the monday snapshot – Maggie

Maggie from iMags is going to open up the week for us with her contribution to the The Monday Snapshot – an evolution of the MMM feature, meant to bring the PAIL blogroll to life by giving its members a chance to feature themselves and make new connections. 

If you would like to be featured on The Monday Snapshot, please sign-up here!

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Good morning!

Happy last Monday of the year!  Happy New Year, and I hope the Holidays were full of peace and joy for everyone!
I took this picture of Sophie and Alex last week at Starbuck’s after an amazing concert we went to with my Dad and Step-mom to see the Golden Dragon Acrobats. The kids enjoyed hot chocolates while the grown-ups sipped coffee.
This past year was a rough one for me regarding losses: I lost no less than 7 friends to various catastrophes, illness, and suicide. I also lost my beloved Grandmother.
The reason I love this picture so much, is that it captures a moment of pure JOY: something I really need more of these days.
Something we all, I’m sure, could use more of in our lives.
I wish you all JOY in abundance in the New Year!

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Now, get to know a little more about Maggie with her answers to the Monday Snapshot “5 Questions”:

1) How long have you been blogging and how did you get started?

I have been blogging for exactly 15 days [as of the day she submitted this]. I got started in late October, having been inspired by a friend’s blog, and by using a comment post that I left on it. I am trying to write my story in a book, but in the interim, a blog seems more accessible and fits in with my crazy schedule better.

2) Tell us a little about your ALI journey and your family (3-4 sentences):

I went through multiple ways of TTC. My husband and I did many rounds of IUI, then started doing IVF about two years after we got married. We had done 4 cycles of IVF, with only one pregnancy which ended in miscarriage. Our Niece and her husband offered to be gestational carriers for us, for our 5th cycle and we now have 6 year old twins. We did one final round of IVF, which failed, two years ago.

3) What makes you unique in the blogging world? (e.g. special talent, rare diagnosis, life experience)?

I realize now, perhaps I’m not exactly unique in the blogging world. There seem to be many “mommy” bloggers out there, as well as “pregnancy/ loss/ infertility” bloggers to boot. I think, though that my story (which is actually really long and complicated, and joyous in the end), is unique. Because we used a gestational carrier 6 1/2 years ago when it wasn’t the “new norm,” because I had already gone through so many failed IVF’s, because we switched doctors mid-stream for a multitude of ugly reasons, because I had to formally adopt my own children after they were born, because our niece didn’t take a penny of payment for what she felt was a “karmic debt” to me to carry our twins, because I have gone on to become a birth Doula, because I am still infertile but also a mommy, the list goes on.

4) One word to describe yourself: 

Determinded

5) What blog or website (IF or not) would you recommend to others? Why?

I love Keiko Zoll’s blog The infertility Voice. I keep telling people to read it. I also really love Heather Armstrong’s blog, Dooce. Her voice is so similar to mine, and her experiences as a mom are so familiar- but she writes about them with such raw humor – I love her perspective. I can’t always stomache the more “serious” stuff… I’m trying to find a place of lightness and humor to tell my own story, so this one helps keep it all in perspective for me.

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As always, we want to see your Monday Snapshot as well, so please comment below with a link to your post– and of course, go visit  Maggie at iMags.

If you would like to be featured on The Monday Snapshot, please sign-up here!

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best of PAIL – 2012 – winners!

A huge thank you to all of you who voted on our “Best of PAIL – 2012” polls! We are so thrilled with the direction this space has taken this year, the community that flows through and around it, and the genuine support and conversations to be found here and crossing over around the blogroll. It has been everything we envisioned and more. To say that we are excited about projects to come in 2013 would be an understatement. We can’t wait!

And now… *drumroll please*

The winners of the “Best of PAIL – 2012” as voted by you!

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Best Featured Post

Wanted for Robbery @ No Baby Ruth

This post spoke to a lot of us, for various reasons. I still find it as profound, as moving, and as true reading it again today as I did when I wrote about it earlier this year.

Congratulations No Baby Ruth!!! We’ll email you the instructions to add the badge to your blog! 🙂

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Best Monday Snapshot

Stiff competition in this category! Six contenders in fact! But there can only be one…

Mandski @ Full Bed

A sweet shot of the adorable sleeping Mira takes the cake in 2012. And those lashes…ugh!

