Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Wolfwardrobe | on silver necklaces they strung the flowering stars

In July, I lost my job (that's the story of this year for me, not that sordid election)--a job I loved, and a job that became very much a part of my identity, a job with a very loose and forgiving dress code.

BeYOUtiful Butterfly was a perfect space for me.  I was paid to look at clothes (otherwise known as "shop"). And, even in seas of Ann Taylor Loft sheath dresses and Talbots tweed blazers, there were lovely, unexpected jems. There were so many surprises--so many great vintage pieces, off-brands, funky prints, bold colors, foreign brands. I had a constant stash of incredible finds under the counter at work, and hanging those pieces in my eccentrically cultivated closet was a kind of ritual. My style has always had a certain undeniable flair (even in days when I wanted so desperately to fit in, or thought I did), but it became more carefully explored and, thus, defined during my tenure at The Butterfly. In the autumn and winter, I was a goth cowgirl, in the summer I was a hippie witch in resort-wear. Neither of those looks, however, necessarily work in other careers/jobs (or full-time moming it at home). 

When the Butterfly's doors closed for good, I didn't get dressed for weeks. I clothed my body, of course, and moved through my days first at home with my son, then in a temporary gig that worked me to the bone for very little pay. I did not get dressed the way I had for the nearly two years previous, layering garments like paint on a canvas. I lamented that I did not choose my clothes more practically when I had the money and opportunity. 

I'm in a more permanent position now at another job, and after testing boundaries by the tiniest increments day-to-day and week-to-week, I've discovered I have a considerable amount of freedom with my wardrobe in this position as well (though cargo pants and jean cut-offs are not options).  It's not the same, in so many ways, but it'll do. Below, are ensembles from my last days at The Butterfly, and some I never posted.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Thankful Thursday | god only knows what I'd be without you

I, too, would like to formally file my complaints regarding time changes. "Fall Back" is nowhere near as offensive as "Spring Forward," but an extra hour's sleep (for one night) is not worth leaving work in the dark. (And, if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you may be privy to the fact that We Wolfpeople did not actually get an extra hour's sleep. We completely forgot about the time change and rushed around at not 6, but 5am to get Wolfman to work that day.) I have never minded waking up before the sun. In fact, while I'm prone to linger in bed, on the days I don't, I enjoy being awake in the dark, having my cup of coffee in hand while watching the sun rise. But nothing depresses me like leaving work in the dark of night. My whole day has been snatched from me, not an iota of sunshine left for me to enjoy. Time changes can bite me. I have to admit, though, that standing on the front porch of my shop and catching the last rays of sun as it dips down below the horizon has a certain aesthetic pleasure to it, so I'm thankful for that at least.

I Am Grateful:

  • for a good sales day at work, finally, and the optimism those sales foster.
  • for the unexpected generosity and thoughtfulness of strangers, like Anne, a customer at the store, who gave me a skeleton bride and groom candle holder for my collection.
  • for bagels, chicken sandwiches, and donuts at work (all in one day).
  • for Steven Yeun.
  • to Sierra, who takes Martigan on a day Wolfman is feeling particularly cruddy.
  • for trick-or-treated Kit Kat bars.
  • for The Beach Boys' "God Only Knows".
  • for clean water.
  • for a balmy night when I have to wait for my ride, especially after I'd steeled myself to shiver.
  • for afghans to wrap up in at work, while waiting out the clock at night.
  • for the little boy at the playground--Jason, age 7--who befriended Mads.
  • for vending machine Twix.
  • for my first successful in-home design sale, and the help of our designer, Hailey, in closing it.
  • for Eric Daman, Gossip Girl's costume designer, and the entire styling/wardrobe team.
  • to come home to a big pot of Wolfman's chili after a long day of work.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

365 | a world without men, a world with only birds

Sunday 2 October 2016
Friday 7 October 2016 
Thursday 13 October 2016
Tuesday 18 October 2016
Thursday 20 October 2016
Saturday 22 October 2016
Sunday 23 October 2016
Tuesday 25 October 2016
Sunday 30 October 2016 
Monday 31 October 2016 | Halloween

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Madmartigan, 3 Years Old | dig through the ditches and burn through the witches

About Mads, 3 Years & 3 Months Old:

