What I've Learned about the 6 Different Types of Workplaces

By Derek Reimherr

If you missed the series intro, go back and take a look. I lay out my motivation for this series and why I even feel qualified to write about this topic.

A quick recap: I’m 26 years old and I’ve had 30 managers, 22 different jobs and worked in 15 different industries. And I’ve learned a lot about work from all those different experiences. With that background, let’s talk about work environments.

I think companies/offices generally fall into these 6 categories:

  • Hourly Mentality
  • The Traditional Office
  • GET SH!T DONE
  • Growing Pains
  • The Contractor’s Dream
  • Progressive Workplace

Generally speaking, I’m focusing on the feel of the office and the way people approach work. My goal is not to pass judgment but offer commentary. If you feel I’ve missed niches or subcategories, please let me know! Let’s dive in.

Hourly Mentality

Everyone has worked in this type of job before. These are typically hourly workplaces. Zooming out, there are several more defining characteristics of these workplaces:

  • Focused on the short-term, very little emphasis on higher-level strategy.
  • You’ll hear the “Not my job” sentiment or something along those lines. “Someone else will take care of that.”
  • Often stuck in reactive panic mode dealing with “fires” as they pop up.

In this work environment, people show up, do their 8 hours (or shift), and go home. Employees don’t care about the company at large - they want a paycheck. They're great when you’re looking for a part-time job, internship, or starting out. This isn’t the place you want to build a career.

The Traditional Office or "Out of Touch"

Ah, the office of our parents and grandparents. It’s famous business professional attire, lack of benefits and/or perks, and very few, if any, casual days. These offices are typically technology regressive or resistant to change. 

Maybe everything is printed or you’re still using Office 2003. Perhaps no one has heard of Dropbox, Box, or Google Drive. You're probably not seeing many perks unless it’s a big company. #CorporateLife

Workplaces like this struggle with hiring younger demographics. Candidates and new employees question a lot about these workplaces.

Why can’t we wear jeans?
Why there are only 8 PTO days per year?
Where’s the sense of team camaraderie?

As such, you’re likely to see “lifers” in these offices - people who have been there for many years. And because of that, you’ll often hear the sentiment, “Well, we’ve always done it this way. Why change now?”

GET SH!T DONE

You might be laughing at me for the all caps, but I promise it has a purpose. These offices transcend categorization by demographics, perks, or vibe. These teams focus on the end product, customer, or sales. A better descriptor is intense. It could be a result of unorganized project managers, unrealistic deadlines, or an unhealthy internal competition. Or everyone is hyper-focused on delivering good work and not much else.

Consider this: a startup with a beer cart, ping pong table, standing desks, and unlimited PTO seems cool. But if you only talk about work with your co-workers or if you’re often working on the weekend, you might be in a GSD office. This might be ideal if you don’t much care for your workplace relationships and want to do great work. Beyond that, many people may experience burnout here.

Growing Pains

I imagine these as larger or more established companies with culture problems. The company is seeing a changing of the guard: Baby Boomers are retiring and millennials/Gen Xers make up most teams. Senior leadership looked at themselves and said, “We need to change.”

So management shook things up. New perks, revised management styles, and flexible work options were created. All good things. Sure, some employees are pushing back, feeling “left behind” or disgruntled. But, if you can stick it out, this could be a great place to work. In the meantime, there will be a lot of tension in the air.

The Contractor’s Dream

Nowadays, many teams operate in autonomous work groups or as individual contributors. These companies are may use contractors or part-timers as a sizable part of the team. Or they could be a flexible work-from-home or even entirely remote company. Or both.

Here, you can work multiple jobs or have side hustles. Less corporate hierarchy means you’re not dealing with layers of management. Say goodbye to micromanaging. You can come in, knock out your work, and move on. Some will feel disconnected working here, but others will love the freedom.

Progressive Workplace

(Full disclosure: This is the kind of place I work at now.)

The majority of the Gen X and Millennials are looking for this kind of job. This workplace values corporate responsibility, transparency, work/life balance, among other these. Co-workers openly discuss traditionally taboo topics: race issues, cultural backgrounds, sexual orientation (LGBTQIA+), and political views. These companies create employee engagement programs with team building, happy hours, and retreats. And yes, they’re usually agencies, startups, and tech companies.

For many workers, it’s too much. Not everyone wants to discuss their personal life at work. Many people don’t want to work in an open or remote office. Some don’t want to be friends with their co-workers. That’s okay and there will always be other options. But for a lot of people, this is the dream.

--

To be fair, most offices operate on a spectrum, overlapping several different categories. But I think workplaces generally lean in one direction over the others.

Here's a story to illustrate why this is important. A little over a year ago, I was working at a Global Fortune 10 company. The pay and benefits were great. The advancement opportunity was there. But the environment was in the "Growing Pains" stage at best and the "Out of Touch" at worst. Managers were technologically challenged - I was often asked to convert Word docs to PDF and print for my boss. The office wasted so many resources (human capital, paper, time, etc). Every day, I came home from work unhappy and complaining. It drove Maggie CRAZY. Even though I had to take a pay cut, I knew I had to get out of there for the sake of my personal and marital health.

It’s vital for all of us to take a step back and identify the environment we’re in. If we like it, why? If we hate it, why? Your satisfaction and fulfillment at work bleeds over into the rest of your life. Consider this: if you're unhappy from 9-5, do you spend more on the weekends to balance out? Or does your significant other regularly bemoan your poor attitude? Understanding where you currently are can help shape where you want to go or whether you should stay put.

Do you think I’m wrong? Did I totally miss the mark? Let me know. Next up, we’re talking about management and leadership.

Lessons I've Learned from 30 managers and 22 jobs

BY: DEREK REIMHERR

I started a new job in Atlanta recently (and so did Maggie) which seems like a good time to look backward. How far have I come? It's a doozy. I’m 26 years old and I’ve had 30 managers, 22 different jobs and worked in 15 different industries. Don’t believe me? Let’s break it down:

  • 10 part-time, minimum wage-type jobs
    • Soccer referee
    • Intramural sports referee (think flag football, soccer, ultimate frisbee)
    • Department store cashier
    • Clothing store associate
    • Camp counselor
    • University dining hall worker (I made awesome grilled sandwiches)
    • Pizza delivery driver
    • Restaurant/bar server
    • Caregiver/babysitter
    • University academic tutor
    • 2 apprenticeship/development-type jobs
    • Non-profit Lighting Production Assistant
    • Non-profit Communications and Social Media Associate
  • 7 internship or similar positions
    • Event venue Marketing Intern
    • Real estate brokerage Marketing Intern
    • Newspaper Marketing Coordinator
    • Mobile app Sales and Marketing Coordinator
    • University psychology Research Assistant
    • Food and beverage corporation Field Sales Intern
    • Auto parts company Marketing Intern
  • 4 salaried positions
    • Corporate Analyst
    • Corporate Regional Marketing Associate
    • Marketing agency Social Media Specialist
    • Marketing agency Senior Social Media Analyst (omitted in total because new job)

I count the number of industries I’ve worked in or with at around 14. You might combine a couple of these, but the number is still in the double digits. A few examples: retail, non-profit, food and beverage, real estate, automotive, and agency/firm (or professional services, I guess). 

I’ve had more jobs than most people will have in their whole life. Since I was 16, I've only been unemployed for 6 months in total: two different semesters in college. At times, it was out of need. But oftentimes, I just wanted some extra spending money. I was fortunate enough to have parents who provided a lot of financial support but didn’t spoil me. They always encouraged me to work to earn the things I really wanted.

Because of this, you could argue I’ve got a pretty decent perspective on “work” that other people my age don’t have. Heck, I'd go out on a limb and say I have a perspective that many people will never have.

Furthermore, I’ve had managers from all walks of life: women and men, executive and contractor, millennial and baby boomer, corporate and small business, salaried and hourly, parents and non-parents, married and single, minority and white.

Disclaimer: in all my time, I’ve never had a direct report. I’m only 26 after all - doesn’t seem too unusual. Sure, I’ve led projects, onboarded and trained new employees, taught seminars/sessions, and coordinated teams. But it’s never been up to me whether someone stayed on the payroll.

Here’s the point: I’m going to write a multi-part series on work. I’ll talk about where I’ve seen culture motivate (and demoralize), how managers and leaders can empower (or discourage), and which employees succeed (or fail, myself included).

The goal is to provide you principles you can apply in your own vocation. There should be something here for you whether you’re:

  • Part-time, full-time, or salaried
  • A young professional or seasoned worker
  • An individual contributor
  • A new manager or a long-time manager
  • A senior leader or executive (Going out on a limb with this one. Maybe you’ll learn how to better lead new hires, manage up with your boss, or celebrate your team even if it’s just a birthday.)

This is important. We spend more time at work and with at co-workers than our loved ones. So examining our relationship with our jobs is beyond crucial. When I loved my job, I checked out at the office door. When I didn’t? It couldn’t help but bleed over into my relationship with Maggie. This discussion should provide a framework for you to evaluate your own situation.

We’re going to talk about the main factors that I’ve found influence work satisfaction the most: work environments, managers and leaders, compensation, and your personal performance. 

I’m really excited for this series. Stayed tuned for the next post all about work environments.

Divorce Boats

By Maggie Reimherr

I once heard someone call kayaks divorce boats. I concur. Derek and I have been on a kayak exactly once, and it wasn't pretty.

Our friends Chris and Amanda were visiting us in Boston for a weekend. We’d heard that a *quintessential Boston activity* was kayaking the Charles River. It sounded really fun and like a great way to see the city, so we thought, “Sure! Why not?”

We arrived at the kayak rental station in Cambridge, MA on a sunny May afternoon. We decided, “Hey, we’re married couples. Let’s get double kayaks!”

This was a grave mistake.

We started slathering on some sunscreen to prepare for an afternoon of boating on the Charles like true New Englanders. Like the very unathletic person I am, I decide to wear a dress that day. We were going to an improv show later that night and wouldn’t have time to go back to the apartment to change. I hiked my leg up onto a cooler at the kayak rental place to put on some sunscreen, and some RUDE-ASS LADY walked up to me and said something about how she could see my underwear. Cool, thanks. I don’t really care if anyone sees my incredibly modest granny panties, but you just made me feel self-conscious about being unladylike. 

So I was entering into this boat ride already a little emotionally distressed.

Via  Giphy

Via Giphy

We decided Derek would take the back of the boat for steering purposes, and I’d be in front. This meant that when it came time to take a cool selfie of us on the boat, I was going to have to be the one to snap the picture without losing an iPhone in the depths of the Charles River. Lucky me.

Between the accidental flashing and the potential iPhone drowning, on a scale of 1-10, my anxiety was at around a 7.

We started paddling and immediately, the physics of kayaking baffled me. I knew I had to put the oar in the water and push to move forward. What I didn’t realize was that this motion, if done incorrectly, could cause the kayak to veer to one side or go around in circles.

Derek started to get frustrated with my willy-nilly paddling. Additionally, each time I dipped my paddle into the water, somehow I couldn’t get it together and not splash water all over him. “Here, just take a break and let me paddle,” he said in frustration.