Congratualtions Mandski!!! We’ll email you instructions to add the badge to your blog too! 🙂

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Best News Item

By far one of our most popular posts of the year, and in a nearly unanimous decision…

“The Mom Stays in the Picture”

Josey’s write up on this Huffington Post article of the same name spurred not only a lot of discussion, but a good deal of reflection and resolution to *be* in the picture more. And since we can’t give ourselves a badge for this one, let’s revisit all the beautiful mothers who shared their thoughts and their photos with us in response to this post:

Another HUGE thank you to each and every one of you for making this year so rewarding and enriching for this little niche within the larger community. We’ll be adding another new feature very soon in the New Year, so keep your eyes peeled for that!

~ Happy New Year! ~

the monday snapshot – PAIL Bloggers edition

Happy Holidays everyone!

From our families to yours we hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season! We will see you on December 31st when we feature our next Monday Snapshot blogger 🙂

Don’t forget Sign up here if you would like to be featured in the New Year!

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From the rainy west coast where our one day of snow was washed away overnight…

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From snowy, cold Colorado where we are doing our best to stay warm by the fire…IMG_4533

From (mostly) unseasonably warm New England, where we say “if you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes”…

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From the midwest where the buffalo, er, giant stuffed giraffes named Michael Jordan, roam:

pail holiday photo

And from not-at-all snowy Toronto, Canada, where cell phone photos capture the preternatural teenage spirit of the season!

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Happy Holidays!

weekly summary, vol. 29

Special Projects:

  • If you haven’t yet gotten through the list, click back over to the PAIL Blogger Vlogs. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll get to know 20 of the PAIL Bloggers a little better. Thanks to everyone who participated!
  • The top five Featured Posts have been nominated for the “Best of 2012” series for PAIL, and now there’s more– nominees for Best Monday Snapshot and Best News Item! To vote in all three categories, head to the Best of 2012 Voting Page. Winners will be selected & posted Friday, December 28th, so get your votes in soon!

PAIL Posts This Week:

  • For this week’s Monday Snapshot, Traathy introduced us to Leah and her daughter Avery from Everyday Love. Who else is loving that sweet little ensemble with the monogrammed “A” shirt and giant flower headband? Confession: we have a few of those headbands in my house, too. So pouffy… so girly… so cute! To get to know Leah a little more and see what other PAILbloggers were up to this week, check out The Monday Snapshot!
  • Chandra gave us an article about grief and processing traumatic events in this week’s News Item, “Dealing with Grief.” This is an especially poignant piece to follow the devastating shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut just a week ago, so thank you Chandra for giving us something so meaningful and timely as we try to wrap our heads around this tragedy.
  • Josey posted the list of bloggers who wrote entries for December’s Monthly Theme on Balancing Life, Work and Parenthood. Lots of interesting perspectives on this list, from working out-of-the-home moms to stay-at-home moms to “I’ve done both” moms… it’s a complex issue and, as always, our blogroll is chock-full of thoughtful women who have really done justice (and written sensitively and fairly, as the internet can often be a “WOHM” vs “SAHM”/”my life is harder than your life” battleground) to our many different perspectives and lifestyles when it comes to working and parenting. I may be going outside our normal Weekly Summary format here for a moment, but this is one of the things I love about our blog roll– you all are so smart and considerate! Give yourselves a round of applause!

New to the Blogroll This Week:

  • Rainbowmaking 101My journey through miscarriage, infertility and IVF, pregnant with twins, and now thankfully parenting twins, born October 2012. Welcome to our blogroll!
  • Do you know someone who could benefit from the PAIL community? Do you need to make a change to your listing? Send them our way!

Stay Connected:

  • Read something great lately? Please send us posts to feature or interesting news items.
  • Traathy wants to remind everyone who might be interested to sign up to host The Monday Snapshot! Share a photo of a special moment in your week, let people know a little about who you are, and pick up a few new blog friends!
  • Add PAIL Bloggers to your blog reader! We have added the ENTIRE blogroll to ours!
  • Please update your PAIL Blogroll button!
  • Follow us on Twitter and Pinterest!

december 2012 – balancing life, work, and parenthood

Following is the list of contributors to the December Monthly Theme post. Thanks so much to everyone who participated – there truly is no one “right way” find balance, but hopefully the nuggets of wisdom contained herein will give you ideas and/or give you peace about how you are making it all work, and as SRB said in her post, “Wherever the grass looks greener, somebody still has to mow it. Make sure you take a minute to sit on your porch and enjoy your lawn. Or something.” Right?! 🙂

