Design

Have a Cozy Weekend.

Sledding in NYC by Elliott Erwitt

What are you up to this weekend? We’re going sledding and generally trying to embrace the giant amount of snow/slush out there! I’ll also be making these bad boys this weekend, just ’cause. Hope you have a good one, and here are a few fun links from around the web…

If you’re in a TV-watching mood, Girls and The Mindy Project both start this week.

The cutest Valentine’s Day gift for guys.

What happened when we gave our daughter my last name.”

Loved this headline.

How seven couples do money. Fascinating and worth reading.

Chocolate cat tongues are a thing.

Twenty-one, and never been kissed.”

Babies on flights.

Could you make five dinners for $30?

Me right now.

Just got this shirt, and the color is even prettier in person.

Beautiful traffic lights, of all things.

Plus, a great reader comment:

Says Katherine on advice for your younger self: “Years ago, I nervously emailed my mom that I didn’t think I wanted kids, and she sent this back: ‘Bah! Dynasty Shynasty! Being a grandma was never my goal in life! But DAMN I LUV my kids and so glad your dad and I changed life gears and made beautiful babies! I love being mama to my girls but I do not think it is the only path in life. One day you will have a sweet dog and that may be what makes you happiest, whatever you choose is cool with me!’ I think that that attitude (‘I love being _____ but I do not think it is the only path in life’) was just the greatest thing to encourage in a nervous young girl. Trying to celebrate what works for you while also holding space for what might work differently for other people — that’s the best advice I can think of. Oh, and my mom also gave the second best piece of advice I have ever received: ‘You know, babe, orange lipstick just doesn’t look that good on you.’ Thanks, Mom. You were right.”

(Photo by Bates Littlehales. Quiet mornings via Swissmiss.)

  1. Jane says...

    I’m finally reading the article “What Happened When We Gave Our Daughter My Last Name” and I love it. I don’t have any children and I’m not sure my husband and I will have children, but I really appreciate Molly Caro May’s thoughts behind her and her husband’s choice. I also loved the wording and sentiment in this paragraph:

    “One windy April day, our daughter was born; or rather, I birthed her. Of course, Chris helped me. But my doula friend pointed out to me that we often say, “my child was born.” Birth deserves more than passive language because it is not a passive act. It deserves all the animal sounds that emerge from a woman when she has to open and push a baby into the world.”

    Thank you, as always, for the interesting articles you share!

  2. Lex says...

    I’ve recently been coming to terms with becoming a single mother at 40. It was not what I had planned…but the passionate, unique and thoughtful perspectives on life and motherhood you present on this blog have made me a feel a bit more brave about this next (unexpected) chapter in my life.

  3. Molly S says...

    The reader comment is so great.

  4. Tyler says...

    love the article about finances! such an interesting topic, and so different for everyone. as i read it though, i did just get very sad about the state of capitalism in this country and the fear and scarcity so many people feel. i wish it wasn’t this way.

  5. Kristin says...

    Yup, the cat-tongue chocolates are real. One of the first times I went shopping by myself (I was almost 9, walked to nearby supermarket), my mom wrote cat tongues on the list, I thought she was just messing with me but just in case asked the guy at the meat counter (after looking in the pet dept), the guy laughed pretty hard then told me I would find them in the baking dept, I thought it was gross but went looking for what I imagined to be condensed actual cat tongues until I stumbled upon the real thing!

  6. Andrea says...

    Cats tongue should be a brand of sandpaper, not a type of chocolate…

  7. Christina says...

    On children take maternal surnames – I’ve been trying to explain to my husband that there is already a next generation which has taken his surname, but I have no one who will pass mine down unless I do.

    Though we don’t have kids, he is the more keen one of the two of us for children, and I believe if I’m sacrificing my body for this, I 100% believe my last name should be connected. Our names wouldn’t be hyphenated, his would come first, mine would end the name.

  8. Such an interesting article! Here in Sweden, since so many parents are unmarried (marriage is not a given here – lots of couple just cohabit in a legally protected common law marriage), children often take their mother’s surname. Among married couples I think it’s a lot less common. Though interestingly, many married couples will take the wife’s surname as their shared name instead of the husband’s – often opting to drop a more common surname in favour of a more unique, or more high-status name.

    I took my husband’s surname (keeping my own as a double last name) when we married, but I often question that decision now. It doesn’t seem as important to me now as it did then that we all have the same last name. But I don’t think a discussion in our family about which surname our kids were to have would be such an easy thing…

    Isn’t it great though, how we are all so much more open to questioning the necessity of doing things the way they have always been done? So hopeful and freeing!