It’s one thing to paddle yourself in a single kayak. It’s another thing entirely to try to paddle you and your wife in a double kayak when she’s a completely useless partner. Derek is a champ, but one man can only take so much. His arms got tired. He requested my help once more. I kept splashing him and spinning the boat in circles.

At this point, we’d made it maybe 50 yards from the spot where we departed from land. I don’t know if I had an unrealistic expectation of how far two people can go in a kayak, but I thought we’d be moving at regatta speed and see a big chunk of Boston.

I was wrong. We had MIT on one side of the river and Back Bay on the other, and that’s it. For visual representation:

Divorce Boats.png

Derek and I started snapping at each other.

Derek: “Maggie, STOP SPLASHING ME.”
Me: “We’re in the water! Water splashes! Get over it!”

Derek: “Can you please paddle straight?!”
Me: “I DON’T KNOW HOW THIS WORKS, OKAY??!”

All the while, our friends Chris and Amanda were floating down the Charles nearby, having a blast. We pulled our boats next to each other and convened on a game plan.

“So, uh… do y’all want to go back to the shore?” I asked nervously.

We’d been on the river for probably 45 minutes. To my relief, they said it was fine to return. They are very accommodating and very good sports.

But getting back was not easy. More splashing, more spinning in circles, more groaning, until finally, we reached dry land.

And what do you know? Like a beacon in the night, right before our eyes was a glorious, beautiful beer garden.

It was time for alcohol.

We returned our boats and immediately made our way to the bar. Sun-tired and sore from kayaking, we sat and drank beer and chatted and laughed.

Just when I thought we’d forgotten about the troublesome kayaking from earlier, Derek whispered, “We are NEVER sharing a kayak again.”

So take it from me, folks. Save your marriage. Choose the single kayak.

Oh, and we did get our selfie without sacrificing an iPhone. We appear far happier than we actually were.

Everything You Need to Know About Cheap Caribbean's Deal of Fortune

By Maggie Reimherr

If you've been following along on Instagram and Facebook, you know that we got a killer deal on our Mexico vacation. The catch? We didn't know which resort we were heading to until a week before the trip. We chose to book through Cheap Caribbean and rolled the dice on their Deal of Fortune.

I wrote about the process of deciding to throw caution to the wind and book this mystery vacation over here a while back. (Side note: check there for my booking tips.) To recap: we decided to book a Deal of Fortune because I read every review on the Internet and thoroughly researched each resort option in the package we chose. We chose the 5-Sun Cancun deal specifically because we were cool with landing at any of the hotels listed.

Now we’re home from the trip. Did we like it? Was it an amazing find or a scam? Let's find out…

We got an email a week before revealing we'd be staying at Secrets The Vine Cancun, ranked #3 among every Cancun hotel on TripAdvisor. We knew we liked the Secrets brand because we stayed at Secrets Maroma Beach for our honeymoon last year. We also knew this was another resort that people rave about in this chain of properties. We were stoked. Side note: we’ll publish a separate post reviewing Secrets the Vine and comparing the 2 resorts in case you're booking a Secrets vacation soon and having trouble deciding.

So to give y'all a sense of just how good of a deal it was, let's talk numbers. We were at an all inclusive resort. That means unlimited food and drinks (yes, alcohol, too) were included in our package. Also included? A “run of house” room, fancy wording for “cheapest room we've got.” And finally… our price through Cheap Caribbean included airfare. I've priced it out below:

Full price 7 night trip for 2:
Run of house room booked directly through Secrets the Vine: $4500/week
Airfare (BOS to CUN to compare because we booked this out of Boston): $1200
Shared round trip transfer from airport to hotel: $60
Total: $5760

Our Cheap Caribbean Deal of Fortune 7 night trip for 2:
Total for run of house room, all inclusive food + drinks, airfare (BOS to CUN), shared round trip transfer: $2800

Yep, you read that right. We got a half price trip.

So should you book a Deal of Fortune even though you won't know where you're going until a week before? HELL yes. Spice up your life and save mucho dinero, folks!

Derek and I kept talking about how the trip felt like stealing because it was like, “Are they making any money off of us?” We honestly don't know how the finances work on their side. But we do know that as long as the Deal of Fortune exists, we will never, ever, ever book a full price resort vacation again.

The cool thing about getting such a stellar deal is that the pressure is off to get alllllll the bang for your buck. You want to lay at the pool all day, every day and participate in 0 activities? Go for it. Want to go to bed early and skip the evening show? Done. Wanna head up to your room at 3 o'clock and binge watch an entire series on Netflix? You're free to do that (and… guilty. We watched all of 13 Reasons Why on this trip).

On the flip side, you made it to a luxury resort in the Caribbean for half price. So live it up! Eat nachos by the pool, drink those unlimited margaritas and Coronas, go to the tequila tasting at 4 o'clock in the afternoon (#didthat), sing along to the cover bands at the evening shows, and order a 5-course meal just because you're on vacation.

I shared booking tips in my previous post about choosing the Deal of Fortune, so to figure out how to book, head over there. Now time for some DoF/all inclusive resort tips for when you're actually on vacation…

TIPS:

  • Bring cash to tip. You scored an awesome deal. Don't be stingy to the waitstaff.
  • If you're a honeymooner, be aware that the “run of house” room might be 2 queen beds. If your heart is set on enjoying your honeymoon on a luxurious king bed, set aside extra money in your budget and see if you can upgrade to a king suite once you get there. They offered us the upgrade to a king room in the "preferred club" section of the resort (which also would've allowed us access to an additional pool and breakfast/lunch restaurant) at $90 a night. We declined and took the 2 queens. And yes, because they knew this trip was for our anniversary, they left rose petals on one of our queen beds the first night. 
  • Also, honeymooners… I don't know if this is the standard across all resorts, but at both Secrets we've stayed at, the toilet was in a room that was basically just a frosted glass closet. So beware that not only are you adjusting to being married to a person, but you're also gonna have to get real comfortable with bathroom stuff real fast. Good luck.
  • If you're planning on a truly budget-friendly vacation without any extra activities, 7 nights may be a little long. The daytime activity schedule is fairly repetitive each day (but the entertainment staff is fantastic!), so you may feel a little bored of 7 straight days poolside. We booked an excursion, and I'm super glad we did to get away from the resort for a day. (Cancun specific tip: y'all have to go to Isla Mujeres. Book a catamaran excursion like we did - if you’re a Cheap Caribbean customer, you can book through your Amstar rep in the hotel lobby - or just hop on the ferry over to the island. Rent a golf cart. Barter for souvenirs with the locals. Eat an authentic Mexican meal, but take it from us - taste the sauce before you douse your burrito in habanero salsa and plz don't set your mouth on fire like we did.)
  • Bring a laptop for show/movie watching on lazy nights. We had a smart TV in our room but the smart part didn't actually work, so we ended up watching Netflix on Derek’s laptop a few nights.
  • Don't overpack. No, Maggie, you did not need that second pair of wedges.
  • Along those lines… if you don't regularly work out, you aren't going to start on vacation. Leave the 5 Fabletics outfits at home. Drink your pina coladas and pay for your sins when you get home.
  • If you need something, just ask… but know that it might be slow getting to you. All-inclusive resorts tend to run at their own pace. So when you order a water and a margarita from the pool waiter, you may not actually see those things for a half hour. Be patient. You're on beach time.
  • Eat your vegetables. It's so easy to let nutrition go by the wayside when you have an array of DELICIOUS foods at your fingertips 24/7. But trust me, if you don't eat your veggies, you won't be feeling good. Derek and I skipped karaoke night, which I would NEVER NORMALLY DO, because we were physically ill from eating too many carbs all week. Oops.
  • Stock up on sunscreen and other essentials back home. You don't want to pay resort gift shop prices for that SPF.
  • Take advantage of the onsite entertainment options! Last year, we went to a Beatles cover show at Secrets Maroma Beach that we’re still talking about. This year, we loved the Jersey Boys show at The Vine. 
  • For airport transfer… we booked shared transfer through Amstar and lucked out. We ended up having a van to ourselves on the way to the resort from the airport. On the way from the resort, we shared with one family. It cost us about $100 less than private transfer would, but I've heard it's a bit of a gamble... you could end up on a bus and stop at every resort along the strip before you get to yours.
  • Check ahead of time to see if the resort offers honeymoon/anniversary perks. Secrets brought a complimentary bottle of champagne to our room to kick off our stay as a little anniversary gift.

So all that being said... Cheers! Your vacation awaits! And now we want to hear from you… would you book the Deal of Fortune now that you've read about our experience?! And resort veterans - what are your all inclusive travel tips? Leave us a note in the comments or on social media!

So We Moved to Atlanta: A Recap

By Maggie Reimherr

I don't know if y'all have noticed, but things have slowed down on the blog over this past month. We have a pretty decent excuse - we moved across the country. But now that we’re settled, it's time to pick it back up. So let's play catch up.

First up: the big move. It didn’t exactly go as planned. You see what happened was…

Derek's license expired about 2 weeks before the move. He planned to get a new one in MA even though it would’ve cost upwards of $150 (total ripoff). But then the day before we packed up, he tripped and sprained his ankle on the cobblestone streets of Boston. In true Boston fashion, the city’s infrastructure gave him a big “f you.”

Did y'all know moving trucks don’t have cruise control? We didn’t. With him in some serious pain and no cruise control to help, it was left to little 5’1” Maggie to drive the truck.

Another question: Did y'all know moving trucks were classified as commercial vehicles and are subject to height clearance rules? Well, I didn't. And this time, it was my turn to receive a big “f you” from a New York State trooper in the form of a ticket. As a lifelong rule follower, I was so embarrassed for not knowing this particular rule. I was also outraged that the cop decided to fill his February ticket quota by pulling over and being extremely rude to a 20-something girl who was already in a very stressful situation. And now I'm avoiding the consequences… I’ve yet to make the phone call to the local courts to find out how much I owe. Luckily we just got our security deposit back from our Boston landlord. So hello and goodbye, money.

So We Moved.png

We made it to Durham, NC in one day as we planned...technically. We rolled into the Holiday Inn Express parking lot at 2:30 am after stopping nearby to “get some fresh air” and “grab a snack.” Quotations used because we were exhausted and needed breaks to wake up. Driving that late at night was extremely unsafe and I wouldn't recommend it. But I'd already booked and paid for the hotel room so we felt obligated to get there. (P.S. Don’t do that either.)

After 1,000 miles on the road, Atlanta was finally in sight. We double checked with the apartment complex to make sure we were good to move in. Of course, we weren’t. We had to set up an account with the utility company to transfer over payment responsibilities. Oh, and we also needed money orders for our move-in fees. So after several frantic phone calls and a stop by Walmart, we finally rolled up to our new home in Atlanta, vowing never to do an out of state move (at least on our own) again.

When we got to Atlanta, we were greeted by friends and family to help move us in (#blessed #thankyou). Beer and pizza are always great motivators for friends. We wasted absolutely no time decorating the place and making it feel like home (one of Derek’s rules - he’s the interior decorator in this relationship). A few days later, I started my new job and Derek started working remotely.