Suggested Writing Prompts:

  • Are you working outside the home with little one(s) at home? How do you balance the two? Does your partner work outside the home as well?
  • Did you start working outside the home postpartum and decide it wasn’t for you?
  • What factored into your decision to stay home, work from home, or work outside the home?
  • Did you get that baby in your arms and never go back? How do you balance your responsibilities at home when you’re on call 24/7?
  • Did you start out staying at home and decide you needed/wanted to go back? How did you handle those emotions?
  • How did you find the balance that works for you while being a SAHM/WAHM/WOHM?

Contributing Bloggers:

  • Lulu @ The Wild Rumpus wrote a post reflecting on her “previous life” as a yoga teacher in an effort to find balance.
  • Missy @ My Scarlet Baby says “There is no end-state of perfect balance, but a constant process of self-correction when we are leaning too much in any direction, in her post, “Doing it all?
  • A left her thoughts about finding balance in a comment on our original post – check it out here!
  • Chon @ Life Begins has this to say about her post:  ‘This past week I have had to make decisions about my eventual return to work and how it is going to impact my future. I was surprised by the fact that after all these years I was excited about working.”
  • Traathy @ Happily Ever After talks about finally coming to the realization that when you become a mom it is okay to admit that staying home just isn’t your *thing* in her post about balance.
  • Jen @ The Chronicles of Violetta Margarita says her post, “Balance,” is “a bit of a ramble on [her] plans for when it’s time to go back to work.”
  • Iveta @ Little Livi says “My post is about a very difficult decision I was just faced with after becoming unemployed during a one year maternity leave in Canada” in her post, “When working doesn’t work.”
  • Maggie Lukes @ iMags says “I wrote this last month, all about how I struggle with working 32 hours a week, and having 6 year old twins- mostly it’s about my own conflicting feelings about it, which I’m sure, are probably familiar to any working mom” about her post, “Crazy pills and Ginger Rogers.”
  • Kalyn @ The Kasun Family tells us that her post, “Working Mom,” discusses why she chose to be a working mom.
  • Josey @ My Cheap Version of Therapy talks about how hard it is to not let the “life” ball fall when so much focus goes into Parenting and Work in “Balance.”
  • missohkayThe misadventures of missohkay says “If life were The Sims, I’d be failing; since it’s not, I’m hanging in there.” in her post “Balance? I laugh in the face of balance.”
  • KristenBuck Up, Buttercup wrote “a post about trying to balance twins, part-time work from home, marriage, writing, “me time,” and household demands–lots of help and prioritizing are key!”
  • Emily @ Emskyrooney talks about “a history of my time as a working mom as I transition to being a stay at home mom…” in her post, “Out of Work.
  • Gemini MommaThree Geminis and a Sagittarius wrote a post entitled, “I don’t,” in which she fields the question “How do you do it all?” with the simple answer, “I don’t.”
  • SRB @ Little Chicken Nuggets discusses her current lack of balance as a SAHM, and something about a gardener? … in her post, “wherever the grass is greener, it ain’t gonna mow itself.”
  • April @ R. Sativus says “Just because it’s sunshine and rainbows now doesn’t mean it’s always been that way” about her post.
  • mandski @ full bed says “I don’t have it all, but I have more than enough” in her post, “Making it Work.”
  • Jules @ Two Pink Tulips wrote her post “Having it All,” and says “Try to be the Hostess with the SAHMostess.”
  • No Baby Ruth @ No Baby Ruth says, “In trying to find the right way to balance my life, I look to my mom for inspiration” — about her post, “Following in Her Footsteps.”
  • Rhianna @ Arch Mama wrote a post entitled, “On Balance, Motherhood” in which she discusses her attempt to discover balance in motherhood by quitting her job, but ultimately reveals, in a spectacular display of irony, that balance is probably just another stupid urban legend.
  • Ms. Future PharmD @ Mom PharmD wrote in her post, “Balance,” about how sometimes you just have to fake it.
  • slese1014 @ Mommyhood after Fertility Frustration — wrote about how she is trying to keep all of her “Spinning Plates” in balance, and how TTC#2 is throwing another plate in the air.

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