  9. Laura says...

    Thank you for sharing the article about last name choices. I am expecting my first child this May, a girl. My husband and I decided early on that our baby would take my last name. We knew the last name would be a discussion, just as it had been when we got married 3 years ago (after spending more than a decade together and cohabitation with different last names). Both times, there were no disagreements or hard feelings- just… this is what feels right for us. When we got pregnant, it was actually my husband who first suggested that our child take my family name. While my husband is very close with my father, he has never had a strong relationship with his own- so I think that carrying my family name is far more meaningful to both of us. The strange thing is, we really haven’t had any negative feedback- such as the author described. We actually received more “concerned comments and inquiries” when I chose not to change my name after our marriage. People seemed to think that I would feel less a part of a family unit because we didn’t share the same name. However, after 13 years, deeply in love with my husband and best friend, I have never given not changing my name a second thought. It wasn’t a grand statement, although of course we are both feminists, and it doesn’t make us any less of a team. Just two best friends, lovers and soon to be parents who don’t see the rules as having to apply to them :)

  10. Hannah says...

    Katzenzungen are my favorite! My family’s half-German half-American, grew up getting a box of Katzenzungen from my Oma when we arrived at her house in Germany for summer vacation <3

  11. hi joanna – what an interesting post for the weekend. thank you for sharing! also, I hope you don’t mind me saying this…but that photo you posted was taken by Bates Littlehales, National Geographic, not by Elliott Erwitt.
    best,
    betty

  12. anon says...

    oh loved that article on ‘never been kissed’! i am thirty something, DIVORCED (of course) and I have never had sex – I have dated, I have house-shared with guys… funny thing is, most of my family knows this too – came up when we were talking about information to be put on divorce forms etc. – and nobody really thought much of it. But the ‘sex stage fright’ is such a real thing for me, I dated a guy just after my divorce and we kissed rather badly (and cutely, in my opinion, anyway – and that is the only opinion that should matter, right?) and I told him this too! we were in two different cities, otherwise maybe… and now i am not dating anyone and this is turning into this big thing… because in australia, i think i am 20 years behind in this!!

  13. Jan says...

    The Cat Tongues-GET OUT!!! I am celebrating with 2 childhood friends soon -all of us turning 65 -one is the proverbial cat lady and the other one lived in Germany for many years-purrfection for a fun gift :).

  14. About the name debate: I don’t think most people are trying to make a statement or mix up conventions on principle. Names come with lots of emotional association, it’s not always just about “taking a stand against patriarchy.” Family names are also about wanting to be associated with people you love and respect. At least that’s my reason for keeping my last name and naming my children after me when the time comes for these things. And boyfriend agrees. Many of his family members have an arrogant and derogatory attitude towards anyone who isn’t like them (or carries their holy name), and he doesn’t want/need his kids to carry that name on. His family ties aren’t strong enough for him to feel emotional about his name, and mine are. It wasn’t really a big discussion. It seemed obvious that we would want to carry a name that had positive associations for both of us.

    • Laura says...

      This is very much inline with my husband and I’s thinking in regards to giving our daughter my name. We are very close with my husbands mother (his parents are divorced), however we are far more attached to my side of the family than his absent father. Our name choice was an ode to those we love, more than an attack on patriarchy- although the attack on patriarchy is a nice bonus.

  15. Jessica says...

    I don’t care who’s last name a child is given, but I like the idea of my family having a name that ties us all together. For my family, that is my husband’s last name. I didn’t particularly like my last name, so had no problem taking his. One of my friends combined her and her husband’s last name and created a new name that they took when they got married, then also passed on to their children. Another friend’s husband hated his last name, so they picked a new name together that they both took.

  16. Vicky says...

    Oh my. I am reading the article about the kid who got the mom’s last name and it feels very familiar. We actually decided to give our daughter both of our family names, and there never was a question between us, but even so we got some strange comments – I think the best one was: “oh, so she’ll be a feminist then?” (well, I certainly hope so). My partner and I are not married but even when we do I will not be giving up my family name. So a lot of people have been asking, isn’t it nicer if the whole family has the same name? To which I always reply, sure, that would be nice, but if we do want that, then we can all of us take both family names, including my partner. Actually, a few of our European friends have started doing just that, and it seems like the fairest solution of all, and I don’t even think the guys who do that deserve to be congratulated particularly, as if it were some major sacrifice. After all, it is about starting a new family of one’s own, and not about the woman becoming a part of her husband’s family. So I say, a brand new name for a brand new family is where it’s at.

