10 Things We Learned in Our First Year of Marriage

Marriage is so funny!

Marriage is so funny!

Last weekend, Josh and I celebrated our first anniversary in Nashville. The trip gets a post all on its own (one of the best trips I've ever been on! So much great music! So much great food!), but on the plane ride there, Josh and I talked about the things we learned in year number one. 

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1. Marriage feels different than dating!

People are mixed about this, but we decided marriage definitely felt different. For example, it was so weird saying my husband or my wife. Other things that were new? We could officially-officially include each other in our waaaaay future plans. Things felt secure. We could fight for real, without having to seriously consider whether or not we should even be in this relationship in the first place. We’re married now, and your immediate reaction is no longer should I be in this? It’s how do we work on this? Guys, not only is breaking up really unappealing when you're married, it’s so much harder, so you just don’t go there. Plus, you wanted to marry this person, so clearly there is lots of goodness to salvage.


2. Marriage doesn’t feel different than dating.

Things felt soooo different for the first few months, until they kinda just felt like they did before we were married. Saying my husband is now just how it is. Things are back to normal and it’s great. Though we do agree that the security thing adds a level of comfort that you simply cannot takeaway.


3. Your fam treats your relationship differently.

We’ve always felt our families liked our significant other, but once the I dos are said, it’s a whole different thing. Suddenly, you’re a legit part of the family. You’re asked to sit in on important meetings about family finances, secrets and advanced directives. Shit gets real.


4. Your friends treat you differently.

Now that your married, the invites roll in less often. I mean, you must be busy doing married things! Nope, you’re not. You’re the same as before, just with more security and maybe a different last name. Eventually, this will go back to normal, unless you don’t want to be social anymore. In that case, you stop calling people too, and people will continue to just not call you.


5. Sharing finances can be weird.

We still keep separate bank accounts and credit cards. At least for now. However, last month, after 48 weeks of marriage, I wanted to buy a book or something. Josh was logged into Amazon on my computer. I thought, if I buy through his account, is it stealing? I pondered it a bit more, then was like, whatever. Purchase! It still feels weird to share finances with each other, even though we legally do. I still feel like my money is mine, and his is his, which gets complicated now that I’ve quit my regular job and work for myself and make a lot less than I used to. 


6. Changing your name is an unscripted process.

The other day, Josh said to me, I don't even know what your real name is

I definitely meant to change my name when we got married. And I did on our marriage license. But what does that really mean? I don’t know. My driver’s license says Molly Marie Mogren Katt, but my passport says Molly Marie Mogren. My credit cards are a mix of the two and my insurance card is Molly Katt. I haven’t been to the social security office, so I think that’s where it’s made legal-legal. The point is, I don’t even know what my name is and no one really seems to care-- not at the airport, not at the doctor's office, not ANYwhere-- so long as there’s a Molly and a Mogren or a Katt attached to the end it works. So weird!


7. You really don’t have to get your wedding dress dry cleaned right away.

Still haven’t. Judge me all you want.

8. The stuff you sweated over at your actual wedding doesn’t matter at all.

All I remember about my wedding is that it was hot as balls and I had fun. Everything else is a blur. Feed and drink your guests, make sure people have a safe way home and you’re good.


9. Some days you think, “I married my best friend!” Other days, you suspect you married your nemesis.

Guess what? Both are true. I love spending time with Josh, and I get to almost every day. That said, we know we aren't going anywhere, which means on occasion, you treat each other like dirt. It just comes with the territory, and you probably occasionally act the same way with your parents, siblings and closest people. But hopefully the best friend days far out weigh the nemesis days. If they don’t, start working on it ASAP.


10. The key to a happy marriage: Don’t expect to be happy all the time.

We heard this little nugget from our friend Ryan two weeks ago, and we couldn't stop laughing because it's so true! Marriage sounds romantic, and it is, but sometimes you just need to be a realist. 

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So.. what's your biggest lesson for newly weds? Or thoughts on marriage in general. 

PS Some other wedding/marriage posts: Why I decided to change my name, why I am all about pre-marital counseling, plus... everything that I feared would go wrong at our wedding, did. And here's why I couldn't have cared less

This Week's Best Stuff on the Internet

Yep, so advanced directives ain't sexy, but they're a pretty darn important thing to have. Or at least I hear that. I need to get my poop in a group and do mine. Check out Caitlin's video to see why. Think of it like this: figuring out your advanced directives is your Hey Eleanor challenge for the day. FUN!