So what've we been up to since? Settling in. Enjoying time with friends and family. Eating at a lot of restaurants in the neighborhood and drinking a lot of local beer. Exploring. Learning how to get around the city… and now, conveniently, as we just learned the routes, without using I-85. We’re walking distance to several parks, walking trails, shopping districts, and restaurants and bars galore, so we’ve taken the time to breathe a sigh of relief and enjoy it.

The whole moving ourselves thing was...rather chaotic. But we are unbelievably thrilled to be here. Shout out to everyone who helped us move - we couldn't have done it without y'all!

And now, back to your regularly scheduled Millennial Marriage programming. New content is coming your way!

A Millennial Anniversary

By Maggie Reimherr

As a millennial, there's one thing related to milestones that's just as important as the milestone itself: the Instagram. I’d been thinking through an anniversary Insta caption for a while, and I realized I can't write an Instagram caption about my marriage like some other women can.

Example: "Marriage is a sweet gift from Abba in Heaven and I praise the Lord for the abundant blessing of doing life with my forever person. #myheartissofull"

Well, I could write a caption like that because I just did. But it would be disingenuous. If you are that girl, more power to you. But when I think of my marriage to Derek, all I can think of is the lightness it's brought to my life.

I used to be dramatic. Wait, I’m still dramatic. I used to be… heavier. I used to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders. I used to care what everyone and their brother thought about me. I used to be self-conscious and easily embarrassed and about 100x more anxious. Now I’m a lot more joyful and a lot more at peace. A lot of that has to do with faith… and a lot of it has to do with Derek and marriage and being loved so well.

Don’t get me wrong - we’ve done the heavy stuff. We said “I love you” for the first time while crying and holding each other’s faces in a Chick-Fil-A parking lot (#drama). We fought tooth and nail to keep our relationship afloat while living on opposite sides of the country. We had 5 hour phone conversations. We wrote love letters. Derek made the sweeping, romantic gestures.

But now, marriage is just… fun. It’s light. It’s happy. I’m thankful.

Of course we’ve had some rough patches. Some resentment. Some personal missteps. Some arguments (one time we didn’t speak for an hour because I accidentally called a Lyft to the wrong location). But most of the time, we’re having fun.

We giggle a lot. We make dirty jokes. Derek tickle-attacks me regularly. We speak to each other in our own language with dorky, made up words that only the other person understands. I call him long, obnoxious nicknames that are too embarrassing to write about. (Okay, fine. Once he was wearing his boxers around the apartment and I called him Mr. Thighs.) We drink beer and play board games and hang out with our friends. We have little routines everyday, like making eggs for breakfast and singing songs to each other while getting ready. We go on adventures around town.

And we take risks. We bet on our relationship for almost 2 years when $400 plane tickets and more than 1,000 miles separated us. I relocated to Boston before we said, “I do,” having never lived outside the south. And when I wasn’t happy, Derek bet on us again and moved back to Atlanta before he was ready.

The word I want to use to describe us is comfortable. But that doesn’t quite hit the mark. I don’t think we’re comfortable, because we still push each other a lot. I think a better way to describe the status of relationship is “content.” We’ve found a contentment in each other that I didn’t know could exist in life.

I don’t think we’re conditioned to seek out or search for contentment, especially in romantic relationships. Culture teaches us that fiery passion is what we should aim for. Of course, passion exists in our marriage. But it’s not what sustains us. The routine of just living our life together is the heart of our marriage and what brings peace.

Just because we’re not declaring our love for each other on Instagram every 5 minutes and not writing love letters anymore doesn’t mean we’re not truly, deeply in love. In fact, we’re more in love than ever because we know each other better than ever.

So on this day, our 1 year anniversary, my Instagram caption wasn’t a grand declaration of how #blessed I am. It was a silly recap of our year complete with emojis:



Derek, thanks for bringing light to the life of a girl who used to lean toward heavy-hearted. I’m excited for the fun that’s to come!

A Leap of Faith: Why I'm Making a Career Change

By Maggie Reimherr

By now you’ve heard the big news: the Reimherrs have moved to Atlanta! Derek explained the when, how, and why. Now I’m here to dive into the life and career change that actually made the move possible.

I'll be brutally honest: my year in Boston was a hard freaking year. Hello, quarter life crisis. Surprisingly for the first year of marriage, our actual marriage has nothing to do with that. But here’s what happened: I went from working for my beloved alma mater to working for a university I’d only seen in movies. The opportunity seemed so glamorous.

Then real life hit. With an hour long commute on the train every day and a 9-6 work schedule, I no longer felt like my life belonged to me. I was in Boston by marriage, not by a choice of my own. At times I took that out on Derek. He didn't really choose to be there either though - his big, corporate job moved him here. On top of my commute, I was realizing that the glamorous job opportunity was just...normal. And it wasn't using my natural strengths and abilities. I spent probably a third of my time working on spreadsheets. I'm not a spreadsheet kind of gal. I was a communications major.

My StrengthsFinder strengths are:

  1. Empathy - I can sense others' feelings by imagining myself in their shoes.
  2. Relator - I enjoy close relationships and working with others to achieve a goal.
  3. Communication - I find it easy to put thoughts into words.
  4. Developer - I recognize and cultivate the potential in others.
  5. Adaptability - I'm "go with the flow"... most of the time. 

I started thinking about careers where I could really harness those strengths for success. I don't have the time or money to go back to school and be a therapist, as these strengths might suggest I should do. So what else can I do? What’s a people-facing job that uses those skills? Our friend Tyler (who’s also gone through a career change) suggested recruiting.

Oh, duh.

It immediately felt like it could be the right fit. And when I saw the job description for a recruiting role at my new company, I thought, “Sign me up.” 

At the same time, I had a lot of thoughts going through my mind. I spent my whole college career and the last 2.5 years post-grad pursuing a fundraising career. What happens to all the time I’ve invested? I also loved the stability a job in higher education provided. For a lot of reasons, that's what I wanted for my life. Moving over to the private sector felt like a risk. I also worried that I'd disappoint people who've mentored me and invested time in my career. 

But my mind continued churning: maybe I’m not in love with working in higher education. Maybe I pursued this career because I love my alma mater, the University of Georgia, with a big part of my heart. The altruistic side of me wanted to give students there the best possible college experience, and that’s why I went into fundraising. Working at UGA always felt right, even on the hard days. I also worked for some of the best people I know. They want to see me succeed, and they want to see me happy. As the child of two Georgia grads, I’ve loved UGA since I was born. Maybe someday our little family could be ready to move back to Athens, but now, we’re just not. It’s not just me in the picture anymore: I have a husband whose career is going to thrive in a big city for the foreseeable future. So with what I've learned in Boston, at this massive, famous, renowned university - that I love my alma mater but my interests are veering away from higher ed in general - my career needed a change.

I also realized that living risk-averse was making for an unsatisfying life. I don't want to just go to work every day and make spreadsheets. I want to go to work excited for the ups and downs and challenges I'm going to face that day. And I want to work in a people-facing role.

When I was interviewing with my new company in Atlanta, I got great vibes every step of the way. They were upfront with me about every question I asked from the very first conversation. It always felt more like a chat with a new friend than an interview. I knew I wasn't just looking for a job in Atlanta. I was looking for the RIGHT job in Atlanta. When I went into the office for my final interviews and some job shadowing, one of the recruiters told me about her day-to-day. She said that sometimes, she has to play the role of therapist for her candidates. So as it turns out, I'll be using those strengths without having to go back to school. 

I’m really happy to say that Derek has supported me every step of the way as I tried to figure out what I wanted. Derek changed careers last year, and I got to be by his side during that process. Now he’s done the same for me. I know I’ve been frustrating at times. So I just want to say: THANK YOU, HONEY.

We’ve been talking about Atlanta for a long time. I just thought it would look like a fundraising job at Georgia Tech or Emory rather than working for a recruiting firm. When my plans changed, luckily, the job market in Atlanta accommodated my new career path.

Don’t get me wrong, changing careers still scares the crap out of me a little bit. It feels like a monumental life change. It’s going to be one of those moments I look back on that defines the trajectory of my life. But I look at it this way: I’m only 24 years old. Half my friends are still in school getting the training they need to pursue their dream careers. It’s a darn good thing I had this year while I’m still so young to get a better idea of what I want out of my life and career. I also think I’m going to be a freakin’ awesome recruiter.

So I’m off on a new adventure. And because I’m a massive dork, I keep thinking about this song from Anastasia:


Heart, don’t fail me now. Let’s do this.

The Reimherrs Are Moving

By Derek Reimherr

The Reimherrs have a big announcement...

And no, we’re not pregnant (thank God).

This weekend, we’re packing up our Boston life and moving to Atlanta, Georgia! How we’re currently feeling:

But we wouldn’t be surprised if you’re reading this going, “Hold up…”

We get it, we’ve got some explaining to do. Buckle up for a story.

I moved to Boston when Toyota relocated me here from California. About a year later, Maggie and I got married and she moved here. It wasn’t too long after that when I decided to make a career change. For about the past year, I’ve been working for a marketing agency in downtown Boston. And since I left Toyota, we started thinking, “Why are we in Boston?” In truth, we didn’t have a great answer.

While we love Boston as a city, we don’t have any ties here. I’ve really enjoyed the past 2 years of living in such a historic place with weekend trips to Vermont, Maine, and New York. We’ve loved our church home at Reality Church in the Boston South End. It’s been awesome being Georgia transplants with a couple that we’re close with there (and we're going to miss them a ton). And it’s been really cool living a “city” life.

I mean, Boston is a really beautiful city.

I mean, Boston is a really beautiful city.

But at the end of the day, we weren’t *in love* enough with the city to stay here. So we started thinking about our next location. We tossed around the ideas of moving to Los Angeles, Denver, Chicago, DC, and Raleigh. We came really close to making the move to Austin, TX.

Maggie kept poking at me, though. “What if we moved back to Atlanta?” I resisted the idea at first; I wasn’t ready to move back yet. I’ve got some serious wanderlust thanks to my two relocations and going back somewhere I spent 22 years of my life wasn’t appealing. But as we were praying through the process, all of our options just kept leading us back to Atlanta.

Then again, atlanta isn't half bad.

Then again, atlanta isn't half bad.

We consider Atlanta home, though neither of us has actually lived in the city limits. Maggie’s family has been in Atlanta for the last 5 years, so she’s spent a lot of time there. I’m from Cumming, GA, about 45 minutes north of Atlanta (or like 2 hours if you're trying to get there at rush hour), and my parents still live there. So while our knowledge of actually living “in town” is limited, we’ve been in the area enough to know what we’re getting ourselves into.

Boston has been lonely at times, especially for me before Maggie moved. Though we have a small group of close friends here, we’ve often had to rely on each other for our social life. This has been amazing for our first year of marriage. We’ve grown a lot closer because we’ve had fewer distractions during rough patches. But we miss having our broader social circle - our larger community of friends and family. Most of our college friends are in Atlanta and almost all of our family is in the South, with a huge percentage being in or near Atlanta. Last year alone, we spent about $4000 on plane tickets traveling to Georgia for friends and family (mostly weddings, but still). That’s dumb. We’re done with that.

A big puzzle piece for us moving to Atlanta was living in a **cool** part of the city. I grew up in the suburbs and want nothing to do with living there again. No downtown life = no Derek moving to Georgia. Enter our dream apartment.

