I Forgot

I fail Ryder. All the time. I’ve started realizing that my obedient child, my responsible child, my sweet child, gets less of everything because he doesn’t make any emotional demands. In fact I hardly have to get on him about anything because he’s my tiny red-headed try-er. Truly, a parent’s dream. He has this innate need to do the right thing, and I rarely have to worry about what he’s getting up to when I’m not around. It’s easy to overlook the needs of a small human who does everything right.

Scarlet needs, and she needs, and she needs. She needs so much that I spend most of my free time training her to control her personality. Teaching her to reign in her anger. Coaching her to be better so that she can help people instead of hurting them. My oldest has always been hard. I have a distinct memory of staring down at her when she was four months old and knowing she’d need…extra. But Scarlet is another story and right now I’d like to talk about Ryder.

Ryder is kind. He’ll be seven years old next week.  This month my boy won an award in which he received recognition and a certificate in front of his entire school for being kind. A ceremony which I forgot about because I was hosting a conference in downtown Seattle for aspiring authors. I was not sitting in the fold-out white chairs when his teacher called him up in front of the entire school and handed him his award. I was not there to take his picture. And I was not there to hug him and tell him I was proud.

Ryder is charismatic and smart. The same week that he won an award for kindness his peers voted for him to be their first grade representative. Each grade at my children’s school has a representative; from first to eighth. The grade presidents meet once a month to discuss classroom issues. Can you imagine? My tiny little red head sitting at a table with all the big kids, talking about classroom politics. He’s the youngest one. But he didn’t make his first meeting because I forgot.

I forgot.

I forgot about show and tell too. Because that’s me. Overloaded, stretched thin, never looks at her planner.

The day after my writer’s conference was picture day at my children’s school. Already carrying the guilt of missing his ceremony, as well as the classroom representative meeting, I felt like a complete mom failure. I figured I could at least make sure they looked spiffy for their school photos. The morning of, Scarlet for once woke up early and got herself ready without my prompting.  Ryder is my early bird, a complete morning person. He was confused when he woke up thirty minutes after his sister and she was dressed and ready to go. To make it clear, he did not wake up late, in fact he was right on time.  His reaction was explosive anger. He thought that I had forgotten to wake him up.

“Little kids don’t matter!”

That’s what he screamed at me as he stormed off to the bathroom and slammed the door. Ryder doesn’t scream things at me. In fact he’s the one who hugs me when Scarlet screams at me. He’s the one who tells his sister to “lay off” when he sees that I’m at my wits end. I tried to explain that he was right on time, that he’d woken up on schedule and that Scarlet had gotten up earlier than normal. But my normally forgiving, logical son wasn’t listening. I knew there had to be something more bothering him. And why wouldn’t there be? I hadn’t shown up for him even once in the last few weeks.

When he came out of the bathroom I knelt in front of him and explained the situation once more. I told him that he did matter. Then prompted by something I felt in my spirit, I began to list the things I loved about him.

I love that you forgive so quickly

I love that you never hold a grudge

I love your laugh

I love the way you ask guests if they’d like something to drink when they come over

I love that you do chores without me asking you to do chores

I love that you always know the twists in movies

I love that you work so hard at school

I love that you get hangry just like me

I love that you’re six years old and keep track of all the money you spend in a notebook

I love that you love babies

I love that you are so popular

I love that you make an effort to be kind to that annoying kid

I love that you admitted that you were jealous of someone because they got more attention than you

I love that you laugh at yourself

I love that you cry in movies

I love that you worry about children who have less

I love that you’re always dancing

I love that you say “Thank you for the day” to your teacher EVERY SINGLE DAY

I love that you’re good at every freaking sport

I love that you made your own comic book.

I love that you’re the coolest kid I know

When I got done saying all of those things Ryder lifted his head from my shoulder and looked at me. He was crying. Not hard crying. Tears streaming down his little face-crying. Silent hurt.

“Did mom make you sad?” I asked.

He shook his head.

“Did you really need to hear that?”

He nodded.

 

I’m so sorry, Ryder. I’ll do better. 

 

I don’t always know how to balance. To give everyone the attention that they need. I am essentially a stay-at-home mom…with a full time career. I feel so overwhelmed that recently I’ve started to have panic attacks again. Oh, ew! I haven’t had those since college. And so in light of everything I’ve realized that it’s probably time for me to make some changes. And while I haven’t fully figured out what those changes need to be yet, I am working on it. I’ve unplugged a little bit. Truth be told, I’ve stopped answering texts. Those five minutes everyone wants from you, they add up. Those five minutes when you hop on Instagram, or Facebook, or Twitter-they add up. I’ve set about organizing my time  better, scheduling things like writing and social media. I’ve hired a cleaning service. I’ve set down my phone to be more present.

The bottom line is: my children come first.

They did not ask to be born. I summoned them to this world, and it is my responsibility to get it right.  I’m willing to work hard and change so that I can better meet their needs. Being a mom is hard.  So hard. Don’t ever downplay your role as a mother, and don’t you dare let anyone else downplay that role to you. I hope you can learn from my mistakes here. Maybe be encouraged by the fact that none of us really have it together. But, most importantly I hope that this may make you look at that one kid you have, the one that sometimes gets overlooked. That kid may need you to look them in the eyes and tell them all their good things. Go do that today.