Ever wonder what happens when someone hires an escort? I kind of have, and it was nothing like this experience. Probably because I don't think of 25-year-old girls hiring a boyfriend for the night. At any rate, a light and bubbly read.

How to eat on a budget while traveling. Dude... these guys nailed my numero uno tip: only one splurge-y meal a day. 

Elaine Benes gets a modern-day makeover and I love how she basically can look the exact same. Welcome back to the 90s, y'all!

The only reason I want summer to go faster is because it means we're getting closer to the new Wet Hot American Summer series on Netflix. Camp Firewood, I love you!

I just wanted to share this post about how women undermine themselves with words. In my opinion, we should talk about this more. Am I making sense?

And here's my most popular post of the week: Are you ready to reclaim the term homemaker? I'm not quite there, but I definitely am one. 

Hey Eleanor! I Made a Movie!

Andy Mogren: Filmmaker or werewolf? We're still not sure. 

Andy Mogren: Filmmaker or werewolf? We're still not sure. 

Welcome to episode nine of the Hey Eleanor podcast. This week, we're talking about moving to Hollywood and making all your dreams come true... sorta. 


Meet my brother, Andy Mogren. He’s a Minnesota transplant living in LA, who’s spent the last five years pitching an ever-evolving television concept that he writes, produces, directs, scores, edits, animates and stars in. I talk to him about what it’s like to move to LA (or as our dad likes says: Hollywood, Los Angeles, California), rejection, plus screening a movie you spent a year creating in front of a live audience. Sometimes, it goes great! Other times... well....

Here's an excerpt of our conversation:

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Molly: Who are you and what do you do?

Andy: I’m Andy, Molly’s brother. We grew up down the hall from each other. We're both doing similar things and are kind of the master of our own domains. I think we both learned that from our dad, and he learned from his dad. We come from a long line of entrepreneurs.

Molly: That makes it sound like we know what we’re doing.

Andy: But none of us do. And I’m trying to do that here in Hollywood.


Molly: You've been doing that a long time. When did you move out there?

Andy: 2007. So, about eight years ago.

Molly: Why did you feel like you had to move there?

Andy: Before I moved out to LA, I made a list of all the things I wanted to do in order to make it in the entertainment industry. I want to be able to do it out here, and do everything myself. There's a generation of people here that do that, but there still a degree of old Hollywood where people don’t realize that one person to be the writer and the editor and the director. I can pretty much make a whole movie right in the house. That’s what I’ve been trying to do, and that’s what I have been doing for the past five years.

Molly: Sounds like a shit load of work.

Andy: It’s a lot, but... look at the credits of the movie. There’s thousands people that work on a movie, and it only takes one of them to fuck it all up, you know? If you’re in control of your own vision, you can achieve something that nobody else can do… The stuff I do is really unorthodox, I think that’s help me in the long run.


Molly: So, explain what you do.

Andy: I’ve always loved the B-movies, the bad movies. The movies that are cheesy. The kinds of things you turn on at midnight.

Molly: Like Attack of the 50-foot Woman, or… what’s the killer tomatoes one?

Andy: Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. Do you know that I have the same birthday is the famous B-movie director, Roger Corman?

Molly: Can’t believe it.

Andy: Is that a coincidence or what? Quentin Tarantino said that’s his number one influence: Roger Corman, because he's such a crazy B filmmaker and stuff…. The first party I went to out here was with a bunch of my film school friends. They were taking everything so seriously. So I started pitching them all of these terrible movie ideas I was going to make now that I’m out here in Hollywood. And they were so bad. For example, all of the animals would go against all the people in the world and it would end in an all-out war. All these people told me that I was crazy and stupid. I started to turn into a real-life stand-up bit, and if you were in on the joke, it was super fun, and if you weren’t in on it, it was even more fun.

Molly: You'd go to parties and pitch terrible ideas as a joke.

Andy: Yeah, and bars and stuff like that. People who thought they were the big thing... it would stroke their ego to think they were giving me notes on my script... but it’s literally the dumbest idea time.

Molly: I love that. And I’m guilty of this too... but it’s just so fun to play with someone like that.