When we were visiting some friends in October, we ate dinner at a restaurant on the east side of town in Poncey Highland. We fell in love with the neighborhood. When Maggie was down south for final job interviews, she toured said dream apartment in what has become our dream neighborhood. Admittedly, her commute is going to be a bit of a mess. That’s the ATL, y’all. But for the time being, it’s completely worth it for weekends on the Beltline (a several mile long paved walking trail through parts of downtown) and being walking distance from yuppie...I mean cool areas in town like Ponce City Market, Krog Street Market, and Little Five Points. I’ll be working remotely with my current company walking to aforementioned locales.

So there you have it: the long story of why we’re moving back to Atlanta. It’s still surreal. We’ve held off announcing until all of the paperwork and conversations were finalized. Honestly, it’s kind of a relief because we’ve been talking about it for months. We’re incredibly stoked to be coming back.

Also, quick PSA for those of y’all not from Georgia: no one calls it HOTlanta. Get that mess out of here. If anything, it’s the “ATL.” Additionally, don’t hit those hard Ts like AT-lan-Ta. No. Wrong. Various acceptable prounciations include “Idlanna,” “Uhlanna,” and “Adlanna.” I’m an “Idlanna” guy myself.

Atlanta friends and family: see y’all soon!

The Bachelor, A Husband's Commentary: Episode 8

By Derek Reimherr

*Sigh*, time to jump back into this circus again. The Reimherrs have had a crazy few weeks (more to come soon). Sorry if you wanted any commentary on Corrine’s antics. I had the apartment to myself and played video games instead of watching Nick cry a bunch.

This week was all about hometown dates. Let’s do this.

Photo: ABC

Photo: ABC


Raven

Scene opens in Hoxie, Arkansas - small town, Southern life. This is what awful country songs are inspired by. Except in real life it’s quaint and nice and those country songs are still awful. Looking at you Florida-Georgia Line.

Raven and Nick go muddin’, because of course they do. And they make out in the mud because...wait, no that’s not an “of course” moment. Y’all ever been in a marsh/swamp/mud pit? I have. There are bugs everywhere and it sucks. I once got pinned underneath a 4-wheeler in a mud pit for about 30 mins, but that’s a different story for a different time.

They walk up to the top of a grain bin and the local sheriff’s department busts them for trespassing. JK, surprise (not)! Raven’s brother is a local cop and apparent prankster. Gooooood one.

On to Raven’s parents’ house, adorned with a GO HOGS wreath on the front door. Woo Pig Sooie. Welcome to Arkansas!

Here we see Nick get to awkwardly be a part of some personal family moments. Her parents share that after a tough few years battling lung cancer, her Dad is cancer free. My only choice at this point is to be Team Raven. I would’ve lost my Bachelor Fantasy League because obviously Danielle vs Danielle didn’t happen.


Rachel

Next up: Dallas, TX for Rachel’s hometown date. We already know where this is going because Rachel’s the next Bachelorette. (Spoiler alert, there were leaks. If you missed them, your fault. I’m a dude who barely gets through the show and I even know about that.) So this feels like kind of a waste of time knowing that in the end, there’s no happy ending for Rachel and Nick.

Rachel takes Nick out of his element and takes him to her church - a black church. Nick really needs to work on his rhythm game. I’ve seen more rhythm in a middle school kid’s game room playing Rock Band.

The church segment makes way for the discussions about race and interracial dating that are central to this date. It’s nice to see ABC not shying away from that.

We head to meet Rachel’s family. Her sister is married to a white guy, so they chat with her sister and brother-in-law about their interracial relationship - and the challenges they might face in that. All of the conversations about race really tee things up nicely for Rachel to head into being the first black Bachelorette.

After seeing this hometown date and knowing Rachel is the new Bachelorette, I think we’re all curious - what the heck goes wrong with these two? Things have seemed to be great for them since the beginning. I guess we’ll find out soon.


Corrine

Miami, FL: home of beautiful beaches and culture and Corrine. And what do you know? A day in the life of Corrine is full of...shopping.

Some quotes sum this date up better than I can:

“Corrine is on a first name basis with everyone in a store. It’s like Christmas morning to the people at the store.”

“An ordinary day to Corrine is an unordinary day to literally everyone else.”

“Nick was a little in shock about how much everything costs. I wasn’t. Hehehehehe.”

Their day ends up being an $8,000 shopping trip. More than the value of my entire wardrobe probably.

Next, we meet Corrine’s family and the now-famous Raquel. Corrine’s family is actually very nice? Is that the word I’m looking for?

She and her dad chat about Nick: “I told him I loved him. What? We’ve been dating for a month and a half.” I want to make fun of this, but Maggie and I only dated for 2 months before we said, “I love you.” So I can’t talk.

Corrine’s dad and Nick have a chance to chat:
“What are your intentions with her?”
“Uh, um, urrrr.” Super reassuring.

Oh, and Nick also obtains Raquel’s blessing. Very important. Quick note on this. She shouldn’t be called a nanny. She’s clearly more of an Alfred from Batman. So caretaker? Housekeeper? Just feels a bit demeaning to call her a nanny.

Our friend Kara has this theory: Corrine’s going to win. Nick clearly likes her, and also, they kind of deserve each other. We’ll see.


Vanessa

To Montreal we go. Vanessa takes Nick to meet her students since she’s a teacher for adults with special needs. These students are so sweet. Vanessa is a champ. She’s clearly a great teacher with a big heart for her students.

Next, we meet Vanessa’s mom’s side of the family. I want to be a part of this Sunday lunch. The Italian food looks out of this world. Molto bene.

Vanessa’s family expresses concerns about the logistics of their relationship: is Nick moving to Montreal? What are their plans for the future? Have you guys even talked about this? Answer: no.

These people seem to be very sane about relationships. But they don’t seem to understand how The Bachelor works.

Then we go to meet Vanessa’s dad. He also has concerns. Nick asks if he’d be okay with an engagement. Vanessa’s dad asks the tough questions: “Have you asked the other parents the same question?” “Ummm errr yes in a way?” It’s a yes or no question, buddy. And the answer is yes.

Vanessa finds out that Nick asked the other parents for their blessing, and she’s upset. Reminder: YOU ARE ON THE BACHELOR. What do you expect?!


Of course, we don’t get to find out what happens at the rose ceremony until next week. And in the meantime, Andi will show up to presumably ruin Nick’s life (again).

We’ll see what happens on the next dramatic episode of The Bachelor. Thank God this is almost over.


More Bachelor Recaps on Millennial Marriage:

RIP Valentine's Day: 2014-2016

By Maggie Reimherr

Happy Valentine’s Day, y'all! Whether you have a Valentine or not, I really think this is a fun holiday. The last few weeks have been a whirlwind (with some big announcements from the Reimherrs coming soon), so I haven't had much time to do my usual V-Day rituals (AKA consuming a bag of Dove chocolates and wearing pink).

We’ll be honest: it's our first married Valentine’s Day, and we don't have a plan. We honestly kinda forgot about it until today. RIP Magrek Valentine's Day. We’re being frugal right now to account for some big expenses coming up, so the idea of a big, fancy dinner is hard to wrap our heads around. Like I said before, we’ve also been B-U-S-Y. I left it up to Derek to make a reservation if we decide to do dinner… and also told him I'd be fine with getting a pizza. Throw in some Cinna Stix and that right there is a great date. Dating your spouse is important, but sometimes, the homebody in me is fine with a date on the couch.

Including today, we've had 4 Valentine’s Days together. Funnily enough, all but one of them have been more relaxed. Derek’s birthday is February 10, so when 4 days later rolls around, we’re kind of tapped out on celebrating. Here's what we've done for the last few years:

2014: College Kids Get Fancy

Let me be frank: I am very dorky. So I was a total dork about V-Day when for the first time ever, a boy wanted to be my Valentine - thanks, Derek. Like he's mentioned before, he's also a romantic, so he was happy to oblige.

I gave him a mat framed photo of the two of us and wrote all the reasons I loved him on the mat. I also bought us tickets to Stomp, which I definitely couldn't afford with my $7.75/hour student job. Oh well. He instagrammed the gifts:

Derek showed up at my door on Valentine’s night in 2014 with balloons and a wrapped gift. I unwrapped the gift to find a Kindle, and my nerd heart sang. On the Kindle, he'd uploaded a PDF love letter because #millennials. It was the first love letter he wrote me… and maybe one of the only? He's not a letters guy. If he has romantic words to share, he's just going to say it out loud.

He took me to a prix fixe dinner at a restaurant in our college town (v fancy), and later we had beers at a bar and went to showing of The Princess Bride at the hipster movie theater in town. We were very young, in love, and happy.

Lovely dinner with my Valentine, @derekreimherr!

A post shared by Maggie Carter Reimherr (@maggie.reimherr) on

2015: California Dreamin’

For our second Valentine’s Day, Derek lived in California. This was great because it was approximately 75 degrees that day, so we grilled steaks and salmon and had a meal at his house. Downside: he had 3 roommates in their 50s. Yeah, his living situation was weird. Luckily, none of them were around that evening, so we were able to take over the kitchen for food prep and the backyard for grilling. We were newly engaged, so V Day conversation included a lot of wedding talk and discussions about our hopes, dreams, and plans for our future.

Enjoyed the 2nd Valentine's Day with my forever Valentine @derekreimherr. When you can both cook, a fancy dinner sometimes looks this!

A post shared by Maggie Carter Reimherr (@maggie.reimherr) on

2016: I Think I’ll Go To Boston

Last year, we were both in Boston. Our long distance relationship had recently ceased, and we were gearing up for marriage a little over a month after Valentine’s Day. Derek had flowers sent to my new job, and he bought me a pink fleece onesie. We cooked dinner at the apartment and had a nice, quiet evening.

Valentine's Day came early, so I have pretty flowers at my desk 💝💐

A post shared by Maggie Carter Reimherr (@maggie.reimherr) on

Looking back, if I had to pick a favorite Valentine’s Day, it would be that first one. Not because it was a big, fancy evening, but because I was just so dang excited to be in love. Now Derek and I get to celebrate this day every year. Even if we don’t get our butts in gear and make a plan for tonight, babe, I’m happy you’re mine.


What are you doing to celebrate Valentine’s Day? Let us know in the comments or on social!

Self-Care Isn't Selfish: 11 Ways to Take Care of You

By Maggie Reimherr

I recently came home from work one day to find Derek in a different state than his usual, vibrant self. He was quiet and withdrawn. I asked him what was wrong, and he said he was just tired. I continued to prod. Turns out, he’d had a minor allergic reaction to an apple and had taken a couple of Benadryl. He was a walking zombie, but it was medically induced. NBD. But it got me thinking. The quiet withdrawal? That must be what it’s like to live with me sometimes.

He’s a happy go lucky kind of guy. I’m a weight of the world on my shoulders kind of gal. That’s just how we roll. I tend to get in emotional ruts. However, seeing what it was like to be on the other side of me made me get serious about taking care of myself. When I’m intentional about self-care, I’m easier to be around.

