on journals…

this may come off really cheesy, but sometimes i like cheese.

so, i was watching the bachelor the other day (yes, i watch it. yes, it’s a joke. but yes, i absolutely of love it) and one of the contestants started opening up and professing her love for jake, the bachelor. it appeared so sincere and sweet that it got me thinking back to the first time josh told me he had fallen in love with me (it is one of my sweetest memories to date).
as i tried to remember how the conversation went some years ago…. i couldn’t. the memory was so blurry and fuzzy and while i remembered things like the t-shirt he was wearing or where we were when he told me, i couldn’t remember how he said it or what i said afterwards.
i almost had a panic moment there on the couch as i tried to relive that moment without success. how could one of my favorite memories be so cloudy?
thankfully, back then i was much better at journaling than i am now and since i had written down the experience in detail when it happened, i was able to go back and read what i had written.
i am a huge advocate of journals. i have a few- this blog of photos for family, friends and anyone who wants to read it, a private blog just for me and a little notebook beside my bed. i know some people aren’t big journal keepers, but i know i would really regret it if i didn’t keep track of the special, difficult or little details of my life.
so i just thought i would post this to say, i think it’s important to keep a journal. sometimes i look back and cringe at what i wrote or posted (i was/am so stupid sometimes). but more often than not, i look back and can’t believe how far i have come, or how much i have learned, or just how beautiful life is with its ups and downs.
so anyway, i just wanted to say, “please keep a journal.”
the end.
*photo of last years valentines day card (or book) i made for my husband.
  1. As I write about everything on my blog except my deepest and darkest secrets, it's pretty much my journal. But then I also look back at blog entries and can remember how I felt, so it works as a private blog for me too.

  2. I love to write in my journal but more often than other times I find myself going a couple months without writing an entry. But I agree, journal keeping is so important and I'm glad you got to relive that special moment in your life because of it!
    Love, Kelly

  3. Very true! I so advocate journals, even though I haven't kept one in a few years. This has inspired me to try again. I was a little disappointed though that we didn't get to hear the actual story of how josh told you he loved you :) Maybe another post? :)

  4. Camille

    I so agree! I've somehow been able to write in my journal every single night for over 4 years. Sometimes it's as simple as "I'm sick. The End." But sometimes it goes on for pages, like after a date :) Good thing I do though, because I find I'm very forgetful and can never remember what I did 2 days ago haha

  5. i just got back to my journal yesterday after a loooong hiatus- and it was surprisingly difficult. thank you for the encouragement – i will keep at it!

    :)

  6. Grace

    I adore your picture posts of your family but I think this is my favorite. What a beautiful sentiment and reminder that it is important to document things in our lives. I keep a journal too (and my blog). I love looking back.

    Thank you.

  7. Chaucee

    I've kept journals ever since I was 13. Sometimes I was good at it and other times I wouldn't be so good at it, but I'm pretty sure I have events from every year in my life written down. They aren't organized but at least I still have them!

  8. Chaucee

    I've kept journals ever since I was 13. Sometimes I was good at it and other times I wouldn't be so good at it, but I'm pretty sure I have events from every year in my life written down. They aren't organized but at least I still have them!

  9. JIN

    I began keeping a journal in 4th grade and I have all of them up until college. It's so funny to go back and read your perspective on life when you were younger. I was so detailed, I would write down quotes and everything!

    I try to keep a journal now, but blogging has distracted me. I have to try harder to put pen to paper again lol

  10. This is inspiring. The only journal I've ever kept is a food/weight journal. Sick, I know….

  11. i've always wanted to journal and would love to know what you think about starting journaling later in life? i want to start, but i feel a bit silly being in my late twenties and just now beginning to document my thoughts and daily happenings…what do you think>?

  12. very wise advice. There are plenty of times I've wished I could remember important things. :)

  13. Victoria

    Good advice. I don't keep a diary or anything but I have my blog now which documents things that I do and see.

    I had a diary when I was younger and oh my gosh.. cringe! x

  14. I haven't kept a personal journal in years, but I should. My blog has been wonderful to look back on over the last few years, but I don't write about the super personal stuff there, which I should keep track of somewhere.

    Funny aside — this morning I was looking for some old files on my computer and I found IM conversations with this boy I was in love with from 2002. It was sooo awkward and made me cringe, as I can now see how clingy I was (and how not interested he was)! Now that I'm a married lady, I decided there is no reason to hold onto that stuff, so I deleted all the awkwardness I could find!

  15. ooh i used to have all our memories written down of our little high school love drama fun stuff.. but when we got married i got paranoid [not uncommon] and like triple-bagged them and threw them all in the garbage. i just thought if i died i wouldn't want the whole world to know my secret thoughts. that was dumb.

  16. I kept journals right up until I met my husband and then switched to blogging. There is something so amazing about being able to go back and read about the past and how you felt during a particular time.