Andy: Absolutely! It’s so fun. The first book I remember reading in high school was Andy Kaufman Revealed by Bob Zmuda. I love reading about the history of entertainment because it’s such a young town, Hollywood. It’s only been around for 100 years. Really, think about that, just a handful og people really made a huge impact. And I love looking at that kind of stuff. I love learning about the things that really worked, because it's still what works today. What's old becomes new again.

To learn how Andy turned his terrible show ideas into an award-winning short film, check out the whole episode of the podcast here

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Other Stuff We Talked About in this Episode:

For more info on Andy, check out his website, follow him on Twitter and subscribe to his YouTube page.

PS you can watch Bear Force One Here:

Follow me on social media:

Twitter: @mollymogren
Hey Eleanor Facebook Page
Email: heyeleanorproject@gmail.com
Hey Eleanor Hotline @ 651-964-2469

If you like the show, please rate it on iTunes. Want to leave a review? Excellent! Both help people find the show (& the more positive rates and reviews I get, the more likely iTunes is to promote it. Happy!).

Are You Ready To Reclaim the Term "Homemaker"?

But first... What exactly does a homemaker do?

But first... What exactly does a homemaker do?

A few months ago, I met my friend Michelle for lunch. She's a web designer, blogger and big-time DIYer. You know, the kind of person who makes her own cleaning products and jams and pickles. 

Anyhow, she mentioned that she wants to reclaim the term homemaker.

The simple utterance of the word made me shudder.

Homemaker? Really, Michelle???

When she asked me to explain why I had such a visceral reaction to the word, I couldn't quite put my finger on it. I take zero issue with stay-at-home moms and dads. That is a more-than-full-time job. And look, even running a home when you have no children is a ton of work. So, so, SO much work!

I've been replaying our conversation a lot, and I think my reaction comes down to this: my grandma was a homemaker, but I remember her always telling me she "wished she was an architect, but women didn't do things like that back then." She graduated high school in 1929, and while I'm sure becoming a female architect was technically possible, it wasn't easily available-- especially during the Great Depression.   

So I guess to me, the word homemaker always felt a little like, "it was one of three job options available to me, so that's what I did because I couldn't be an architect." Or whatever other job a women secretly wanted. And by the way, many women did want to be homemakers. And that is great!

However, the term seemed so antiquated to me, so I decided to look up the actual definition. Here's what the Dictionary has to say:


home·mak·er noun hōmˌmākər/

: a person, especially a housewife, who manages a home.

Okay, people. Is it just me or is the "especially a housewife" an unnecessary addition to the definition? I hate that it's there!

You made it weird, Dictionary!

But if we can just read the definition without the qualifier, it's just this:

: a person who manages a home.

Dude, I literally spend hours every day managing my home. And so does my husband. Does that make us homemakers? It might!

We tend to associate the term homemaker with our grandparents generation, but I'd argue that in some ways, we're just as into homemaking today than we were fifty years ago-- maybe even more so! We're obsessed with recipes, cooking, and outfitting homes with beautiful things. We want to learn how to preserve our excess produce, refinish the antique hutch we found at a garage sale, make our own non-toxic cleaning solution and deodorant. 

There is an entire social media platform devoted largely to homemaking.

It's called Pinterest. Heard of it? Obviously you have & you can follow me here! (#shamelessplug). Millions of women and men get sucked into Pinterest's black hole daily, often in the hopes of managing their home more effectively. Or learning how to do a cool fishtail braid. But mostly for recipes, decor tips and DIY projects.

What's more, our Instagram feeds flood with perfectly-curated vignettes-- a homemade craft cocktail grasped in a manicured hand against an exposed brick wall; a perfectly crafted pavlova topped with homemade lemon curd and lavender; a cold beer on the porch, overlooking a freshly mown lawn; your stunning new front porch vignette.    

A perfectly crafted pavlova. 

A perfectly crafted pavlova. 

I made that "couch" with my bare hands and $80.

I made that "couch" with my bare hands and $80.

Let's face it: we love well-managed homes 'cause they just feel so good. 

They're fabulous to wake up in. Fun to entertain in. Comforting when you're sad, calming when you're pissed, and the perfect secret stage for dancing in your underwear when you just gotta dance in your underwear. A well-managed home means a clean(ish), safe, comfortable space filled with things that spark joy (#trending), good food, and the people/pets you love.

