Family Journals

One of the reasons I love the Day Zero project is because it gives me a gentle reminder to complete some of those tasks that I have been meaning to do, but they keep falling by the wayside. The perfect example is family journals.  (#64 and 65 on my list!)  My intent is for these journals to be a time capsule of sorts, one for my daughter and one for my husband.

Life goes by way too fast! And sometimes, we’re so busy in the moment that I forget to say something. Or (in my wisdom as a mother) I recognize that this will be an important memory down the road!

When my great grandmother died at age 101, one of the things that impressed me the most was the fact that she had kept journals. There were books upon books, nearly a page a day from the time she was a young girl! I was in awe of these treasures. This was a woman born far before the automobile was a common practice. She’d been raised on a homestead in the Nebraska panhandle, and seen many changes in her lifetime. And they were all recorded in those notebooks.

While I don’t have the discipline to journal daily, I thought “Wow, what a neat legacy to leave my family someday!” and began plotting a journal for each member of my family. A future gift to them, full of memories and bible verses. Thoughts and prayers. With a few added photographs!

Making my family journals.

The first step was to pick my family journals. In usual Jacque fashion? I took WAY too long to do this! I wanted them to match, but then I got paranoid that if we added another member to our family in the future? I wouldn’t be able to find the same book. I didn’t want it to be too bulky. Or too flimsy.

Finally, I realized that a composition notebook would be perfect. They are always available. Pretty sturdy. And easy to customize. And best of all? Cheap! If I filled the notebook? I would easily be able to add a second, nearly identical one years later!

And then? I sat down and wrote.

I started both journals with a simple note to it’s intended. Explaining what this thing was, why I was writing it, and my full intentions. I also made sure to date the pages. (Yes, I feel that needs said. I tend to forget things like this.)

After my opening letter, I decided to do a quick “Where you are” page for my daughter. A basic “survey style” page with her facts. Age, height, current favorites. Little things I thought would be fun to remember when she’s and adult about her 8th year. (Because who doesn’t look back fondly on their memories of knowing EVERY word to the NKOTB Step-by-Step album?)

I keep the journals on our bookshelf in our living room, ready to grab and write! As I move forward with this project, my goal is to write at least once per month! (A quick update as I write my goals out the first of each month is sufficient.) But also, to have them convenient so I can write as I go.

This project is not only important for me about my daughter, but also my husband. I wanted to have a place that I could write down all my little thoughts for him. We’ve been together 20 years (fairly impressive, giving that I’m only 33) and time has proven that my memory is better than his! So I wanted a place to chronicle our lives together. But also, a way for our kids to take a dive into our lives at some point in the future!

For my husband, sometimes my entries aren’t as funny as they are for my daughter! I’ll admit, only a few weeks into this project and I’ve had a few moments where I talked about arguments, or even recorded what our monthly bills look like!

The important thing about journaling? It can look however you want it to look!

Do you have a journal for your child or spouse? How do you keep it updated? I’d love to hear, so please leave a comment!


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