  17. Anna says...

    I loved the article about the woman who gave her baby her last name. I always find it interesting how much time we spend working out the perfect first names for our children, but often take for granted what their last names will be.

    We gave our son my husband’s last name – not because of social convention, but because it is pretty and we both loved it!!!. :-) (It’s the name of a flower with an unusual spelling). For these same reasons I also took the same name when we got married. My maiden name was very common, and I was really surprised what a huge difference changing my last name had to the way I perceived myself and how others remembered me. Maybe it’s just me, but there’s something wonderful about loving and feeling confident about your name – not just your first name, but also your last – the whole package. So I contend that last names do matter and can make big difference!

  18. I’m definitely bookmarking the 5 dinners under $30 webpage!

  19. In response to the name post, I think it is important for people to do what feels right for them. I took my wife’s name after we got married because for me, it is important for us all to have the same last name. There was no pressure for me to do so, and she could have just as easily taken my name. I feel sharing a name unites all of us, as she will have no biological connection to our children. We are currently working with a fertility clinic to get pregnant. In the end, love is love.

    Thank you for all of your posts. I love reading every one of them.

  20. That last comment is lovely and is very true! Great post.

  21. the article about couples and how they spend their money was so interesting! I’m still trying to work through this with my boyfriend and find a system that works. Wish there were more articles about this and people were more open to talking about it, heck I wish my parents would have taught me a few things or talked to me about it! definitely one of those subjects that doesn’t get enough attention.

    http://www.paigesofnothing.com/2017/02/bali-design-travel-journal.html

  22. Kendra says...

    I’m the last child with my maiden name. My dad had all girls and his brother never had children. His name would die with me. I didn’t like that. But my husband was firm on not changing his name (though I should be clear he was fine with me keeping my name-which I did for a few years) but when we discovered our first child was a boy I was really torn. And then I decided to name my sons first name my maiden name. I heard all the comments and so many came from men with the same message “your naming your child after you?” Oh the irony! My husband was more than one board and now my Porter is nearing 7 and I love it. My Porter loves that he has the same name as me and I love that my name lives on, everyday. Now I need to prep myself not to pressure my further daughter in law to keep the name alive. If The Porter name dies with my son, it will have lived a wonderful legacy.

  23. C says...

    Thanks for the Vogue article, Joanna! 21 and never been kissed here so it was reassuring :)

  24. melissa says...

    Thank you so much for the post about baby’s last name. I’m recently married to a man, and chose to take his last name and then put it before mine, no hyphen. It felt important to me that we share a family name, and since he never expected me to take his name in the first place, there was no weirdness for him over my decision. Friends, family and acquaintances seem to have no obvious response, which is nice (I live in a progressive bubble, more or less). But I wonder what will happen when our first child comes along – we’ve been leaning towards giving it his last name only, but now I’m not so sure. This was a really great read for my heart. <3

  25. Elizabeth says...

    Oh the email from the mom about not having kids is the best!!
    Can’t say I’ve had that reaction from anyone about not planning to have kids, but maybe one day :)

  26. yael steren says...

    I’ll be running around attending shows/meetings/events for NYFW!! Thank g-d it stopped snowing because that was making things quite challenging! Have so much fun sledding!!! Sounds like a great time! xx yael

  27. Jules says...

    The last name article is so interesting. I like how in Iceland the daughters have the mom’s last name and the son’s have the father’s. Iceland wins in the equality Olympics. As a mother of three boys, I wouldn’t have anyone sharing my name though.

    I agree with Carrie’s post. Some people like tradition. Some people don’t. It’s everyone’s choice about how to name their children.

    The comments on the name article were also interesting. One said that you know who the mother is because she gave birth to the child (in most circumstances, obviously not all), but the child having the dad’s last name shows that this is his child too. I can’t remember if it was a post on here or the original article, but another said that women know the child is theirs….men assume it is.

  28. s says...

    The thing that always gets me about not giving a child the father’s last name (or not changing your name when you marry) in an effort to stick it to the patriarchy and convention – You do realize that unless you make a name up you are most likely giving the baby your *Father’s last name – or keeping your Father’s name. It’s still patriarchal.

    • Kerry says...