And if you live by yourself, awesome! I loved living alone, homemaking a cozy one-bedroom into a place where I could dance in my underwear (apparently, I do this a lot) or watch Six Feet Under in bed while eating popcorn and drinking crappy lite beer whenever the hell I wanted. I loved making that home.

So I ask you, are you ready to reclaim homemaker? While I don't think I'm adding it to my LinkedIn any time soon, I definitely am one. And so is my husband. I grocery shop for the two of us, creating healthy and delicious meals regularly (or ordering pizza. Whatever.) Last week, Josh installed a new chandelier in our dining room and grew a bunch of grass in our weed-filled backyard. I walk the dog, he runs the dog. I vacuum, he mows the lawn. We tag-team the dishes and laundry. 

I love our home and we homemake the shit out of it. 

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How do you feel about the term "homemaker"? And if you do "manage your home" as your full-time gig, do you call yourself a homemaker? 

PS Here are some ways we homemake around here: the bomb outdoor furniture I made with my barehands and $80; the fence we built to keep our dog and ourselves happier; the mussel recipe I didn't think I could make myself, but turned out to be easier than toasting bread (basically). 

PPS Here's my friend Michelle (who started this whole convo) shares her thoughts on homemaking.


This Week's Best Stuff on the Internet

James Murphy is doing his part to make NYC commuters' day better by turning the subway turnstiles into a symphony. I, for one, love it.

John Stewart shares his sobering thoughts on the Charleston shooting. That guy is just so good. John, please don't go away! We need you!

It's hard to believe anyone would regret this decision, but okay: 42-year-old man with 29 Miley Cyrus tattoos is getting them removed, and not with a wrecking ball, either. 

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's speech on 'Being Liked' might change your whole life.


A week ago, I wrote about how I'm tired of people telling me to carry a gun. Someone sent me a link to Australian comedian Jim Jefferies' stand-up bit on the US and gun ownership, and guys, I know it's polarizing, but he's pretty damn funny! Lots of good points, too. 

Planning reading Grey, the latest installment of the 50 Shades of Nonsense series? How about you read Scott Bryan's hilarious recap of all the terribly written dirty bits. Ha, dirty bits. Exactly. NSFW, obviously. 

Obsessed with Game of Thrones, even though you are vocally P.O.'d at how last season ended? Me too (side note: 36 questions we have after seeing the season 5 season finale). But anyhow, here's a very informative world map that show where ever single episode has been filmed. Get your passport, people!

Yes x 100000: Present Perfect explores the very real experience of aging in America- both growing up, and growing old. As a person who adores old people, I think this is great... though I do distinctly remember being very afraid of visiting my great-grandma in the nursing home as a kid! These kids don't seem scared, though. 

Want to accelerate your learning? Just own it.

Androgyny is so hot right now.

Naughty-naughty: this guy snuck into the currently under construction Vikings Stadium. He's clearly nuts, but I loved the photos!

And lastly, thanks to the Val-Kill Partnership for reaching out to me via twitter. Can't wait to visit them out east soon, but in the meantime, check out their awesome tumblr dedicated to all things Eleanor (and other Roosevelts, too).  

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PS My most popular post this week was about decluttering my bookshelf using the KonMari Method. Before & After pics included! 

If you like these links, you might like following me on Twitter & Instagram, where I'm always sharing the coolest, scariest, funnest stuff I find on the web.

You can also sign up to get all my posts delivered to you via email. Easy!

Hey Eleanor! I'm a Rapper! An Interview with Sims of Doomtree

Andrew Sims has the greatest job in the world.  |  Photo by Kelly Loverud

Andrew Sims has the greatest job in the world.  |  Photo by Kelly Loverud

Welcome to episode eight of the Hey Eleanor Podcast. This week, we're talking about spilling your guts in a very public way... and getting paid to do it. 


Minneapolis-based rapper Andrew Sims (or maybe you just know him as Sims) performs as a solo artist, as well as with hip-hop group, Doomtree. The two of us chatted about re-reading stuff you wrote as an angsty-teen (embarrassing!), overcoming that negative voice in your head and how he handles pre-show anxiety. Plus, John Denver.

Here's an excerpt of our conversation.

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Molly: How did you become a for-real, getting paid, bought your own house hip-hop artist?

