Over the weekend, KPW and I were visiting his family in North Carolina. We spent Saturday afternoon cleaning out his old desk drawers, which were overflowing with college notebooks and more than a few sports magazines. The prized find in between his Poli-Sci notes and the 1993 ACC Tournament Guide was his Communication 120 spiral notebook. The particular notebook is extra special because it is from the fateful class where we met a dozen years ago. While flipping through the notebook, we uncovered tic-tac-toe scribbles on the back of class notes (don’t tell my mama and daddy I was too busy flirting with the cute boy who was sitting behind me to pay attention), as well as KPW’s fall exam schedule, written in very distinctive handwriting (ahem, mine) at the back of his book.
This got me thinking about the digital age and the power of the written word. Most people I know exist in a world full of email, text messages, and an ever-growing list of social media channels. In this digital age, writing things down can feel a little awkward and potentially unnecessary. However, I feel it’s incredibly necessary and something we should intentionally work to do on a somewhat regular basis. In my humble opinion, there is something wildly entertaining (and a bit romantic) about pulling out a pen and paper to capture life memories in your unique handwriting.
From our engagement session with Martha Manning
While I’m a known lover of exchanging handwritten cards for all the holidays, for me, picking up a cute card is far easier than documenting memories. While I love the idea of writing things down, I’m not the best “journaler,” so I need prompts. If you can relate, here are some of my favorite resources to help capture your married life memories and give you the chance to put pen to paper:
1. Christmas Memories Book: My MIL gave this to us right before our first Christmas. I may or may not have squealed out loud because I had my eye one for ages, ever since I spotted a family friend’s set of Christmas journals when I visited their house during the holidays. We keep ours packed away with our Christmas decorations and pull it out the weekend after Thanksgiving to fill out for the current year.
2. Wedding Day Journal: This little SW journal is one of my most prized possessions. It was created after a few conversations when I insisted that everyone should complete the SW Real Wedding interview. Even if you’ve been married for a few years, I think this little journal is a great way to capture memories and re-remember your wedding day.
3. Blank Journal: For anyone a little more comfortable with free writing, I think having a gorgeous leather journal and a time on the calendar a few times a year blocked out to capture family memories is brilliant idea. I especially encourage you to take it on vacation to document adventures and other memories! We kept a travel journal from our first anniversary trip and I love re-reading those small memories (closing down the Turkish restaurant around the corner from our hotel on our second night in London) that we might have otherwise forgotten about!
4. The Life Handbook: This little book is perfect for collecting stories and life advice, and a great way to connect during holidays, rainy weekends, or when extended family is visiting. I am also a big fan of taking this on long road trips to help pass the time and scribble down fun memories.
After twelve years of dating, KPW and I have exchanged our fair share of notes and cards–and I’m not the only SW gal who has dated her husband long distance at some point. Taking the time to walk down memory lane and remember funny, sweet, or silly things you shared can be powerful. This can happen on a specific holiday (like a birthday or anniversary), or on a random Saturday afternoon in August ;) Having a pretty box that you can keep out in your bedroom or living room is way better than keeping these special items tucked in the back of a closet or under a bed! There are tons of options out there, but these gold foil boxes are my personal favorite.
I love being able to go back and open up these books and boxes, add to them, and continue to capture our life as it flies by year after year. What a sweet legacy to leave for our future family! Let me know if you have used any of these resources or have found another fun way to capture your memories!