      I appreciate your comment, however I’m not convinced by this argument. Yes, I have my father’s last name. But it’s mine. I’ve had it my whole life. And to my (hypothetical) child, it’s their mom’s last name. And my (hypothetical) daughter’s daughter would have her grandmother’s last name. We have to start somewhere. I own my last name, no matter where it came from, far more than I own my husband’s last name (which I did not take). Does this make sense? If we follow your argument, there’s no way to ever break this patriarchal practice.

  29. Nicky says...

    That onion article was so good! But I keep thinking to myself “the actual news is so outrageous now a days, do we really need the onion anymore?!” Haha

  30. Lexie says...

    The name story was really interesting. I think it’s really nice that babies get their fathers’ last names. Babies cannot live without their mothers, but they can live without their fathers. It’s just a nice way to tie everyone together.

    • Emma Bee says...

      This is a weird comment. Babies certainly can and do live without their mothers and are raised by father’s only. I guess you don’t know of any gay male couples raising kids.

    • Emma Bee says...

      Or single dad’s raising kids.

  31. I love the traffic light pictures.

  32. Carrie says...

    “I don’t know. Something. Anything. Just not a given.” Must she really say that? I’d certainly never think twice about her choice. It’s weird that anyone cared and even weirder that they told her so. If her and her husband are both in agreement, that’s wonderful, but she’s basically criticizing others for sticking with tradition.

    • Carrie says...

      On a separate note, loved the Amal Clooney headline! How exciting for them!

    • Carrie says...

      If she and her husband* lol

    • t says...

      I agree. The tone of the piece turned me off a bit but it did make me think. She said she wanted to give their child her name because she wanted to mix up convention but was seemingly turned off when asked if she was trying to make a point. Isn’t intentionally mixing up convention the same as making a point?

      I completely agree that anyone should be comfortable having the name conversation and society shouldn’t judge personal name decisions (although respectfully questioning gets the conversation started).

      Our children have my last name because otherwise my family name would have died when I died and we wanted it to continue. But we are a same sex couple so we get to do anything we want (yay for no set expectations). My wife also took my name because it was important to her to have the same name as our children.

    • Jamie says...

      Hi Melissa, I checked out your piece and then your blog, I really love it! Bookmarked your blog, will definitely be back!

    • Love your blog, too, Melissa! I read it years ago and don’t know why I ever stopped. Checking back now :)

    • nadine says...

      Hi Melissa! Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  33. Kassie says...

    ‘I love being _____ but I do not think it is the only path in life’ … Such good advice! My choices are one thing, yours are another, and they don’t reflect on each other. And both are respected.

    I also really dug the piece from the Hairpin. The above also applies to that too!

  34. Rosie says...

    The article about giving her daughter the mom’s last name is thought-provoking. I was married in September and have conflicting emotions about this whole topic. I actually re-read some of the hundreds of comments made to the previous post you wrote about changing your last after marriage in my effort to decide what I would do. I even did a SWOT analysis over the phone with my mom I am so conflicted! I 100% respect the ideas and feelings behind keeping the woman’s last name and even naming your child after yourself but I can’t help but feel sometimes that for those that decide to “go the traditional route” are silently judged for perpetuating the patriarchal system, which I know is not the intent whatsoever. In the end, it is completely a personal decision and I truly do not think there is any “wrong way” to make the choice, but I so wish the implications and motivations were not so weighted.

    • Molly says...

      I am getting married this year and also re-read that post and the comments! Having such a tough time deciding about the last name, and the worst part is that you are sort of alone in it – my fiance is not spending any time reckoning with what his last name will be because he is not expected to change it.

    • Jackie says...

      I feel the same way. I legally changed by name but kept my maiden name at work. I feel like it’s my way of holding on. I have a famous maiden name and, at 30, changing it was really difficult. I kind of mourned the loss of it. After that article I wish I can now give my daughter my last name but I don’t even know how to do it or how to even bring it up to my husband.

      Also, if my brother doesn’t have any kids, our famous last name (in our direct lineage anyways) dies. And there is no one carrying it on.

      What to do?

    • Gillian says...

      I got married a year ago, and while my husband promised me he didn’t care if I changed my name, I deep down knew it would mean something to him if I did. I also was worried about not having the same name as my someday children.

      So 6 months later I filed the piece of paper with the name change. I hyphenated it, so that I felt like I could keep a part of myself. I regret it every day. I never use the hypenated or his, it just doesn’t feel like my name. I think that I was trying so hard to be myself while caving into “society norms”, that I got lost in it all. I know that my name doesn’t matter to him because when he writes my name or introduces me he uses my “original” surname.