Sims: Well, the bank owns my house... But yeah, I started making music when I was a little kid. My dad bought me a Casio SK-1, very classic keyboard where you can record your voice and make these little songs. I started playing in bands at 14, and then some friends of mine were freestyle rapping after school, and I would start rapping with them. At 17, I was writing really super angsty poetry that I made rhyme. I put my first group together when I was 18.


Molly: Do you ever still perform the stuff you wrote when you’re a teenager?

Sims: No, but actually, my first album, Lights Out Paris... I was 21 when that album came out 10 years ago. I'm re-releasing it on vinyl at the end of this month. That was crazy because I had to go back and transcribe all the lyrics because they wanted to do a lyrics booklet... I had to re-write stuff that I'd wrote when I was 19 or 20-years-old.

Molly: I don’t even like to read stuff I wrote two months ago.

Sims: Yeah, it was insane. There was some stuff where I was like, wow I am really proud of myself. That was a really nice thought and very delicately stated. Then, there was some stuff where I was using a total iron gloved approach, the heaviest handed...ugh, so terrible. So emotive. I was such a crushed little guy. Just stuff like, oh did you break up with your girlfriend, little buddy? The world is ending!


Crushed little guy no more.  |  Photo by Brian Groentz

Crushed little guy no more.  |  Photo by Brian Groentz


Molly: You hardly ever get a chance in life to revisit yourself at an earlier stage.

Sims: I was just talking to someone about that recently. There’s a show, kind of like The Moth called Mortified. And people go back and read their journal entries from when they were young kids. There’s this next Netflix show about it, and I watched it and I was dying entire time.


Molly: A lot of people have anxiety about being on stage, especially performing something that they wrote themselves. What was that first experience like for you?

Sims: The first time I performed, I was 14 and it was mostly parents at a recital of some variety. And then we did talent shows, and I’ve been doing it long enough that I feel comfortable. I mean, I did a show on Friday and I felt nervous all day long. I really thought about it for two or three days before, preparing the set and thinking about it and I was really nervous. I don't know why, it just always happens.

Molly: Doesn’t really always happen?

Sims: I get really nervous every show. And then I find as soon as I’m there and onstage, I try to engage as much as I can with the experience of it all. What I love about performing is that I can shut that first voice off, the first critical voice in my head... 

This might sound a little too philosophical or weird, but there's what’s happening, then there’s that first voice, and then there’s something else, and then there’s me. My true self is a few layers behind these critical lenses. I get to drop that [critical voice], and feel really connected to something different. And I feel a little more unadulterated and a little more pure, in a way. A little more boiled down to an essence.

Molly: I did stand-up comedy for the first time about a year ago, and I learned that the anticipation is always the worst part... You can be very cruel to yourself. But when you’re in the moment, it’s an out of body experience.

Sims: Yes, in many ways. One of my bigger skills is not necessarily making music or performing music, but I can cut through... to a basic energy level with people and command the energy in the room... I take that really seriously. I think one of my greatest skills is being able to take a room full of strangers and galvanize them into an energy.


Molly: I always think about that when I’m at a concert. What does it feel like to be the person orchestrating a room full of people?

Sims: It feels like magic. Truly, it’s like magic. 

Andrew Sims: full-time rapper, part-time magician.  |  Photo by Chad Kamenshine

Andrew Sims: full-time rapper, part-time magician.  |  Photo by Chad Kamenshine

For the rest of our conversation check out the Hey Eleanor podcast

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Other stuff we talked about:

Doomtree's tour dates, follow Sims on Twitter and Instagram.

Did you like the songs in this episode? Of course you did, because they're great. Here's what we're working with:

15 Blocks - Lights Out Paris - Sims
They Don't Work for Us - Field Notes - Sims
Burn It Down - Bad Time Zoo - Sims
Jordan 5's - Wildlife - Sims
Just Wanna - Elijah Blake ft DeJ Loaf

Aaaaand that Elijah Craig...er, wait, no. Elijah Blake video. GUYS YOU'RE GUNNA LUV IT!

Follow me on social media:

Twitter: @mollymogren
Hey Eleanor Facebook Page
Email: heyeleanorproject@gmail.com
Hey Eleanor Hotline @ 651-964-2469

If you like the show, please rate it on iTunes. Want to leave a review? Excellent! Both help people find the show (& the more positive rates and reviews I get, the more likely iTunes is to promote it. Happy!).