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Why the freebie? ‘Cuz it’s my blog’s birthday!

11 Nov

One year later and I’m still pecking away at this here keyboard!

So I’ve got to admit, I did realize last month that November would mark the one year birthday of this blog (if you want to read about that first crazy day click here). I also did intend to acknowledge this fact with an anniversary post or some other self-satisfying accolade. In real time this looks like me, in front of my computer screen moments ago scrolling down to check the date of the first post, followed by me wincing at my own ineptitude and wondering how different this post would have sounded had it come seven days ago. On November 4th. On my actual 1 year blog anniversary.

Ah, well, if nothing else this year I’ve learned to roll with the punches, to let life lead the way, to feel  less guilty when a deadline approaches, lingers, then hightails it right past me. And although I know that none of you awaited November 4th in breathless anticipation of some glorious composition, I do feel like I owe ya’ something. Something more than a belated party popper. So here goes:

I, my friends, am holding my first giveaway! This is something you all want, so hunker down for a minute here. My dear sweet friend, Heidi Knechtel, is an incredible painter of portraits, landscapes, animals, you name it. Unbeknownst to her, I am giving away one of her Original Hand Painted Charm Pendant necklaces (surprise, Heidi!). I have two of them myself, plus two of her portrait necklaces with my kiddos’ impossibly tiny faces hand painted right on them. They are my prized possessions. And now one lucky FreeTheMom subscriber will have the chance to choose their very own treasure from her amazing smorgasbord of beauty! Wanna know how to play?!

1) Become a subscriber. If you already are, then you’re automatically entered to win!

2) But wait, there’s more! Want better odds of winning? Make a comment anywhere on FreeTheMom, share a post on your facebook wall, or show some twitter love. Just be sure to tag me (Anjale Perrault) in any facebook post you share so that I can be sure your entry counts. And there’s no maximum number of entries here, people, so go hog wild!

3) Refer a friend. If any of your friends subscribe to FreeTheMom and make a comment anywhere on this site thanking you for the referral, you gain an additional entry. Yay for you!

4) Be sure to do it all by Thanksgiving Day! That’s right, contest ends on Thursday, 11/24/11. I’ll be on my mark and ready to give one of you something a little extra to be thankful for.

So I think that’s it. Thanks to y’all for keeping me company over the last 365, er 372 days (oooh, and FYI this is my 40th post!). I’m measurably more sane than when I arrived here a year ago, and I’m willing to gamble it’s only up from here.

And speaking of gambling, happy birthday, mom! 11/11/11…time to go use those lucky numbers on some slot machines and bingo! You may think that’s a joke, but it’s not. We’re Cherokee. And headed to San Manuel this afternoon *battle cry*. Wish us luck!

This season’s promise

3 Oct

Driving down Pacific Coast Highway last weekend I found myself staring out of the passenger side window at the countless storefronts lining the street. Each tiny shop window gleamed with promise of the possibility held between its walls. I felt an anticipatory sort of excitement as I considered the treasures, the beauty, the art that waited just behind their doors, and wondered whether anyone had ever driven this same road and experienced a similar attraction to the curious unknown hidden just out of reach. At that moment the world seemed full of possibility, of unnamed potential, and I held the key to imagining the limitless bounds of it all.

This, I thought to myself, is one moment that I will strive to remember. Not for the sake of returning to this place someday, not to purchase the fabulous vintage sofa on display, but rather because for one fleeting second I felt as if I were seeing the world as if through the starry eyes of my children.

Our earliest years of life are so blissfully perceived through the rosy lens of the imagination, and with Halloween fast approaching I am reminded daily of this fact. On this one singular day we allow ourselves the pleasure of transforming into the stuff of our dreams, into the realm our wildest imaginings. Astronaut, police officer, scuba diver – these were some of the popular choices in our household this year until my boys settled upon vampire and werewolf.

Which now makes me wonder – when did I stop believing? Believing in the impossible, the unrealistic, the not-for-sures? While I entertain a far many more what-if’s than my sweet reasonable husband, it is true that with age I have pulled closed the door of imagination so it’s now just a crack of streaming light that gets through. Only during moments of playtime, of daydream, of restless ambrosial hour sleep, does the imagined come alive for me again. And it’s heartbreaking, in a way, since I know that so relatively few years ago it was the five year old me who worked voraciously to complete the unending daily tasks of a superhero, princess, and veterinarian.

So this year I am recommitting myself – not to the psych ward, thank-you – but rather to the suspension of disbelief, to the simple acquiescence to all that is possible in this world and in others. This year, I promise, I will believe in promise itself. And I hope that you will too, with each and every storefront that rushes in a blur outside your window.

– Written for Peninsula Montessori School

Safer than skydiving

18 Nov

When I get the itch to rebel, I respond swiftly and to the point. The same as when I get a mid-month craving for chocolate chip cookies – mix, bake, scarf. Nip it in the bud and get on with your life.

For some moms the need to break out is resolved with a pedicure here or there, a night out with the she tribe, a little slutty off the shoulder number worn to a PTA meeting. And for others the denouement is a bit more overt – a Valium here or there, a night out with someone else’s husband, a little slutty off the shoulder number slung stage right during a pole dance.

I suppose I’m somewhere in the middle.

For those of you who may not know me personally it will suffice to say that for me the drive toward self expression is constant (if not incessant). And after self-expressing two children into this world, my need for expression of the rebellious type has increased.

Enter tattooing. The safest and least disruptive way to rebel every  –  single  –  day  (that little squeak was my heart seizing up with happiness).

Allow me to offer a self portrait that my husband pointed out might represent life just perfectly at the present moment, where with every small attempt at rebellion comes an equally wholesome and amenable counterpart. ie: my artsy photographic moment is enriched by a streaking two year old.

I’ll take this as proof that little dude and I really are cut from the same cloth.