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Leopard Me Yellow

I did something a little different this time you guys. I made three separate links: one for Plus size, one for more affordable lookalikes, and the one I’m wearing. So scroll all the way down! The Free People tee is on SALE!

What I’m Wearing 

   

Plus Size  

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Capitol Hill

My forty dollar top shop dress, hell yes. It’s jersey material so has good stretch, and is flattering for women who have big boobs and small boobs. I am wearing a size 8 in the photo. Love that slit too. I plan on wearing it with my adidas soon.

Capitol Hill

Josh and I decided to spend an entire day wandering around Capitol Hill’s funky bar/bookstore/music scene. Why don’t I live there? I officially fell in love and CH is my new favorite place in Seattle. If you visit grab some drinks at one of the many colorful bars, who ALL display signs in their windows welcoming every type, color and gender of person. That’s the thing about Seattle, it’s all love and acceptance over here. Freedom of expression and land of artists. I love my home state so very much. Along with the many cool shops is my favorite bookstore: Elliot Bay Book Company, and the awesome Retrofit Home shop. Have Drinks and a corn dog at the weird Unicorn.  And Brunch!  Seattle has one heck of a brunch scene (London Plane is my favorite). Either way, you can’t go wrong on Capitol Hill. I’ll be seeing some of you soon for my Write or Die conference in Seattle this month! Can’t wait!

Outfit linked below. I bought my snake wrap bracelet at a little store in Port Townsend, this was the closet match I could find. And my Miranda bag is no longer made by Michael Kors, which is terribly sad because it’s my favorite bag of all time. I’ve been faithfully using it for five years now. However, you can still find this style on some second-hand sites like The Real Real.

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Playing Around

OHMYGODICUTMYHAIR

And for the very first time I don’t regret it. It took me thirty two years to find the stylist of my dreams. Thank you, Shannon! She’s been cutting and blowdrying me for about three years now and there has never been a time when I leave her unhappy. I needed a change since I spent two years growing my hair out for the wedding. I was afraid to cut it because every time I’ve cut my hair I feel motherly. Like, I know I’m a mother but I don’t want to look like a mother. Ya know?! I have Peter Pan syndrome and in my heart I’m forever eighteen. Guys, if you’re ever in the area check out Shannon Wylie.

You can look her up on Instagram by: shannonwyliedesigns

 

Anyway, I found you a dupe pair of jeans for $60 and also listed my pair. And if you’re a slouchy t-shirt kind of girl this is my all time favorite tee. Washes well, doesn’t shrink, fits perfectly. And I am LOVING these Minkoff sneakers. So, usually I don ‘t like these laceless sneaker things. They sort of look lazy to me. Like, I’m a mom and I don’t have time for laces. But add silver grommets AND I LOVE THEM. LAZY SNEAKERISH  THINGS WITH EDGE! Yaaaas!

 

What I’m reading

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Vestsuit

Plus size jumpsuit included.
 

What I’m reading.

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Come to the Dark Side

Star Wars lover, right here! Always rooting for Darth Vader, love me some villains. I have been faithfully wearing my denim overalls every summer for five years now, but then I decided I wanted overalls in black. The hunt began. I found these and they’re not a boyfriend fit like my blue denims, they’re tighter…a little sexier (Can you call overalls sexy?) and they’re definitely comfortable. The pair I have are listed first in the links below. They are an Urban Outfitters brand called DGB and have a strap back rather than a full bib back (See photos). I did link some more affordable brands so you had options. What’s a woman without options? My necklace is from Tiffanys, I bought it for myself four years ago for my thirtieth birthday and I still wear it weekly. It’s currently on sale, so check it out.

 

What I’m reading.

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Art

I had a really great conversation with a friend this weekend about art. Actually it’s Josh’s friend, but now that we’re married we share everything right? Right. So my new friend and I were talking about art as a lifestyle. He’d just complimented my home decorating skills, and my photo taking skills, and while we sat at the dinner table my ego bloating he helped me understand myself a bit more. Last time a dude made me think deeply he was tattooing the words I am the color of BOOM on my arm. My tattoo artist, Kaweeka is one of the wisest dudes on the planet. Too bad he left the shop and didn’t tell anyone where he was going. I’ve been on the search for Kaweeka for three years now. KAWEEKA CAN YOU HEAR ME?! Where you at?

Anyway, off track there.

Art is a lifestyle. It’s not just books, or photography, or paint. It can be simple things too, things you may not realize are there. Once you open the door to one type of art more things follow.

I started as a writer. I was only six years old when I wrote my first story. I was writing books about talking dolls and magical wells back then. Pretty soon I found the need to express myself in more ways than just the written word. I started decorating. I started writing songs. I had a friend try to teach me how to draw. I wasn’t good at everything but I only discovered that by trying. I wanted to create things, even the things I showed no obvious talent in.

