Friday, November 02, 2012

Happy Happy Day (+ a Giveaway!)

[Edited to add: I should have made it more clear that I will be picking TWO readers for the giveaway at the bottom of this post. Each will win one book. OK? Sorry if that wasn't clear!]

What a wonderful week I have had (aside from the pinkeye, that is). I just got back from an awesome book reading/speaking engagement at one of my town's mothers' groups. What a fun group of moms! Loved it. I had great fun reading from my book and talking about easy kids' activities and my ABC Summer project. So that was great. But there's more.  You'll never guess what happened to me this week. So I will tell you. First, some back-story.

So, I have this blogger friend, Tricia. She is a talented, hip, kind, fun mama with great style and and irrepressible spirit, whom I've never met in person but who I love anyway. She's so much more than a blogger, but she writes this great blog called Mommy*s Missing Pieces, and I urge you to check it out because it's full of stories, reflections, and musings on life as an always-learning, always-seeking mama (and much more). She never fails to make me smile, laugh, sometimes cry, and think.

She might not want me to tell you this story, because she's humble and low-key like that. But I'm too happy and excited to keep it to my loudmouth self.

So anyway. A few days ago, Tricia posted a photo on Facebook of her brand-new, verrrrry pretty, wine-colored, suede Minnetonka moccasins. This was fun, because lately I've been seeing Minnetonka mocs everywhere--in the J. Crew catalog, on fashion blogs, in magazines, etc.; they must be newly trendy (again). (Actually Minnetonka moccasins have been around for a very long time, and were all the rage among my peers when I was in elementary and middle school; I live in Minnesota and we are all very familiar with the company in this state. In fact, for a brief period, I lived in the actual town of Minnetonka.)

So, I've been coveting Minnetonka moccasins lately. Every time I saw them somewhere, I thought--oooh, if only. I love those. I want a pair someday. But I definitely cannot afford to buy myself a pair right now! Maybe Santa will bring me a pair. Drool. Love. Covet.

And naturally, then, when I saw Tricia's Facebook photo I commented, oohing and aahing and drooling over the oh-so-pretty wine color. I even looked them up on Zappos and checked out the styling, sizing, and reviews. Tricia and I chatted about them a little, especially about the fact that they seemed to run big, and she asked me what size shoe I wear and what color I liked. I told her and went about my usual activities, which included volunteering at both my daughters' school Halloween parties until I thought my head might explode from the noise and chaos.

Then I came home from the Halloween parties with a big old headache, and saw a Zappos box on my doorstep. What the...?!

Inside was a note. It said, "Please accept this surprise from one warrior mom to another! In the spirit of our blogs and our fave blogs, please pass on a surprise to another when you are on your financial feet again." And it was signed by Tricia.

And inside the inner box was a pair of gorgeous, wine-colored, suede Minnetonka moccasins in my size.

 They look brown in these photos, but in real life they're a deep, gorgeous wine color.

How cute are these?!

 OMG, you all!

I think my headache disappeared instantly. I may have teared up a little bit. Because, why? Why would this lovely friend from far away whom I've never met in person perform this generous gesture for me? How do I deserve this generous fellow-mama friend?

Then I realized. The best part of the surprise gift is the promise that I will, in turn, do the same for another mama. Maybe not with moccasins, but with something. Something special, something full of thought and care. Because moms need to stick together; we need to support each other and show love and care whenever we are able. Not just with material gifts--although, holla! those are great!--but with the sentiments behind them.

And I cannot WAIT to be able to pass on this wonderful, fun surprise. I'm already trying to brainstorm the who, what, and when.

So. This is not the mama-surprise I will be paying forward as inspired by Tricia, but for awhile now I have been meaning to do a giveaway of some copies of my book, The Essential Stay-at-Home Mom Manual: How to Have a Wondrous Life Amidst Kids and Chaos. I have some copies for such purposes, and it would make me so happy to put them in the hands of some other moms out there.

As I'm sure I've said a million times here, but in case you are new here and do not know, my book is part motherhood memoir/blog excerpts, part self-help guide to happier, healthier at-home motherhood. It's an all-in-one survival guide for making at-home motherhood easier and more fun, including everything from personal anecdotes to make you laugh (from me as a mom) and some of the most popular posts from Mama in Wonderland, to expert clinical advice (from me as a psychologist) about things like mood and stress management, to practical info like how to keep small kids entertained, how to keep your house clean in the most efficient and easy way possible, and even a step-by-step action plan for improving your eating habits, sleep, fitness, and relationships.

Sound good?

If so, leave a comment on this post to be entered to win a copy of my book. I have two copies to give away, which means your odds are excellent! I will randomly pick two commenters one week from today, on Friday, November 9th. Check back then, and if you win, I'll talk to you via e-mail about where to ship.


tricia*kushman*anderson said...

And I'm crying my eyes out over here! I love that you blogged about the shoes....I don't mind at all! YOU TOTALLY GET "IT" (the surprise) and you totally get me. In my time of grief it helps me to focus on others and get out of my head. It was pure joy and delight to do this, especially knowing you truly will "Pass it on." And I'm ashamed to say I don't have your book! I went to Barnes and Noble but since it was "print on demand" I never got around to ordering a copy. Happy Friday Shannon!

Shannon said...

Well it's a good thing you commented on this post then, isn't it? :) Seriously, I get so few comments you'll probably win a book. :)

Ulrika Peterson said...

LOVE the shoes! Well, I have read you book and I do think it's really fun and very enjoyable. I still would like to win one so I can give it away to another mom that I have in mind as a Christmas gift! Take care!

Jacky said...

I am a new stay-at-home mama and a friend lent me your book to help with the transition. I'd read it during nap time to help remind me of why I love my full time job as mama. Your post today about paying it forward especially hit home for me. I live in NYC and had to evacuate due to the hurricane. Our friends and family have been overly gracious and helpful. I can't wait to pay forward kindness soon to make someone else's day better. Thanks for reminding me to repay the kindness. :)

Shannon said...

Hi friends, Ulrika and Jacky, for some reason I got duplicates of your comments--maybe something wasn't publishing right on Blogger--so I'm just publishing one each to make it fair to other commenters.

SO GLAD you like my book! That means the world to me.

Michelle Pickett said...

Hi there! First off I love those moccasins! I have a purple pair and I live in them during this season. Also I would totally love to win a copy of your book! I have a 4 yr old and only the past yr I met my fiancé and he has made it possible for me to be a stay at home mama. Thanks for the awesome giveaway! Take care

Questionable Housekeeping said...

I have the e-book version of your book (really enjoyed it), but I'd love a hard copy to give to my fellow stay-at-home mama friend. Thanks for the giveaway!

shelley said...

Those shoes are lovely. Now I have something on my list for Santa too. Wonderful story. Would love to read your book.

Shari said...

Isn't it lovely to receive a surprise? Last year a customer of my husbands sent the kids a holiday themed fruit arrangement and my husband and I a bottle of wine. It was so kind and unexpected that I bawled after the delivery guy left :D

Stacie W said...

This is my first visit to your blog, but we have at least one, maybe other, mutual friends, and I'm a SAHM of three littles under five. Something tells me I need to read some more of your blog and this book.

Shannon said...

Welcome, new readers/commenters! So happy to hear from you. Stacie W., you must tell me what friend we have in common. The suspense is killing me.