Let’s face it, being a mom is crazy, hectic and stressful. We all had good intentions of filling out those precious baby books, and maybe we even did it with our first born but as the months/years went by and the number of children in the house increased, you simply didn’t have time to devote to that little book. Well let me introduce you to an AMAZING idea. One that I can’t even claim as mine. My sweet aunt Margaret started this idea YEARS ago and has continued it ever since. My mom told me of the idea and encouraged all us girls to do it, she even bought us the supplies!
Introducing the easiest, most sentimental project you will ever do… the Memory Journal
Spiral bound notebook (at least 100 pages)
Pen (or pens if you want a variety of colors)
Take your notebook and decide how you want to divide it up. I allowed 10 lines for each day, but it would be awesome to have a notebook big enough for a page per day. Be sure however you’re dividing it that you won’t run out of room. You want the whole year in one book and then about 20 additional blank pages in the back (we’ll discuss what I used those for a little later). I used a sharpie to label the dates and separate them…if I did it again I don’t think I’d use a sharpie, it kind of bled through. I’d recommend colored pens, that way when you’re flipping through it it’s easier to identify and find different months quickly -remember this is all about being able to jot things down fast!
Now you’re ready to start adding memories! This could be the most time consuming part but in my opinion it’s the fun part. Luckily when I started my notebook years ago I didn’t have a ton of stuff to transfer over so it didn’t take me too long. Start off by finding the day, then write in the year and the memory. Mine are usually short and sweet, things like “Shane got his first bike!” or “Rayce’s first tooth!”. Some memories obviously require more information, for instance my entries for the day’s my boys were born are more detailed.
I really admired how my aunt kept track of more than just information about her kids in her notebooks (yes, she’s done it so long she has multiple ones) so I’ve added more memories than just things about my kids. For example I wrote down some details about my wedding day, like the weather, the time we got married and things like that. Little details that you might forget but are fun to read later on. It’s fun when your book gets so full you have multiple memories on the same day from different years.
I took my book a step further, this is where the 20 pages at the back come in. I took a few pages and began labeling them “Funny Stories: Age __” I did this for multiple ages and left a few pages in between each one. This is where I’d write down funny things my boys have said or funny little stories/memories I want to remember. For example, under my “Funny Stories: Age 4″ I wrote down this memory…”I said to Shane: I love your guts. He replied: Eww mom that’s gross!”
Another thing I did with those last 20 pages is keeping track of monthly milestones for my babies. Unfortunately I did not do this with Shane, SO SAD! But I love reading back on what I have for Rayce and have enjoyed being able to easily track the same milestones for Holden.
The best thing about this notebook is it’s quick and easy to grab and write things in. I keep mine on my kitchen counter (what mom doesn’t spend a lot of time in the kitchen?!). My boys LOVE to read it, especially the “funny stories” section. I truly treasure this book, if my house was on fire I’d DEFINETLY run for this. My advice to you is to quit saying “I should write that down!” and START DOING IT! Trust me, years from now, you’ll be glad you did.