulations to both on their exciting adventures!!!

  • Well then.

    Alyssa, I’m certainly sad to see you go. Your wisdom and sass will be moss missed, but I know you’ll kick ass at everything to come.

    As far as Liz taking over Ask Team Practical? Best decision ever.

  • Red

    Y’all! Now I’M crying, and I’m at my desk at work, and this is NOT cool at all. Not one bit.

    Alyssa – While I’m fairly new to the APW world (I think about 8 months now?), I have looked forward to your posts, knowing that if I read them at work I was going to have to do my best to not snicker out loud and tip anyone off that I wasn’t doing what I was supposed to be doing at that moment. Girlfriend you are a riot – and a smart one, (which is even better) and you will totally sass (and bedazzle) up the Moaning Myrtle role so all is not lost. Best of luck to your growing family!

    Liz – I’m teary eyed for you too, don’t you worry. Congrats! I’m so excited for you and can’t wait. I don’t think anyone else could have taken this particular baton toss. ATP 2.0 indeed! I’ve loved getting to know you on your blog and on Twitter and you have the cutest family. Plus, I think sometimes we need the Teacher Voice to help us along on our path.

    Congrats ladies!!!!

  • Denzi

    Alyssa, you will be missed. Getting your sassy smackdowns in my RSS feed was the highlight of my Fridays. Now I’ll have to actually go through the effort of finding you in the comments! But I will, because you’re awesome, and we’re all holding you and your family (both current and currently gestating) in our hearts.

    Liz! You’re gonna make me smarter and more organized, aren’t you? I feel like you can sense that we haven’t finished our thank yous yet… Looking forward to hearing what you have to say!

  • DanEllie

    So, who else read the Facebook tease on this and thought something else might be happening?

    Alyssa – you have been a source of laughter and great wisdom as I’ve been in the pre-engaged and planning trenches. I look forward to your continuing insight in the comments. Best of luck in all other areas of your life!

    Liz – I’ve been loving Happy Sighs and the Why We Wed series – I can’t wait for your wise wisdom in the weeks and months to come. Congrats on making your status official!!

    • meg

      What WERE you guys thinking was happening? That wasn’t a tease! I didn’t think you guys thought I’d be leaving or anything! What the what?

      • DanEllie

        “big and sad and wonderful” could mean a lot of things, particularly since you’ve just been feted all over the country! I was afraid you were bowing out, or taking a different approach.

        I’m always excited to see new perspectives, I just don’t want the familiar to disappear :)

        • meg

          Oh no. I’m like Oprah. I like to own my own company, thank you very much. Expect me to do more and better things, but still be right here, owning my own thing :)

          • mimi

            Doesn’t Oprah already own OWN?

          • meg

            Of course. And I already own APW. That’s the point.

  • Alyssa, some of your Friday columns are what pulled me through the difficult days of wedding planning. Thank you!
    Liz, so glad you’ll be around to carry the torch and do the same for current planning couples!

  • Hooray! Welcome! Farewell! Have good baby time! Booyah to all!

    • Zan

      Scene: Lisa in a red cloak, riding in a sleigh, gliding over snowy rooftops. As the sleigh passes in front of a full moon she turns regally, waves, and screams, “AND BOOYAH TO ALL!”

      My own imagination just made my morning.

      • meg

        Zan, winning the comments. Knowing Lisa, this scene is even more hilarious.

  • I love that our little community keeps growing and evolving and changing.

    Alyssa, I will miss your scheduled sass. Now it will be UNscheduled sass, which is like, the jazz of sass.

    Liz, I look forward to all the greatness that I know you’re bringing. Also: cute baby.

    • meg

      The jazz of sass. That’s Alyssa. She should put it in her bio.

  • Class of 1980

    Liz, welcome! (I’m kinda afraid of the teacher voice too.)

    Alyssa, congrats on the baby! And we’ll be seeing you. ;)

  • Is it silly that I’m happy that Alyssa gets to keep her blue comments? Because I am. And now Liz will get to be blue too? All the goodness will be even easier to spot now.

  • Yay. I love all of you. Mwah.

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  • Edelweiss

    I don’t have anything to add that hasn’t been said – but I wanted to add to the chorus.

    Alyssa, it genuinely makes me teary that you’re leaving, Your loving sass made me wish you were a big sister.

    Liz, anything that represents Philly makes me happy – so congrats and good luck!

  • Such bittersweet news. Alyssa, you’ll be missed! Liz, you’ll be awesome!

  • Alyssa, I am going to miss reading you on Fridays, but you just better keep comin’ around these parts and leaving comments. And I also used to think Lysachelle was your name.Good luck with the new changes coming in your life and keep us posted with guest posts and stuff every now and then.

    Liz, I am excited you are now officially joining the staff and going to be writing here weekly.

    You both are awesome women and I am glad to have gotten to know you a bit you through APW and your blogs.

  • Congrats on the good news, Alyssa. :)