  • Mads shows me his new boots (which I bought him). I say, "those boots are so cool!" He responds, "because I'm the coolest."
  • Mads is beginning to recognize bands, as in, when "Dragula" starts playing, Mads announces, "Hey! This is Rob Zombie!"
  • He says "last morning" when he means "yesterday."
  • Mads snuggles close and tells me, "You're my sweetheart."
  • Me: "You know that you're perfect, and I love you." Mads: "I will punch you with my foot!"
  • Me: "You've got three more minutes on that potty, and then I'm putting you back to bed." Mads: "I'll put you back to bed."
  • Mads says, "I'm a ninja. Ninjas don't go to bed."
  • Martigan has started tumbling, across the living room floor mostly and, once, he attempted to tumble on the sidewalk outside Target.
  • We've identified that Mads is possessed by a 3 Demon, an insidious creature that takes over my gorgeous, loving son on days he doesn't listen, doesn't sleep, throws tantrums at the slightest provocation. 
  • Mads has started story-telling (and I think he has a real knack for it; he's funny and lyrical). As we wind down before bed, he tells us the story of how "at the market" he met a mummy. "But it was a nice mummy! He didn't bite me! He ate mummy balls." In this story, he also meets a skeleton and a witch, neither of whom bite him.
  • Mads says, "I can't say that word. It's too difficult."
  • Mads says, "You're so cute, Mommy."
  • He named the spring horse Grandma pulled down from her attic "Charger."
  • He dropped his first f-bomb this month; he repeated his dad's incredulous cry of "what the f--k are you doing?" (at a clueless and/or careless driver on the road) in the car.
  • Favorite books this month: Troll & The Oliver, Norman Bridwell's Clifford the Big Red Dog books
  • Favorite movie/show: Justin Time

A photo posted by Michelle Vaughn (@wolfpeople) on

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Just Joy | your generator gens but your pistons don't work

  • I am sitting at the dining room table with Mads early in the AM, before the sun has risen, shucking corn, listening to The Classical Station and Lunchbox contentedly chewing his kibble. I see out the kitchen window Wolfman's lantern traversing the yard and, then, the fire he builds in the backyard fire pit.
  • It is the end of the day, and I've managed, with extreme patience and gentleness, to get Mads in his pajamas and ready for bed. He sits in my lap as we look at a pop-up book Grandma recently sent over to us, a book I remember from my childhood--Jan Pienkowski's Haunted House. We turn all the wheels, fold back all the cabinet doors, discover all the ghosts and black cats and dancing skeletons in the pages together.
  • I ask to leave work early, and my request is immediately granted, and I am looking at a long weekend of my favorite holiday with my favorite people, though I hadn't planned for it, and I feel like a genie has granted me a wish.
  • I am swinging at the playground, my little boy in the swing next to me being pushed by his dad, and the trees and sky are so beautiful, my menfolk so beautiful. It's warm out but not hot, and we are in the shade. My stomach keeps flipping.
  • I am elbows deep in greasy pizza with Grandma, Ella, and my boy, and though I know my stomach will ache later, I am so happy in this moment, and this is totally worth it.
  • Mads and I are tidying his room up, getting ready for bed, and I hear Wolfman singing along to the radio from the living room. He is singing "Lets Dance" in his best Bowie voice, so Mads and I rush into the living room to dance.
  • My men have let me sleep in an extra hour before waking me by climbing into bed with me and snuggling close--Wolfman, Mads, and the dog, all piled under the sheets next to me.
  • Wolfman and I are alone in the house unexpectedly, our sonshine spending the day with Grandma. My love is sitting close to me on the sofa holding my hand, which he picks up to examine. He presses my thumb between his two thumbs to compare sizes and tells me, "Your fingers are so tiny," and I am reminded of the night we first kissed, when he held my hand and expressed awe at how beautiful he found it. I'm rather fond of my hands, myself, but I think because he was fond of them first.
  • I am riding in the trunk of the car, not entirely comfortably, staring out the window at sky and tree tops. Periodically, Martigan calls back to me, "How are you doing back there, Mommy?" And, "Look at that sky, Mommy!" a sentiment of awe I've expressed to him thousands of times during the course of his life so far. It feels so good to hear him repeat it back to me.

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