      While I am not a mother, yet, I never imagine our children having any name but his, but that’s probably because of the conversations we already have had. I think as a parent or partner you are allowed to give yourself or keep any name that you choose.

  35. That Onion article is hilarious! Preserve the small joys, I say! I hope those treats turn out delicious. My plan is to get some me time this weekend… maybe consignment store shopping and a local Seattle Farmer’s market. Wishing you and your lovely readers a joyous weekend!

    http://www.thewefiles.com

  36. Heather says...

    That article about choosing a last name for children is kind of blowing my mind. I think I am too traditional to do anything but the husband’s last name, but man! This does deserve some thought!

  37. margaret says...

    the onion man…just so good. such a beautiful photo! love that it basically looks the same today, except for the moisture wicking outerwear ;)

  38. Ali says...

    Our son has my last name (2nd on the way soon will too) and we have had almost no comments. I didn’t share with many people before hand because I didn’t want the opinions, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised what a non-issue it’s been!

  39. Can’t wait for Girls to come back this week! Can’t believe it’s the last season, either. Enjoy the weekend!

    • Sarah says...

      Wonderful video!

  40. Thank you for posting “What happened when we gave our daughter my last name.” We did the same thing for my son! His middle name is my husband’s last name and his last name is my last name. My husband was the one who suggested it. We had a lot of reasons to do it and I’m so happy we did. Most people don’t even realize it and sometimes they give funny looks when it comes up, but that’s ok. I love that we aren’t alone in this!

  41. Katherine says...

    Aw man, Cup of Jo readers are so nice. I sent this to my Mom, and she’s real tickled that everyone liked her advice, and would like me to inform everyone that her third piece of advice is to have another glass of water.

    • Jessica says...

      Your mom should guest post on cupofjo!! She sounds awesome!

    • That’s so cute Katherine! Loved the follow up!

    • Jan says...

      I have three adult children and there is a good chance I won’t have any grandchildren for various reasons (health issues/choice). Did I think I would someday-sure-but am I good with it-yep.

      Almost all of my friends do and are thrilled and rightly so.

      While well-meaning, it is very tiring to constantly feel I have to defend my children and their partners’ choices and deflect sympathy comments.

      Think I will have the advice about various life paths made into a T-shirt :).

    • Your Mum sounds amazing! Wonderful advice.
      Maybe it’s just me, but I’m dying to know… did you end up having kids?
      p.s going to go drink another glass of water right now

  42. Eve says...

    YESSS to that piece from Molly Caro May on last names!!

    And gosh that reader comment, her mom’s words, thank you for sharing.

    • Sasha says...

      Thank you!! I’m going to do with the little girl I care for next week. She LOVES her “projects” and this one will be fun.

  43. Roxy says...

    My 2-year old son has my last name and a variation of my husband’s last name as his middle name. I’ve gotten a lot of the same responses as the author of that piece — mostly people are surprised and confused by the choice, which I actually think is good because it opens up the conversation about why we give children their fathers’ last names, and how the history of that practice connects to the history of women and children being socially and legally the property of men (in case you can’t tell, I’m a sociologist :) But what really surprised me, like the author, is that my friends who are in all other ways radical feminists were all kind of jealous, and felt like, even if they wanted to use their last name, they could never even bring this up with their partners. It kind of made me sad.

  44. Lisa says...

    Awww, “Katzenzungen”! My grandma always had these when I was over. I remember wondering where that name comes from?! Still doesn’t make sense to me, but I guess I’ll look up what an actual cat’s tongue looks like now. Thanks for reminding me :D

    Also, the piece about giving a child the mother’s last name really resonated with me… I feel like I’m having a modern, 21st-century-relationship, but keeping my last name when getting married is an issue already; I fear my boyfriend would outright refuse the idea of giving our potential children my last name, without giving it further thought. Not so modern in that regard, I guess…

  45. YAAAAS to Mindy Project and Girls coming back – I have been desperately waiting for their return. Also, sweetest advice from that mother to her daughter. <3
    http://www.wonderlandsam.com

  46. MK says...

    Yes, to that headline! I also saw this one on Scary Mommy:
    “Amal Clooney and Actor Husband Expecting Twins”

  47. Jona says...

    Those babies remind of when I was flying international with my 8 month old son by myself and I had him in the bassinet attached to the wall. I fell asleep and he crawled out of the bassinet and the man across the aisle caught him before he hit the ground! I was mortified and so so grateful!