Here are 11 ways I recommend to relax, unwind, and take care of yourself:

1. Wake up early to enjoy a cup of coffee and read a devotional.

Here’s the truth: when I’m spiritually healthy, I’m emotionally healthy. My best time with Jesus is spent during quiet mornings before Derek wakes up. I make my yuppy French press coffee, curl up on the sofa, and open the She Reads Truth app. I’ll read through the scripture and devotional for the day, jotting a few notes in my journal as I go. Then I pray. Starting my day with God gets my mind right for what lies ahead. The tough commute, tedious work, or stressful project is easier when I’m rooted in God’s truth.

When my routine’s interrupted, I tend to let this fall by the wayside. We spent a lot of time traveling in November and December, and it took me awhile to get back to a normal schedule. Luckily, I’m back in the swing of things with my 6:30 am alarm set.

PJs  here  // Journal  here

PJs here // Journal here

2. Take a long bubble bath.

Baths are the best. Unfortunately, our bathtub situation in the apartment is not. The tub is tiny. The water doesn’t get hot enough for a good bath, and every ounce of this semi-hot water gets used up to fill up the tub once - refills don’t work. I’m looking forward to getting out of this apartment so I can enjoy my baths again. Derek even gave me a bath tray for Christmas that holds a glass of wine and a book. I’m ready to put it to good use.

3. Buy flowers for yourself.

This is a new one for me. I used to be terrible about not changing the flower water and just letting them die. No more! I’ll see what flowers are on sale at the grocery store when I’m doing my regular shopping for the week and buy myself a bouquet. It’s so nice to have something bright and cheery in the apartment.

4. Journal.

I have a blog, so you know I’m a writer. I’ve been a journaler on and off my whole life. As a kid, I had diaries. As a teen, I had notebooks of angsty poems and songs I’d written. As a college kid, I treated Tumblr as my journal (very cringe-worthy). During the second half of my junior year of college, I stepped away from blasting my problems on the internet. Since then, I’ve filled up probably 10 journals with thoughts, prayers, notes, and whatever’s on my mind. The other day, I cracked open my journal and made a list of everything that was making me anxious. Then I reflected on it and prayed about it. I’m a big-purse gal, so I carry my journal with me everywhere.

5. Put on a really cute outfit, do your hair and makeup, get your nails done, etc.

The saying holds true: when you look good, you feel good. My friend Emma justifies her regular manicures by categorizing them in her self-care budget - pretty nails make her happy. You can set aside $20 every few weeks to do this - it’s worth it if it makes you feel good.

6. Get productive.

During my worst boughts with sadness, I kinda act like a sloth. I shirk cooking and cleaning and real activities and lie on the couch bingeing Netflix. This blog has been a huge source of productivity and creative output for me, and it’s really helping me combat ruts. Find your productive activity. Volunteering, exercising, cooking a new meal? Whatever it is, get up and go for it.

7. Make the bed.

TBH, I just feel better about life when the bed is made.

8. Plan something fun.

I was in a M-A-J-O-R rut over the summer, and it resulted in my booking a vacation to Mexico 9 months in advance. I’m a little dramatic and kind of an extremist. You don’t have to be like this. It can be as simple as planning a weekend outing to your favorite restaurant or brewery, and it gives you something exciting to look forward to.

9. Talk it out.

I’m really grateful to be married to a guy who’s no stranger to feelings and gets the need to process things externally. Whenever I’m feeling really bad, I vent/talk about it with Derek. Here’s a disclaimer though: I put a warning label on the subject before I start to vent. I label a topic as serious or no big deal, and we talk from there. If I don’t tell him that something’s NBD, he treats everything as a major issue and starts to grow weary of carrying the weight of my burdens. I never want to dump my problems on him, so the warning label works well for us.

10. Figure out what’s at the heart of your sadness and deal with it.

If you’re regularly crying about your job, maybe it’s time to find a new job. If you feel like a relationship isn’t going right, it’s probably time to have an honest conversation about it. If you’re feeling lonely, jump on Bumble BFF or Hey! Vina and start swiping your way to friendship. Or check out a Meetup in your area. Or go to church and join a Bible study. Once you figure out what the issue is, you can begin the process of coming out of your rut.

11. See a therapist or doctor if it’s more serious than a rut.

We’ve mentioned therapy before. I’ve done it, Derek’s done it, and we believe in it. If there’s a serious issue going on, the ways I listed above might just be a band-aid for your problems. And if you’re clinically depressed, self-care should include talking to your doctor and finding a medication that’s right for you to treat it.

So now we want to hear from you: how do you take care of yourself when you’re in a rut? Leave us a note in the comments or on social. I’d love to add more self-care tips to my routine!

The Bachelor, A Husband's Commentary: Episode 6

By Derek Reimherr

Let's get it started by making it clear: this episode sucked. It was a nice departure from the usual Corrine show. But otherwise, the whining and moping was so irritating. Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's dive in.


Hi, Taylor!
Bye, Taylor!

Drama, drama, drama. Corrine is deluded. Nick likes the, ah, assets. So time will tell, right?

Cocktail party, CANCELED. That’s what happens when you make things too difficult (or easy?) for the Bachelor. There’s heaviness in the heart. Beating so fast no one can take it. Literally.

Rose Ceremony:

Who’s safe?

  • Corrine
  • Danielle M
  • Rachel

Who made the cut?

  • Christina
  • Raven
  • Vanessa
  • Danielle L (the Danielle vs. Danielle finals are still in play!!)
  • Jasmine
  • WHITNEY?! WHAT?! MYSTERY WOMAN SURVIVES?!

Say goodbye to:

  • Josephine
  • Jamie (not surprised)
  • Alexis :(

We did not deserve you, dolphin queen.

1-on-1

Christina is really sweet. She has a lot going on that this show probably can’t do justice to. She’s got this athleisure look that ballgown dresses don’t really show off.

Meanwhile Corrine’s at the Marriott like…

“Everyone needs a Lorna. She’s like just as good as Racquel... Hey, um, my dress is wrinkled. Can you help me?”

Back to the date.

Christina was born in Russia and had a tough childhood. It was pretty heartbreaking hearing her story. I’m glad she got the rose.

Group Date

Sorry, Jasmine. Still no 1-on-1. But Nothing else has changed, he’s still obsessed with Corrine.

Raven gives us this gem:

All these girls are NOT feeling the volleyball game and I can’t blame them. There’s no opportunity to be on an even remotely normal date. The whining and crying was pretty stupid, though.

“I don’t wannnna play anymore. This is stupid. I’m done.” Oooookay, let’s just go cry separately on the beach. Super mature move, gals.

Rachel is comin’ at Nick HARD. She is not feeling the group date. And it’s borderline disrespectful and selfish. Actually, it’s just disrespectful and selfish. You knew what you were getting yourself into, ladies. TTSU.

The highlight of this date is definitely the ladies’ reactions to Jasmine’s endless ranting. And Nick reacted the exact same way.

“Didn’t have the best, um, conversation with Jasmine.” YA THINK.

I’m glad that she’s going home. She went borderline cray with that whole “chokie” thing. Yikes.

Good for Raven getting the date rose, tho. She seemed like the only one not crying on the beach.

2-on-1

“Do you hold hands on both sides on a 2-on-1?” - Maggie

Next scene: Holding hands on both sides walking down the beach.

Is it just me or did Nick look bored by Whitney? Idk. He said the right things (“Did you realize you’re actually really beautiful?”), but his body language was...meh. Danielle L and he had a much better connection.

Goodbye, mystery woman Whitney. Real quick, how hilarious was the random bag guy? The tense moment in the ladies' suite...and then this dude in boots and shorts shows up to wheel out the suitcase.

I guess Whitney is being stranded on that beach with a luxurious canopy bed to live out her days. Like what a ridiculous picture of her crying while a helicopter takes off in the background.

Cut to dinner with Danielle and WOW, okay, could he have felt LESS of a connection with her at that dinner table? His mind looked like it was out on a pasture in Wisconsin or something. Bye, bye, Danielle L.

How the heck did we get down to 6 women already?! Nick’s dramatic announcement to them about his fears seemed… unnecessary? Like I said about Rachel earlier, TTSU.


I don’t know about you, but I think the preview for next week was highly unsettling. When you have 6 girlfriends who all know about each other, it’s probably best to hold off on the… err… physical aspect of the relationship. Maggie informed me about the drama that ensued when Nick was on Kaitlyn’s season. Hopefully he’s learned his lesson.

What do y’all think? Will Nick take the bait with Corrine? Find out on next week’s episode of the most dramatic season of The Bachelor yet.


Read more Bachelor recaps:

On Saying "Bad Things" About Your Spouse

By Maggie Reimherr

When we were gearing up to get married, I read a lot of well-meaning marriage advice that sounded something like, “Don’t say anything bad about your spouse. Only talk with your spouse about issues.” The idea is that sharing marital conflict with anyone but your spouse can create tension in the relationship when “word gets out.”

After 10 months of marriage, I’ll come out and say it: this rule doesn’t really work for me and Derek.

Derek is an external processor, so sometimes he needs to hash things out with a friend. I really love my community and feel the need to be genuine about what's going on with me. Anytime Derek and I talk things out with our circles, we walk away grateful for the outside perspective.

Your community is meant to be there for you. Not letting them in kinda defeats the purpose of friendship, don’t you think? And when we bottle things up, it doesn’t protect us - the secretiveness can breed shame.

And where does shame thrive? You guessed it - in the darkness. Bringing issues out into the open with your people there to support you is what begins about reconciliation that may need to happen.

Sure, sometimes sharing problems can create relational baggage. But instead of swearing off even mentioning each other's bad habits, some different advice has been more helpful for Derek and me.

(Disclaimer: no marriage advice is a one size fits all approach. What works for us might not work for you. We're here to share our experiences, not tell you how to live your life.)

 

1. Don’t talk negatively about your spouse to the wrong people.

Who are the wrong people? Sorry to say, but talking to parents and family complicates things. At the end of the day, they’ll always be loyal to you first. Loyalty = biased. Moreover, sharing relational struggles or issues with family could put strain on those family and in-law dynamics. There are already growing pains when a new person joins an existing family. Don't complicate it further. You've gotta be your spouse's champion with your family. Oh, and you know that one friend who always shares the group’s gossip with you? They’re probably not going to be the steel trap you need them to be when being vulnerable about your marriage. Finally, RUN, RUN FAR AWAY from opening up to that guy or gal who has an “innocent crush” on you. Come on, people.

Who are good candidates for your trust? People with some wisdom. Wise friends have a gift with words and have a knack for saying the right thing at the right time. They don’t help you clap back at your spouse. These friends dive in with you asking thoughtful questions and provide (as best as possible) objective advice. Look elsewhere for blind loyalty because you might be getting called on your BS by one of these friends.

Derek and I are really fortunate to have an incredible group of married friends. I feel comfortable turning to the women and Derek feels the same with the guys, either for actionable help or just venting a little. This group is committed to fighting for each other’s marriages.

It’s totally okay if you don’t have a larger community like this. Don’t let that stop you! Go talk to a therapist. Heck, even if you do have a good community, consider talking to a therapist. Derek and I have both seen them at times in our lives. Therapists are awesome, y’all. It’s their job to be a mirror and help you see things from an unbiased angle. Also, they’re legally obligated to keep your secrets. So that one thing that may not be safe or feels really uncomfortable to chat with friends about? Ding ding ding, a therapist might be the right option for you.

