PAIL Meet Up!

Lets take a moment and indulge in some PAIL nostalgia. Way back in April of 2012 the call went out for someone, or someones, to take over the fledgling yet thriving PAIL idea. Picture me, 8 months preggo, and, looking back now, semi delusional. I, along with 3 other ladies, answered the call to take over the PAIL idea. We bonded instantly through emails laced with enthusiasm, sarcasm, and humor. When I was nearly debilitated with back issues during the later part of my pregnancy, and then gave birth, the other 3 ladies granted me the grace and time to step away from PAIL.

It’s hard to believe it has only been a few months pretty much that PAIL, in this format, has been in existence. Yet I can honestly say the 3 ladies that I work with to make PAIL what it is are truly my friends and part of my support network. Yet, until now, we have never met in person. Total strangers, yet we joined together, bonded, and work to try to make PAIL a supportive and welcoming place for those of us who are making it through the ALI journey.

And so recently I and my family were traveling to the North East. And we would be within 20 minutes of a fellow PAIL member, Jules. Of course we HAD to meet. Jules and her husband were so gracious and welcomed us into their home. Her daughters, ‘Chicken and Ham’ the epitome of cute 10-month old. We only got to spend about an hour visiting, but it was so amazing, like old friends just catching up.

The ALI blogging world is wonderful in that it is this huge network of support and love. It has brought 4 women together to work on something that hopefully helps others as much as it helps them. And to get to meet in person, well that just takes the cake! Here are some pictures of our meetup. Here’s to hopefully more in the future!

Chandra and Jules (‘Metholic’ and ‘Two Pink Tulips’)

From left to right: Ham, Stella, Chicken.
I feel like Ham is asking “umm what is this thing?” And Chicken is like “TOY! How do we work it?”

Here’s the “on” button: *Boop!*

news item – the mom stays in the picture

Do you take pictures of yourself with your child?

For those of you that follow me on my blog, you already know that I’m a picture freak. I love pictures, and I have taken thousands of them over the past couple of years throughout my pregnancy and the first 1o months of my daughter’s life. Sure, the majority of my pictures are candids of Stella doing anything and everything, but there are also a good number of pictures of her with her Dad and me.

There are days…many days…where I’m feeling run down, chubby, greasy, and generally unkempt. However, even on these downer days, I really truly make an effort to take pictures of my husband and I with our daughter whenever possible. This is because my favorite pictures from my childhood are the ones of me with my Mom and my Dad! I can’t imagine not having those pictures because my mom was feeling bad about her self-image that day or because my Dad felt too tired to hold me and smile for the camera.

In this picture from last Sunday, I hadn’t showered, I had barely slept, and I felt run down and gross…but I am SO glad that I have this picture of us anyway!

Capturing those moments with our children is a priceless gift, and that is why my eyes lit up when I read this article about a Mom who chose to be in the picture. I seriously could have put the entire article below in quotes  because I loved it so much – so go read it now, and then come back. Capisce?

I’m still carrying a fair amount of baby weight and wearing a nursing bra, and I don’t fit into my cute clothes. I felt awkward and tired and rumpled.

…but we really need to make an effort to get in the picture. Our sons need to see how young and beautiful and human their mamas were. Our daughters need to see us vulnerable and open and just being ourselves — women, mamas, people living lives. Avoiding the camera because we don’t like to see our own pictures? How can that be okay?

…So when all is said and done, if I can’t do it for myself, I want to do it for my kids. I want to be in the picture, to give them that visual memory of me. I want them to see how much I am here, how my body looks wrapped around them in a hug, how loved they are.

I feel like the author made so many great points in this article, and it’s a message that I hope we can all take to heart, because I’ve truly never met a mother who regretted being in a picture with her child(ren). Have you?

On a similar note, I just saw this image on my FB wall feed today. Normally FB drives me a little batty, but I thought this photo was worth sharing, especially when you look at it from the ALI perspective: (please ignore the bad grammar!)

Right?! So well said.

So my challenge to you is this. Take a picture of you with your child(ren). Post it on your blog (and link to it in the comments here!). Print it and put it in a frame. Celebrate that you are their Mommy and you are a GREAT Mommy, and give them that picture to look back when they are older. You are worth it, and they deserve it.

*****

Do you take pictures with your kids?

Did your parents take pictures with you?

Do you think it’s important to be in the picture?

What’s your favorite childhood photo of yourself?

*****

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