Journal of Letters

I didn’t intend to start a journal for each of the boys. It actually came about on whim (as with many things in my life). When I found out I was pregnant with Big Brother, I was in shock. We hadn’t really expected it to happen as fast as it did. During my plan time the following day at school, I was trying to process it all…how excited, scared, nervous, and joyful I was. I opened my desk drawer and pulled out an empty journal (the one on the bottom in the photograph below). I began writing a letter to the unborn life inside of me. I shared how we found out, how I told Prince Charming, and all of the emotions I was feeling. I continued to write in the journal for Big Brother about once every month or two from then on.

Once I found out I was pregnant with Little Brother, I wanted to do the same thing. As I was perusing the journals at Barnes and Noble, I then had the idea of creating a journal for Prince Charming and me (I was inspired by John and Elizabeth Baxter’s relationship in the Redemption series by Karen Kingsbury). Even though I’m the only one who has written in our journal (uh-hum), I know it will be a treasure for all our life together…a record of the season’s of life that have come and gone and how God’s love has carried us through it all.

I’m not sure when I will give the boy’s their journals. I write the letters to them, not like they are babies, but like they are adults. Perhaps when the graduate high school, get married, or have their first child. Or maybe I’ll share special letters with them at pivotal times in their growing up years to show how much they are loved. And as morbid as it may sound, as least they will have something of me if anything should happen.
I also keep a personal blog with pictures, milestones, and funny things they say, but their journal is for especially for them. There are things I tell them in their journal that I wouldn’t necessarily share with the entire internet. And I think there is power in the hand-written word. I would LOVE to type everything out because it is so much faster, but handwriting will soon be a lost art. Plus, it seems more personal. Right or wrong, a handwritten card in the mail means more than a quick e-mail…even if they say the exact same thing.
I love looking back and reliving the memories…reading about how I bawled my eyes out as I read Love You Forever to Big Brother when he was a day old, the fear and complete dependence on God when the OB told us they detected an irregularity with Little Brother’s heart, and the scriptures that have touched my heart at different times in our journey together.
There are lots of options for journals here, or you could even make your own! And if you’re interested, my friend Julie also has an amazing idea for creating prayer journals for her children each year here.
What about you? How do you record your child(ren)’s milestones and memories??


  1. I have a journal for each of my boys too (including my husband). I don't write often anymore (with the 1st baby, I wrote all the time but it was while I was in college sitting in class to pass the time) – maybe once a month but I just want them to know what they are like at any given moment. Something a baby book can't do.

  2. I love the idea of thier own journal to take with them in life. I can remember writing out letters for my children. The idea of all my letters in the one book. I love this~

  3. My girls have journals too. I try to write in them once a week or some even if it is just something new they learned or if something special or funny happened that week. Hmmmm maybe I should start one for my husband and I too?

  4. I have thought of doing this too but never acted on it. Thankfully my oldest son is only 2 so I can still start it! Can't wait to get some pretty journals now! :)

  5. To be honest, I don't think it is morbid at all to write to your children, just in case. I was diagnosed with a rare life-threatening illness when my daughter was 6 months old. I started a "just in case" journal to her and my husband until my treatment started. I wish I had started it sooner and probably should start it back up again now that I am (mostly) better. I wanted to make sure she would have a clear idea of how deeply I love her and pray for her.

  6. I too have a journal for my baby. She'll be a year old next week and I only started it about 4 months ago, but I had intentions all along….but I got the idea from Karen Kingsbury as well! I love the Baxters and the closeness of their family. I just found your blog this week and am loving it! Thanks!

  7. I love this idea. I gave my mom a journal jar for Christmas and plan to make one for myself to write for my little girl. Such sweet memories to remember always!

  8. I do this too, but a blog journal with pictures. No one else can see or access it but myself. I plan to print it off using BLURB. I do this every year for our family too. I print our family blog into a quality hard bound book. It's great because I don't have time to scrapbook and such, but this way we get all the memories written down with pictures to go with them.

  9. thanks for sharing- it's really sweet writing letters to your love ones. Im sure it will be quite a treasure for the boys when their older. I like the idea- i might start one too!

  10. I have a journal jar that I use to record special memories about me and my life in a journal that will someday be shared with my children. I also have a blog for our family where I post most of the pictures I take of them. Lastly, I started a special blog just for my son, where I write him letters, much like you do in these journals. No photos, just letters about how much I love him. Now that I'm expecting another baby, I'm not sure how I want to handle the blog – continue to add letters to my new child, or start another blog just for him/her.

  11. My daughter was born at the end of the year so I picked up a free calendar at the grocery store and I try to jot something in it each day. Sometimes it's just what we did and sometimes it's something funny she said or a "first." I plan to switch to a journal eventually and then do a journal where we write back and forth to each other with questions, feelings, etc.

  12. Hi Jenae-
    I LOVE your blog!! I am also a former teacher (kdgn.) turned stay at home mama, so I feel like we have so much in common:) I love your posts and so many of them are very similar activities/lessons I do (or plan do to!!) with my 2 year old son. When Jonah was born I kept a calendar on the nursery wall noting all the days excitement (first smile, visitor, etc) but as he grew I began a journal. I also started a journal for my husband and I so instead of holiday greeting cards, we write in our journal. And, surprisingly he does write in it too!! It's neat to see how from one birthday or valentines day to the next, our marriage has grown! And..I too love the Baxter family!!!

  13. I just started a "journal" or sorts with my 8 year old. I write something and put it under his pillow and then he writes something and puts it under mine. It has been so fun…even though sometimes his entries are "Mom, could I have __________ (insert latest greatest toy)?" FUN FUN FUN!!

  14. WoW I do this too!! Great minds think alike :) Thrilled to have found your blog, cant wait to read more.

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