 

2. Don’t say anything you wouldn’t say directly to your spouse.

My extrovert husband has modeled a healthy way to live this out. Sometimes when he knows he may be too riled up on a subject, he’ll flesh things out with a friend first. He’ll dig through to the heart of an issue so he doesn’t say anything (intentionally or unintentionally) hurtful to me. His group of guy friends like to play hardball with each other. If he’s upset about something silly, his friends will say, “Knock it off." Then we’ll laugh about it later. If the issue is more serious, his friends help him walk through what he’s feeling so he can approach me level-headed. Then we can have a conversation that’s not fueled by anger or resentment but instead by rationality.
 


I get it, I’ve only been married for 10 months, but here’s what I know: we’re not supposed to live life as islands, even little married islands. We need people. Cultivate an inner circle, and let them into the good, bad, and ugly. You’ll be glad you did, I promise.

How I Stumbled Into a Job I Love (And How You Can Too)

Today we've got a guest post from our friend Tyler Berry. He's a UX Designer and lives in Atlanta with his wife Aimee. Oh, and NBD, but he was the best man at our wedding. Enjoy!


By Tyler Berry

18-year-old me should never have been left on his own. The hardest decisions I wanted to make were whether to skip leg day or not and which dining hall to go to for breakfast. When big decisions like choosing a major popped up, I tried to simplify the choice as much as possible.

(me in college)

For example: I based my choice of major on a simple set of criteria:

1. Did I know anyone else in the major?
2. Did I have to take advanced maths?

18-year-old me landed a cushy spot in UGA's School of Public and International Affairs and celebrated not having to take Calculus. #AchievementUnlocked

 

I got better at making big decisions over the next 2 years, and the summer before Junior year, I faced a big one. To set myself up for a good career, I needed an internship with a government agency.

52 internship applications later...Nothing.

Unfortunately, I was too far into college to even THINK about switching majors. I tried not to worry about it and spent senior year focused on things like planning a wedding. I took the first job offer I got after graduating and hopped into a cubicle as a 'lead generation specialist'.

I tried to make it work. I promise. But sitting on the phone 8 hours a day seemed like a fate worse than death.

So 3 weeks into the working world, I decided it was time for a career change.

A friend of mine was working as a copywriter at the time and he suggested I give it a shot. Since I thought myself a pretty good writer, I said OK and we hatched a devious plan.

Devious Plan: I'd sign on with his company as a freelance copywriter, set my own hours, and never see a cubicle again. I joined his company and thought I was good to go. Unfortunately, writing keyword-stuffed articles was almost as bad as #cubelife, so after 2 months I implemented Devious Plan 2.0.

(here we go again)

Devious Plan 2.0: Join my wife at her agency as a full-time copywriter and go from there. Fortunately, getting into #Agencylife put me in contact with people who actually knew what they were doing.

The User Experience Director was one of those people. She spotted that I had a mind for patterns and systems, and suggested that I pursue a career in User Experience. For the next 6 months, I traded in my evenings and weekends for a crash course in UX Design. The stress of those 6 months took 5 years off my life, but it was the crucible that proved I was finally in the right career.

My journey from clueless college student to semi-competent professional could have been a lot easier.

If I had to change careers again, here's how I'd go about it.

1. Get advice early and often.

Shockingly, your friends and mentors have opinions on what jobs would be a good fit for you. Make sure you ask them and listen to what they say. It might save you a lot of trouble later on. And not shockingly, make sure you talk to your significant other. Make sure they're on board and work out whatever complications or transitions may be in store. 

2. See what's out there

Coming out of college, I had no idea how many different jobs there were in the world. Do yourself a favor and hop on Glassdoor.com or Indeed.com and see what's around you. You might find something awesome you never thought of before.

3. Make some lists.

If you didn't catch it earlier, my Devious Plans usually amounted to 'OMG GET ME OUT OF HERE PLEASE'. If I could do it over, I would have taken a minute (or an hour or a day. You do you.) to make the following lists before bailing:

  • An honest account of what you enjoy doing, what you're good at, and what you wish you were good at.
  • A short list of things you never ever ever want to do (ever.)

Hang onto these lists. They're your cheat-sheet when you're job hunting.

4. Teach Yo'self.

The best part of the modern world is internet access. If you're missing some hard skills for that #dreamjob, get on YouTube, Lynda.com, Skillshare, or your local library and treat yo'self to some tutorials. You can learn almost anything you want to know for less than $200 if you know where to look. Develop those hard skills and then apply.

The biggest thing I learned?

Career changes are hard. You're going to feel like you're in over your head sometimes. Keep going and it will get better.

How to Plan a Surprise Engagement (+ Free Shower Invitations Giveaway!)

By Derek Reimherr

Today we’ve got something exciting for y'all on Millennial Marriage - a Paperless Post giveaway! Read about how I planned our engagement. Then find out how you can enter the giveaway at the bottom of this post.


Hopeless romantic. I didn’t like to admit it, but I was one for most of my dating life.

Message in a bottle? Did it.
Scavenger hunt date? You betcha.
Gift basket of all her “favorite things?” Believe it.

For the most part, I learned these dramatic gestures weren’t really necessary. They sure made me seem like the best boyfriend ever on social media, though. Fake internet points and all that.

I mostly toned it down when Maggie and I started dating. It was pretty clear a couple months into our relationship that we were probably going to get married.

BUT...when it did come time to propose, I knew I had to go big. I started saving up for a ring in the fall of 2015. I was living in Los Angeles and I took my friend Tyler with me to a wholesale jewelry market while I was home for Christmas. I got a GREAT deal from Chaplin’s in the Mart in Atlanta.

My initial plan was to hang onto the ring for a few months. I wanted to wait until I got relocated through work in the spring of 2016. It was only fair to give Maggie a chance to say “Yes” when she knew what she was getting into, right?

Yeah, that didn’t happen.

After 3 days of the ring sitting on my dresser, I knew I wouldn’t be able to wait another 3 or 4 months to propose. I was ready to get engaged (and here are some things to consider if you’re thinking about getting engaged). So I concocted a plan. And y’all better believe...I was going BIG for this engagement.

engagement-ring

Step 1: Make a plan.

Maggie recently talked about this on the blog, so I’ll spare you the details. But here’s a summary:

  • Go to Athens, GA where we went to school
  • Lunch at our favorite restaurant
  • A walk through campus where we met
  • Pedicures (something Maggie always teased me about doing) and a manicure for Maggie
  • Wine and cheese - my wife loves it
  • A walk through the State Botanical Gardens where we had our first kiss
  • Propose!
  • Surprise dinner with family
  • Surprise engagement party

Sounds pretty simple when you put it like that, right?

Step 2: Find a photographer

As someone who just bought a very expensive ring and was saving up for a honeymoon, I couldn’t afford to go crazy. Luckily, I have a great friend named Allie Blinder who’s a talented photographer. She gave me a great deal (and absolutely crushed it, btw). She hid in the bushes and took pictures throughout the whole proposal.

surprise-proposal-engagement

Step 3: Shoot a video

I contacted about 15 people for a video shoot (while I was in California) and used a local amateur videographer to film and cut a video. I showed this to her right before I proposed. They said sweet things. It made Maggie cry. #winning

surprise-proposal

Step 4: Coordinate a dinner with our parents post-proposal

This could’ve been tricky, but our parents are absolute champs. They drove an hour and a half to meet us for dinner.

Step 5: Coordinate a surprise engagement party in less than 2 weeks

Can you guess this was the toughest part? I’ll break it down.

  • Location. We settled on my parent’s house because it could accommodate enough people...but unfortunately it was pretty inconveniently located for a lot of people.
  • Catering. Shout out to Tam’s Backstage for an awesome meal.
  • Pictures. My Mom got us another great deal through Amber Cloy Photographer since they were friends. Score.
  • Send out invitations. Now, here’s something I wish we could’ve done differently. We used a simple e-vite, but if we had to do it all over again, we would’ve used Paperless Post.
  • Keep. It. Quiet.

The last part wasn’t easy. But luckily my wife is an oblivious person who made it so easy. Shout out to Maggie for being so unsuspicious!

engagement-party-cake

So we mentioned earlier that we’re giving away some free Paperless Post goodies. This means wedding shower invitations, engagement party invitations, rehearsal dinner invitations, save the dates, or whatever you’re planning FO’ FREE. And then after all the wedding festivities are over...time for free baby shower invitations, right? 

If you’re randomly selected as the winner, you get 1000 Paperless Post coins - a $90 value! On their website, 2-3 coins typically = one recipient of your invite. That’s 300-500 recipients - invitations for so many parties, guys! Check out these sample invitations. Insert heart eye emoji, am I right?

To enter the giveaway, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post about one of these things:

  1. How you proposed/got proposed to
  2. The best surprise you’ve ever gotten
  3. Your best party planning advice

The deadline to leave your comment is a week from today - February 8, 2017. So scroll down and comment away - good luck!

how-to-plan-surprise-engagement

Note: this giveaway is in partnership with Nakturnal.

The Bachelor, A Husband's Commentary: Episode 5

By Derek Reimherr

It's Tuesday again, so y'all know what that means. I put myself through another episode of The Bachelor. I'm beginning to regret agreeing to write about this. But since I'm doing it anyway, get caught up on last week's episode here. Now let's dive in.


WWE SUPERSLAM: NANNY’S GIRL VS. PSYCHIC PSYCHO

Tale of the tape:

  • Corrine, 23-year-old “business owner” who likes to get naked and LOVES her nanny, Raquel. Possibly an alcoholic. Best lines:
    • “Come at me, I’ll getcha”
    • “She’s a big, mean, nasty, swamp monster.”
  • Taylor, 23-year-old mental health counselor who “literally can’t” and thinks she better than other people. But dang, her posture is good. Best lines:
    • “Do you know what emotional intelligence is?”
    • That’s it. She’s not as entertainingly dramatic.

This is my first Bachelor catfight. Also, they’re drunk, at least tipsy. This feud is giving me a headache, though.

Who made the cut:

  • Whitney - WHO ARE YOU MYSTERY WOMAN. Literally they don’t show her ever.
  • Danielle M - my girl.
  • Jasmine
  • Rachel - Maggie totally called this one with all the dramatic interviewing.
  • Jamie
  • Danielle L
  • Josephine
  • Vanessa
  • Corrine
  • Alexis
  • Taylor

Who already had a rose:

  • Raven
  • Kristina

Who went home:

  • Sarah - noooooooooo
  • Astrid

Down to NOLA

My new goal is “Spot the Whitney.” This woman is a freaking chameleon. I will discover her secrets.

What we’re looking at:

  • 1-on-1
  • Group date
  • 2-on-1

Okay, 2-on-1 date sounds hilarious and awkward. But apparently that’s just par for the course with this show.


1-on-1 Date: Rachel

PHOTO: MARK COFFEY

PHOTO: MARK COFFEY

Rachel and Nick gallivant around New Orleans shopping and goofing off and eating oysters. TBH they seem like a pretty normal couple here. Don’t be fooled. There are 10 other girls contending for his affection.

They eat beignets, which is decidedly unsexy. Have y’all ever eaten one of these? Powdered sugar gets all over your pants and then you walk around with white powder stains for the rest of the day. And they make your hands sticky.

