Workday Reading

The Edition: No. 117

You will never win if you never begin. — Helen Rowland

Read to the End. Where I find romance in marriage.

Stepped Out. I think these are my wedding shoes.  Or these.  Too many choices.

Powerful. Jessica Yellen on how to stop asking for permission.

Home Goods. This no-mess honey dispenser is my new go-to housewarming gift.  My old go-to was a chic match striker.

Vigilance. Skin cancer, why it’s a big deal and what it’s like to be diagnosed.

Printed. Leopard midi-skirts: Every NYC blogger has one. Plus-size? This one’s for you.

Pivot. Is investing in relationships, the key to being happier at work?

Hunting. For a good poreless primer. This e.l.f one is highly recommended, but do you have a favorite?

Bumbled. Real equality is when we elect a female slob.

Smitten. Deb Perelman talks about her days in the kitchen. Trust me, you need her original cookbook and her newest one.

Supported. Interventions: What it’s really like from the inside of trying to help.

In one month, I will be Kyle’s wife.

It feels a little strange to say that out loud.

For a long time, I didn’t think I would marry.  I was happy with my solitude.  No one was reliant on me, and I was reliant on no one.  My decisions were my own.  My failures put no one else in jeopardy, and I found the freedom to change my life at will intoxicating.

I don’t talk much about my relationship beyond surface things.  Kyle asked me a long time ago to keep our lives off the Internet to whatever extent I could.  So while our relationship is very much a part of my story, that story is not solely mine to tell, and I do my best to respect that.

There are plenty of cruel rumors circulating about our engagement.  Sometimes they even make their way into the comments on this site.  And it’s tough when something that is so precious to you is maligned for the entertainment of others.  But when you live your life on the Internet, even to a small extent, you open yourself up to that.  It’s unavoidable.

Sometimes what works inside a relationship isn’t visible to others, and it doesn’t always need to be.  But if you’re looking for love, I hope that all of you are lucky enough to find someone who truly sees you.  I hope you find someone who makes you laugh, even when life gets dark.  Someone who will see you through the ugliest year of your life and still want to have more years with you.  Someone who you want to take care of, and love, and be tethered to, because at some point, without noticing, you become a we, instead of an I.

{this post contains affiliate links that may generate commission for the author; the beach photo is from my friend @gurrity, the world’s best traveler}



  1. jules says:

    “Wife” does take getting used to. 7 years later and I still sometimes introduce my husband as “my weird roommate” lol. Even our resident manager (we’ve lived in the condo for 5+ years) think we are just dating, lol.

    August 1, 2019/Reply
  2. Meghan says:

    As someone who also spent the first 11 years with a single mom, WHOA THIS FLOORED ME.

    Thank you for always having surprising, brilliant content, even in the midst of wedding mayhem. Your community appreciates you.

    August 1, 2019/Reply
  3. Victoria says:

    Many blessings on your upcoming wedding! Keeping you both in thought & prayer for a wonderful, joyous time.

    August 1, 2019/Reply
  4. Tara says:

    I’m so sorry that someone or several someones have circulated rumors about your relationship! All the best to you and I love your blog!

    August 1, 2019/Reply
  5. Kristen says:

    Wishing you and Kyle all the happiness in the world. I’m sorry there’s been any negativity; you don’t and didn’t deserve that (neither did he). I hope you have a wonderful wedding, that you feel beautiful as a bride and confident on such a momentous day, but importantly, hope you and Kyle have a happy future!

    August 1, 2019/Reply
  6. Kimberly Blanton-Day says:

    My wedding shoes were my “something blue.” I had some white satin flat sandals ( it was a garden wedding and heels were not going to happen) dye the same shade of blue of my bridesmaids’ dresses. Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!

    August 1, 2019/Reply
  7. Amanda says:

    Wishing you and Kyle every happiness. I hope the next month is stress free and enjoyable!
    It grossed me out that people would send shitty messages to you. I hope you can ignore and keep on all the amazing sharing that you do.

    August 2, 2019/Reply
  8. Em says:

    It astonishes (and appalls) me that there are people out there who have nothing better to do with their time than cast aspersions on the life of someone who generously and wittily shares so much with the world and creates a thoughtful and delightful corner of the Interwebs for us all to enjoy.

    As a 39-year old single woman, I identify heavily with much of what you wrote. And have seen over and over that there is no magic relationship or life formula that works for everyone. Thank you for sharing what you do share so openly and so wisely. Wishing you and Kyle all the best and then some!!

    August 2, 2019/Reply
  9. Nancy says:

    What a lovely way to describe a strong, happy relationship. I hope you enjoy every moment of this next month, but more importantly, you seem well-places to have a good marriage and to treasure that. As a reader of many years,I am very happy for you and wish you lots of love and joy!

    August 2, 2019/Reply
  10. Anna says:

    What you wrote is lovely. This especially hit home: “I found the freedom to change my life at will intoxicating.” I’m 33 and while I know I want to get married and have a partner for life, that feeling of independence definitely calls me back sometimes. As to the rest, I thought I’d found my person, and it’s now looking like after 7 years, it’s over, but I’m not as upset as I might otherwise be because I had that love and support from him, and I’m grateful for our time together.

    As for the haters, I genuinely feel bad for them. I can’t imagine what it must be like to feel so much darkness in your heart that you feel the need to take time out of your day to attack someone’s personal life, particularly someone you don’t even know whose actions have absolutely no bearing on you.

    August 2, 2019/Reply
    • TheLOOP says:

      Seriously. How much insecurity do you need to have to attack someone you have never met in person? You are correct that it says more about the commenter and the kind of person they are than about Belle.

      Belle, wish you loads of joy. You have a supportive and loving community behind you and we are all rooting for you.

      August 2, 2019/Reply
  11. Janine says:

    Just wanted to say that nobody knows your relationship like you and Kyle do. What you wrote about the two of you was lovely and thoughtful, and you never need to justify your relationship to anyone. If anyone is judging, it’s far more about their own insecurities than it is about you. This next month will be crazy, but have a blast at your wedding!

    August 2, 2019/Reply
  12. Sarah says:

    Thank you for making me happy/ugly cry on this Friday afternoon! Know so,so many of us are happy for you have truly enjoyed following your journey.

    August 2, 2019/Reply
    • Kate says:

      I am all about all these commenters. How refreshing to have such support. Anna – thank you. Said beautifully and Happy Wedding Day!

      August 2, 2019/Reply
  13. DC Lady Lawyer says:

    We are so happy for you! Congratulations! Best wishes. We want you to be happy. Please ignore the haters. We love you, Belle.

    August 2, 2019/Reply
  14. Joy says:

    Congratulations Abra! I am so happy that you and Kyle found each other and are happy together. Enjoy this exciting time. You clearly have the right attitude about marriage. I’m 7 years in myself and your words just inspired me!

    Hope your wedding day is everything you’ve wished for, and the next chapter in your life brings you all the happiness in the world!

    August 2, 2019/Reply
  15. Stephanie says:

    Happy Wedding! I hope this is a joyous and peaceful (underneath the inevitable chaos) month for you.
    As someone who is still searching for that kind of love and is tired of being told to settle for something less, thank you.

    August 3, 2019/Reply