Humans need a way to express themselves. We have to much boiling inside of us not to.

My home is eccentric, bold and…weird. it’s too weird to be trendy. It’s sort of Alice in Wonderland meets Beetlejuice. In other words my decorating style is sort of a well coordinated acid trip. And the way I dress, I mean most people think I’m wack. My favorite thing to wear are atrociously ugly shoes. I pull the artist card when explaining my wardrobe.

“What? I’m an artist. I need to express myself…”

The things that come out of  us like our home decor, clothes, tattoos, heck even cooking are all reflections of who we are. I know that some of you have to suppress those things because you work jobs that won’t allow blue hair, or ripped jeans. But, find ways. Find ways to let those beautiful things inside of you come out. You are an artist. Yes, you. Most people don’t think they’re creative. That’s not true. Just because it hasn’t been cultivated or acknowledged doesn’t mean it isn’t there. You may express it in the way you creatively give gifts, or the way you style your hair. But there is art in you and you need that art. it doesn’t even matter if you’re not good at it…yet. You can be. Find your art.

 

Guys, wire headbands. They’re not floppy and they don’t slide off your head like the fabric ones. I found one for you below, but there are great choices on Amazon. I included plus size options in this post, as well as a more affordable pair of jeans. So scroll right to make sure you’ve seen everything. Also some people commented recently that they’re unsure of how to subscribe to the Guise Of the Villain blog. You have to sign up on a desktop. One you visit my website from your computer there will be a pop option to subscribe. Happiest Sunday.

 

What I’m reading!

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Spiritual Gangster

Gangster: a member of a group of criminals. So, what exactly is a spiritual gangster anyway? It would be me overthinking words on a t-shirt before I buy it. Over the years we’ve taken words that have negative connotations and have trended them into society. I had to really think before I committed to this tank because I didn’t want to send the wrong message. God, sometimes I give myself a headache. But here’s why I bought this shirt.

Religion kind of took a nose dive. I could say it’s recent but then we’d be forgetting all the wars fought throughout history in the name of religion. Religion has been a contentious thing since…forever. I am a Christian. Mind you throughout college I was called a heretic by my fellow Christians. I went to a private Christian college that centered its doctrine on rules, not on love. Of course if you are familiar with Tarryn Fisher you know that I unapologetically had something to say about all of that. It didn’t go over well. Some people love that law, yo. So the word “Christian” became a wonky word for me. The associations made me shy away from the word. But, people do that don’t they? They ruin things. And in the end I wasn’t going to let flawed humans turn me away from something I loved.  The original message-that’s what I live for. Now, you could be an atheist, a Muslim, a buddhist, let me just say that I don’t care what you are. You are a human being and I love you. It’s really none of my damn business what you’ve chosen for your life. My business is what I’ve chosen for my life, and to avoid hypocrisy and actually live out my belief system it’s in my best interest to focus on my life not yours.

 

“Love one another as I have loved you.”

Dayuuum! What does that mean? Bear with me for a moment as I explain what it means to us Beliebers….I mean believers. It means God came down to experience human bullshit. Betrayal, hate, hunger, rejection, a different type of klan, temptation, hurt, murder, hypocrisy. If you read the story of Jesus you’ll see how he was just pummeled with all of it. And yet he loved those who murdered him. He fought for the weak, he opposed the law and the only thing he got really pissed off at was at religion. OMG! Like me! He stood up for women. All. The. Time. Because back then women had absolutely no rights. None. A champion of every underdog. And he asked his followers to show that unconditional love to…strangers? Hell yes, he did. Mmmkay, I’mma do my best. I fail. I do. But, I believe in it; the message of love.

I subscribe deeply to the profound, wisdom of the Bible, deeply to the Jesus of Christianity (he’s cool as fuck) <—–see that’s why I got in trouble.

But I don’t subscribe to the way humans have interpreted the Bible. Or the way they represent my cool as fuck, Jesus. Because of that I was often labeled a Christian criminal or heretic. I’m okay with that. I have found people who represent what I believe, who live out their beliefs. I have other spiritual gangsters in my life.  I am a spiritual gangster. See…my shirt even says so. Click on dat link if you’re a spiritual gangster too. I linked the cheap jeans and the expensive jeans.

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Naked and Mean

No one in Washington has air conditioning. That means for three weeks during summer I’m miserable and mean. Heat makes me a very bad person, guys. We’re officially past the 95 degree hump in my corner of the PNW and I can officially stop walking around naked and angry. This sweatshirt I picked up from AG is comfortable and still works in hot weather. I found a couple of more affordable options for you. And since summer is almost over this will float into your fall wardrobe. Hope you’re enjoying your weekend.

What I’m reading

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Cold Shoulder

More high waisted pants for you. This time in fancy pink with a little bow to wrap up your waist. Also this top was a nice surprise. It was left in the fitting room; someone else’s reject. I bought it because… NO SHIRT LEFT BEHIND. Also because it’s pretty fly for a cold shoulder top. Cold shoulder tops look so whimsical and romantic and…well…I don’t want to look whimsical and romantic. Anyway, clearly it won me over.

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