They dance and lead a parade and THIS WAS TOTALLY SPONTANEOUS, right guys?! The other girls watch them from the window of their tall tower (hotel). Everybody’s jealous.

They go to a bar and dance to some live music. Me: “Is this musician famous?” Maggie: “I’m sure her agent got her on the show and now we have to listen to her for 30 seconds.”

As per usual, their date leads to dinner at some undisclosed private location. Rachel and Nick share some heartfelt moments. Rachel talks about the last time she was in New Orleans - for a funeral - and how being back in the city for a new beginning feels like coming full circle. Nick shares his concerns that when he asks his future wife’s dad for her hand in marriage, he’s worried that his words won’t carry much weight because he’s asked 2 dads before (Andi’s and Kaitlyn’s).

These two are definitely clicking. I ship it. Unsurprisingly, Rachel gets the rose.

Meanwhile at the hotel… the other girls get a date card. Corinne and Taylor are going on the 2-on-1. DRAMA.


Group Date

“I didn’t sign up to be a ghostbuster. I’m gonna rebuke that thing in the name of Jesus.” Raven is a southerner. Everyone should be like Raven.

The group goes to a haunted mansion. Once again, drinking is a focal point of the show. Bring on the mint juleps!...aaaand now I want one.

I swear, Whitney is on this date and they aren’t showing her. OH I lied. They just showed her. But I still haven’t heard her speak. Maybe she’s the ghost…

This is by far my favorite date so far. I’m enjoying watching the ladies flip the eff out.

Y’ALL THEY SHOWED A VIDEO INTERVIEW WITH WHITNEY. SHE’S NOT A GHOST.

Aaaaaand now we’re back to weirdness with the stupid Oujia board. Okay but forreal, I have to be honest with y’all....I effing hate dolls. They freak the hell out of me.

Meanwhile, Jasmine's over here like:

MAJOR KEY: WHITNEY AND NICK ARE TALKING. Guys, sorry, but this is big. This. is. Big.

So I had this thought: wouldn’t you get tired of kissing constantly? I don’t know. Kissing is pretty fun, but maybe not like 8 different people a day?

HOLD. UP. Raven...is in love...with Nick? After 3 weeks? His reaction (along with mine):

Great job, Danielle M. I’m starting to think you’re too good for this show. But I’m happy to see her win the group date rose.


2-on-1: Corrine vs. Rachel

BORN ON THE BAYOU, y’all. There should be Creedence Clearwater Revival playing in the background. And the fact that it’s not makes me really upset.

“I’m a voodoo priestess.” Things you run far, far away from when you hear on a first date. Swipe left.

The tarot cards were pretty on the nose. A ouija board AND voodoo in the same episode? This just is too much for me. The worst part? NIck is going to send Taylor home. When Corrine is the literal worst.

“The relationship will be built off of whip cream and lies.” Dang straight, Taylor.

But I called it. He’s such a douchebag to pick Corrine, but it’s good to know she won’t make it very far.


And of course, Alexis brings it home for us: “If I saw a ghost that looked like Nicholas Cage, I would sprint outta here...I kissed Nicholas Cage anyway.”

Do I get a medal for surviving another episode of this madness? See y'all next week for more Corrine/Taylor drama and apparently Nick's first tears of the season. 

Interview with Alissa Musto, Miss Massachusetts 2016

By Derek Reimherr

Whenever you move to a new city, one of the most important things you can do is find a few “spots” and become a regular. For us, we love a couple restaurants called Saus and The Tap Trailhouse, an improv theatre called Improv Asylum, and Harpoon Brewery.

Our most recent addition to the list came by way of our friends Collin (who’s guest posted on Millennial Marriage here and here) and Kate. After a dinner out in the city one Saturday night, they suggested we head to a German-style beer hall called Jacob Wirth in Boston’s theatre district, right on the edge of Chinatown.

This place is great. There are banners and beer everywhere, and it really has a nice pub feel. Plus, there was a live performer playing piano and singing who was hilarious. So we kept coming back.

After a few visits, we got to know that Saturday night performer as Alissa and became regulars of hers (at least in our eyes). We started following her on Instagram and learned she was Miss Massachusetts. Finally, after a few draughts of liquid courage, I decided to ask her for an interview. Because who doesn’t want a woman as cool as Alissa featured on your blog?

Read on to learn all about Alissa’s journey juggling school, pageants, Miss America, and performing music all around the New England area.

Photo cred: Miss Massachusetts Organization

Photo cred: Miss Massachusetts Organization


Maggie: Thanks for talking with us, Alissa! Before we get into who you are now, tell us a little bit about yourself growing up.
Alissa: Well, I was actually born in Rhode Island and moved to Massachusetts where I lived for most of my childhood. I’ve been playing the piano since I was 4 years old and I actually grew up in a family of professional musicians. There was absolutely no way I was getting out of it.

When you’re 5 years old, you don’t want to practice. I was very lucky to have a patient dad who was willing to sit with me and practice, even when I was whining. Obviously, it’s the greatest gift he could’ve given me.

Maggie: Did he teach you how to play?
A: Yeah, for the most part. He did take me to a teacher because when you’re that age, you’re more likely to listen to an official teacher. But he was still the one sitting down with me every night for practice.

Derek: Now for an important question...where were you on the awkward-popular spectrum growing up?
A: It’s actually funny - you’re not the first person to ask me this. I went to a really small high school. There were only 40 kids in my graduating class, so there weren’t the normal cliques. My high school was really competitive actually. All the kids were major overachievers participating in sports, drama, or whatever.

Derek: So what were you? What did you do?
A: I did pretty well in school. I had two claims to fame - I was the captain of the mock trial team.

Derek: Watch out!
A: No really, though! We won the state championship one year and were a finalist every year. I was also really good at tennis. I was the #2 player my freshman year and by senior year, I was first team all-state.

Maggie: So after high school, you went to Harvard for undergrad. What was that like?
A: So the weirdest thing was going from 40 kids to 20,000 students that were just as competitive as I was accustomed to. It was an adjustment. There were a lot of times where I’d look around in my classes (my concentration was government) and think, “Wow, there’s a pretty good chance some of these kids will be senators or congressman, maybe really jerky lawyers. Statistically, maybe even presidents.”

On the weekends, I was performing. I didn’t go to many parties or football games. Sometimes, kids from class - people I sat next to - would come in some place I was performing and not recognize me. They’d be like, “Who are you?” I was basically Hannah Montana.

Derek: It’s funny you mentioned being at Harvard and feeling like everyone is normal people...Maggie experienced the same thing working there.

So we read on your blog that you really just started doing pageants not long ago. Can you tell us more about your decision to give it a shot?
A: Yeah, it was about a year and a half ago. One day at work - I worked at a music shop - this woman came in and confused me for a girl that competes locally. She goes, “Oh, you should look into it! You might be interested.” I was pretty hesitant, but I did a Google search and read more about it. I learned the Miss America organization is the largest scholarship provider in the world. Even though it felt out of character for me, I thought it would just be a great opportunity to perform.

So I tried it and I won my first title as Miss Tri-County (area southwest of Boston). After that, I went for Miss Massachusetts and got 4th runner up. Good, but I could do better. So the next year, I entered and won the Miss Cambridge pageant. From there, I went for the Miss Massachusetts pageant again in the summer of 2016. And I won! A few months later, I was shipped off to Miss America.

Derek: What did your family and friends think of you entering the pageant world?
A: They definitely thought it was weird at first. Like I said, it was out of character. I was always a tomboy growing up. You guys have seen me perform before - it doesn’t seem very pageant-like. By the end of it, though, they were all on board. No one was saying, “This is a bad idea.”

Maggie: Tell us about the Miss America process. How did it feet participating and making Top 15?
A: We went to Atlantic City two weeks before the competition began. Rehearsals, outings, appearances, publicity. Sometimes we were up at 5am and not back at the hotel until 10pm at night. But I had a great roommate in Miss Montana. I definitely lucked out in that area.

Anyway, Massachusetts isn’t known for it’s good track record with pageants. It’s usually southern states. So when I made the Top 15, it was really exciting for me and anyone else who wasn’t watching the Patriots game.

Maggie: Wait, so do you find out before you make the Top 15?
A: No, no! You find out live on TV. Nothing is faked, totally real.

Derek: What is life like post Miss America?
Alissa: The biggest thing was, “Now what?” I spent all this time preparing and now I just...wasn’t. It was also the first time in my life where I wasn’t in school. I keep busy as Miss Massachusetts, though. I have parades, appearances at schools, performing, speaking. Solving world peace. You get the idea.

Derek: So this might be awkward...Does winning the title pay? We have no idea.  
A: In Massachusetts, it’s not as lucrative as other states. But I did win a $12,000 scholarship to go back to school, I get paid for appearances, and I have some sponsors as well - haircuts, clothes, gas paid for the year. It’s pretty cool!

Maggie: When you’re not being Miss Massachusetts, what do you do in your spare time?
A: As you know, I’m a professional musician. I perform 3 or 4 nights a week. I’m also a music teacher. So there’s always lesson plans, new songs to learn, and emails to respond to. It can be mentally draining, but I really love performing and I love music. I also do a lot of volunteer work.

Derek: Can you tell us more? We read somewhere you were involved in a non profit related to music and pianos. What organizations do you volunteer with?
A: There’s Girls Rock which provides programs and camps for girls in at-risk community to help empower them through music. I also volunteer as a weekly music teacher at a school that doesn’t have a music program. It’s really important to me to always have a way to give back to the community.

Regarding the other question, Changing Keys is the name of my organization. After a semester of volunteering at a school, I would ask, “Now what? How are these kids going to progress after I’m not coming every week?” I started Changing Keys with the idea that one piano can create a thousands musicians and a thousand possibilities. So I find unused pianos and connect them with communities - churches, schools, community programs, anywhere that helps kids improve.

I find a lot of pianos through word of mouth, but nowadays I actually have more pianos than I have places to put them. It’s a great problem to have.

Maggie: So cool. Back to your musical career. What else do you play? Do you write and record any of your own music?
A: I mostly stick to the rhythm section: bass, some drums, and piano. No wind instruments for me. My sister is actually really involved in music production, but it’s not as much my thing. I do some basic stuff in Garage Band just so I can hear how I’m progressing. But when I write my own music, I’ll go to a studio.

Derek: *Changing keys* a little bit…what’s next? We saw on your blog, you mentioned law school.
A: I’ve thought about this a lot recently. Law school initially made sense; I was a mock trial champion after all. But it just didn’t seem like the right decision for me now. Eventually, I’ll go back and pursue copyright law working on behalf of entertainers using my Miss Massachusetts scholarship.

That being said, I really love performing. I don’t want to look back and feel like I didn’t pursue this fully in my 20s because I rushed back into school. Law school isn’t going anywhere, but my performing opportunities may not always be available.

Derek: Absolutely. It’s always best to take time and make sure you’re doing what you really like. We feel you.
A: Real quick, I have to say, it is so strange talking to you guys during the day. It’s like the first time you saw a teacher outside of school.

Maggie: Yeah...we typically aren’t drinking liter sized beers during the day. You’re getting normal Maggie and Derek. So to wrap things up, you’ve really seem to have accomplished a lot in a short time. How old are you again?
A: I’m 21.

Maggie: Wait, really? We thought you were at least 23 or so. Wow...so at 21, do you feel like you have a badass resumé? Do you feel like you have awesome icebreakers at parties?
A: Huh, that’s a good way to put. I’ve never thought about it that way. I have done a lot of cool stuff, but I have had to sacrifice a lot of social opportunities. I’ve missed weddings and events with friends. It definitely comes with a price that most people don’t see.

Derek: Yeah, that’s big! I think there’s a tendency as Millennials to not have a firm grasp on what life is really like when you’re working full-time.
A: Right, even things as silly as New Year’s Eve. I miss out on that with friends, but it’s worth it for what I love.

So true. Well thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us Alissa. We’ve really enjoyed it!
A: Definitely! This officially makes us best friends.

--

If you want to learn more about Alissa’s journey, you can follow her blog or check her out on Instagram (@alissamustomusic). For more information about her nonprofit, Changing Keys, check out its website or follow along on Instagram (@changingkeys).

For our part, we’ll be seeing her at our favorite stop in downtown Boston real soon.

I'm sorry Maggie's late night photography skills aren't great.

I'm sorry Maggie's late night photography skills aren't great.

The Bachelor, A Husband's Commentary: Episode 4

LET’S GET IT STARTED, Y’ALL. But first, get caught up on last week. 

“Corinne is super aggressive and has no remorse.”

“Corinne leads with her sexuality.”

That's what we're starting out with. Can we not? Let’s just jump into this "tense," "drama-filled" rose ceremony. Roses go to:

  • Raven
  • Taylor
  • Danielle L
  • Whitney (WHO IS SHE? I’ve never seen this woman in my life.)
  • Christina
  • Jasmine
  • Alexis (keeping the show weird since 2017)
  • Astrid
  • Danielle M Jamie
  • Josephine
  • Sarah
  • Corinne

Go away, Chris Harrison.

  • Final rose: I forgot. Not Kristen.
  • Rose from dates: Vanessa and Rachel

This week, we’re off to Milwaukee. It took me 4 attempts to spell that correctly. The only thing I know about Millwalkee is that there’s a lot of beer there.

Nick’s mom's haircut reminds me of something...oh yeah, now I remember:


1-on-1 date: Danielle L

I’m sorry, Danielle. You got the lamest date possible. Just wandering around downtown and eating pastries. The ex-girlfriend is the most staged thing ever. ABC, y’all got to do better. This was an opportunity for Nick to put someone in a really uncomfortable situation.

But what’s more romantic than going to a pastry shop? Kissing on a hill above a rec soccer field. NAILED IT.

Can we all just rally around Danielle L and say that it’s not a flaw if your parents are divorced? It’s not your fault. Congrats on the rose, btw. Does anyone NOT get a rose on a 1-on-1? I’m just wondering.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE. And it’s sh!tty country music. I’d like to say I was kidding, but I 100% muted the TV during this part. Sorry if I missed something important. I motion to start a petition: no more dancing on stages. It’s awkward for everyone involved. And it’s boring.

Just remember, I’m shipping Danielle vs. Danielle showdown. You heard it here first (last week). 


Group Date: Down on the farm

“Oh my god, it smells so bad.”
“Cows and nature. Okay….”

Well, what did you expect? This?

“I’d rather be in a spa being fed a taco. Preferably chicken.” Okay, to be fair, wouldn’t everyone at all times rather be in that situation? Also, please point me in the direction of spas with tacos. I would 100000% go get a facial with Maggie if I was being fed tacos.

This date sucks, too. What’s worse are all the Bachelor peeps saying y’all without any claim to it. Just. Don’t. Unless you’re Raven.

Farm chores: “Wtf is a farm chore?”

  1. Bailing hay

  2. Feeding cows

  3. Milking a cow

  4. Shoveling slop

  5. Making fun of Corinne

Lots of poop jokes on this date. Move along.


1-on-1: Raven

Soccer, skating, meet the family. It’s nothing extraordinarily exciting, but the longer I watched, the more I realized: this is real life. People don’t go on helicopter rides to yachts. They go to the skating rink. Bad TV, good for an actual date.

“I picked her stiletto up off the ground and beat him over the head with it.” - Raven, embodying every Gretchen Wilson song ever. Don’t mess with this woman. Don’t cheat on her. Except, wait, that’s sorta how The Bachelor works...nevermind.

Another 1-on-1, another rose. Someone please help me out because I’m just assuming this always happens at this point.


It wouldn't be this season of The Bachelor without ANOTHER episode of The Corrine Confrontation.

Okay, we get it - Corinne is immature. I swear she's always drunk. She naps a lot, although I would definitely take any and all pointers from her on napping. She's really dismissive. Taylor decided that she needed to call her out on this. I don't see why, but apparently this whole villain plot line happens every season. I guess we'll get to see how this wraps up next week.

Meanwhile, Alexis after the credits...

 

See y'all next week. More Bachelor posts:

In Defense of New Year's Resolutions

By Collin Woodard

These days, New Year’s resolutions are more of a joke than anything else. Even if you’re one of those people who adopts a new diet for January or joins a gym, you probably don’t expect it to last. And even if you do manage to turn down an invite to the all-you-can-eat night at the Macaroni and Bread Castle, you’re going to do so with a half-hearted joke about how you’re on a juice cleanse that week.

Even professionals look down on the New Year’s resolution. Doctors and therapists will tell you to make small, incremental changes instead. And I get that. I really do. Ideally, you’d work throughout the year to improve your life here and there until it looks the way you want it. But, unfortunately, real life is far from ideal. And that’s where New Year’s resolutions come in.

For a lot of people, the holiday season completely upends their schedule. Between the end of November and the beginning of the year, you’re traveling all over the place, attending a string of endless parties, spending too much time with family, and eating dishes you’d never eat any time of year. The chaos can be exciting, but it also makes it difficult to maintain a set schedule.

Even if you avoid overdoing it, you likely find yourself holding on for January. If you can just make it to January, things will finally get back to normal. Once January comes, you’ll have control over your schedule again. So while there’s nothing magical about the calendar turning from 2016 to 2017, it does mark the end of a long holiday season. If you want to make a few changes in your life, what better time is there?

There are, however, some resolutions that are better than others. A vague and probably impossible goal only sets you up for failure. You’re not going to stick perfectly to Whole30 for a year. You just aren’t. And you’re not going to go the gym before work every single day for the rest of the year. You might make it a month. Tops.

You also want to make sure you’re actually doing something effective. That means making actual changes to your diet, not hoping some nonsense cleanse can atone for 12 months of Taco Bell and Tito’s. Sorry, but if your liver can’t handle the toxins in your body, drinking nothing but juice for a few days won’t do much good, either. Go to the hospital. Now.

In the same vein, doing something healthy is only worthwhile if you stick to it. Giving up alcohol for a month only to go right back to drinking like normal only lowers your tolerance. And in 11 months, those four weeks you spent at the gym won’t be visible in the slightest.

If you can set reasonable, clear goals, however, go ahead. Make your New Year’s resolutions. The new year is the perfect time to make a few changes.

And if not now, when? When are you finally going to change what needs to be changed? It would be great if problems would problems would solve themselves, but they don’t. I’m never going to wake up with Ryan Reynolds’ body, and neither are you. Unless you already are Ryan Reynolds. That’s something you and I have (and even he has) to work for.

Don’t let the fact that you missed January 1st stop you, either. You can start anytime. Pick a goal, make a plan, choose a start date, and do it. It’s that simple. Sure, people may poke fun at your New Year’s resolution, but so what? If it’s the first step towards achieving goals that are important to you, their lame jokes are irrelevant.

Unless you join a multi-level marketing scheme. All gloves are off if you sign up for one of those. 

Acting Our Age (Sort Of)

By Maggie Reimherr

Derek and I are from the South. It seems like as much as fried chicken, sweet tea, SEC football, and going to church on Sunday are Southern traditions, so is getting married young.

I celebrated the first engagement of a friend during the first week of senior year of college. In my sorority, we had multiple “candle-lightings.” Sorority girls, y’all know what I’m talking about. But for everyone else, basically, you light a candle, pass it around the room, and a girl who just got engaged reveals her new relationship status. So you’ve got 21 year olds getting engaged, and it’s perfectly normal.

The first wave of engagements comes in the last year or two of college. The couples get married sometime during the summer or fall after graduation - or in some people’s case, they get married during college. Derek and I rode in on the second wave, getting engaged sometime in the first few years after college.

In the South, we fall squarely into what’s considered “appropriate marrying age.” In the North, not so much.

When we moved to Boston, we were bewildered by social practices of people our age. Wait, you’re 25, untethered, and seem to just drink cocktails and go to brunch a lot? Cool, but where my married couples at?

Okay, we go to brunch a lot, too.

Okay, we go to brunch a lot, too.

As it turns out, the mid-twenties and married people we’ve found are church people. That’s cool, because we’re church people, too. In general, there aren’t a lot of church people up here so far away from the Bible belt.

I think part of the reason people marry young in the South has a lot to do with the cultural pervasiveness of Christianity. Frankly, church-going Southerners are taught to save ourselves for marriage (...or at least give it the old college try, for goodness’ sake). So for guilt-free intercourse… put a ring on it.** Jokes aside, I'm definitely willing to wager that the church crowd is the trendsetting group on getting married young, and others follow suit. 

**I’m not trivializing waiting for marriage. We’re Christians. I don’t want to have a lengthy discussion about faith and sex, because people who are wiser than me have written and spoken all about it. Google it. Don’t @ me. 

But beyond that, I think there’s a little more to it. Southerners might be… more serious about relationships? More ready to grow up? I see these qualities in my married, Southern friends.

So here’s the thing about me and Derek living in the North: people look down on us for being young marrieds. We’re not offended because culturally, it’s different up here. And with most people our age being the single, bar-hopping, city explorer types, we’ve actually adjusted our outlook on life in our twenties.

We’ve seen Southern friends buy houses and start thinking about babies. Meeting people our age in Boston has made us realize that we are 100% not there yet. And that’s okay! We may be married, but at this point in our lives, at 24 and 25, we’re more inclined toward bottomless brunches, brewery hopping, and tropical vacations than we are toward home ownership and creating offspring. We want to spend our money on adventures. We’re on a 5-, 6-, maybe 7- year plan when it comes to all that other stuff.

We’re so proud of our Southern friends who are at a place in their lives where they can buy houses and have babies. We love hanging out at your pretty - and GIGANTIC compared to our 850 square foot apartment - homes. We will join you someday. We will also babysit when you procreate.

For now, we’re working on a happy medium between being wild twenty-somethings and responsible humans. We’re paying off our student loans and saving to buy another car. But we’re also crunching the budget numbers to figure out how we can #brunchsohard, take a couple of big vacations every year, and move to a cool apartment in a cool neighborhood. We’re acting our age in both the Southern way and the city way. That’s just how we like it.

Dancing through our twenties like... (Photo brought to you by Vic Bonvicini Photography and Yuengling)

Dancing through our twenties like... (Photo brought to you by Vic Bonvicini Photography and Yuengling)