  17. I'm the same way! I was thinking the other day about when my Grandma died and went back to read the entry (I was 16) from that night. So many details that I have no recollection of now, I am so glad I recorded them.

  18. Emily

    journals are the BEST.

  19. Jilli

    So I agree with basically everything you said here. Including your love for the Bachelor – way to go Jake – and the importance of journals. I don't know a better way to sort through my thoughts or find peace. Totes.

  20. ahlin

    keeping and writing in my journal is one of my favorite things. i used to be really good at it and then i was in a slump pretty much all of high school and my first year of college. but now i'm back on top :)

    plus i promised myself that when i'm rich i'm going to print out every blog post i've ever made. when i'm rich…

  21. Amanda

    I agree that journals are important. I have been journaling since I was in 8th grade. I also have been writing "love" letters to my future husband since I was in 8th grade as well. I have been slacking on that lately so you have reminded me that I need to do that more.

  22. I certainly agree…I love to keep a journal…though I do really find to keep it you and beat myself up about it!
    My nan is 80 years old now has has been keeping a journal for nearly 50 years! Would be great to follow in her footsteps!

  23. I am an on and off journal writer but I always write down the most important things because like you said, even my favorite memories become cloudy over time. I love reading back on my journal and re-living how I felt at a certain moment.

  24. Hillary

    I feel the same way! I love to go back and read things that I wrote years ago. :)

  25. I heart journals.

  26. Hunter

    Journaling is so important to me. I have kept one consistently, writing almost every night, for the past 5 years. And I've filled up 11 books! I especially can't wait until I'm old old and can look back on them. It really helps with easing your mind too. You don't HAVE to remember everything if you write it down. :)

  27. Juliet

    I have never been a journal keeper, but this post is pretty convincing! I may just have to start. I have such a horrible memory (probably b/c my mind is always going a million miles a minute) and would love to have a little reminder!

  28. Journals..agreed. which I was consistent with mine =/
    and I LOVE the bachelor.
    JUST SAY NO TO VIENNA!!!!!

  29. emily

    When i went off to college, I started* journaling. I have an (sometimes too graphic) account of every single week of my life since i turned 18 in those journals–i've never stopped. I love that if i want to remind myself of wonderful experiences with friends or my beau, it's all written down.

    *when my parents moved, i found a bunch of spirals in my desk; apparently, i've actually been journaling since i was in junior high!

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  31. I watch the super cheesy Bachelor as well :) haha I do need to be better about my journal keeping. Thanks for the reminder!

  32. I am in the process of transcribing my hand written journals into digital format…

    (http://sewmanybooks.blogspot.com/2010/02/birth-order-ghost-of-journals-past.html)

    …and to be honest a lot of it…I'm wondering why we are told to write in our journals…

    (http://lds.org/conference/talk/display/0,5232,23-1-775-24,00.html)

    …It's a lot of drama!

    I've come to the realization that it is not enough just to write, but we need to read it and possibly even share it. By doing this we become more in tuned with our own thought and we learn how we can better understand and communicate with people who may not share our perspective or point of view.

    I think Journal are great. The end.

    sewmanybooks.blogspot.com

  33. hah I do the same thing with my jornals. I do hate going back and reading them sometimes but sometimes you just have to to remember.

    Twila
    blog.twilasvintageclothing.com

  34. Lorelle

    You're so right! I really need to get started with journaling again. I keep a journal full of ideas and thoughts, but not an account of my actual life, and it's true, someday I'll want to remember it.

  35. Maria

    I love journals! I've kept one ever since I was younger.

  36. I keep thinking I should start journaling again (last time was age 15) and you have just given me another great reason!!

  37. I am a big journal writer too. When I was about 18 I did a huge clean out of my room and threw away all my old journals. It still kills me! Never again!

  38. Exteena

    I needed this post! I just got a moleskine last week and it is sitting on my dresser with one entry in it. I need to record my memories more! Thanks for the reminder : )

  39. adorable! I love journals.
    I want to hear this story, by the way.

  40. Taza,
    I feel so much better reading this post.
    On Christmas morning My John proposed after 8 long years.
    I could not tell you one word he said, and I have lied about this because I'm embarassed. Nothing, I don't know a word he said.
    Give that bully baby a kiss from The Bumpkin!

  41. I was just talking about this with my sister. I've always loved journaling and blogging. I don't know if I could go back without wondering what the heck I was thinking back then. But you're right, it shows you how much you grow and reminds you of sweet little memories that may have impacted your life, but sometimes get lost in the mess of worries.

  42. Thanks Naomi…I love visiting your blog and visit it often..You've inspired me to write my own journal. I'm so forgetful and worry I'm going to lose all my wonderful memories. I'm starting from now. Thank you. Best wishes x
    Rachel Bowen…A welsh singer/songwriter

  43. Ger

    Funny, I've been trying to write in my journal more lately, so this is a good encouragement to keep it up. Thanks!

  44. oh man, i needed to hear this. i've kept a journal since i was about 8 years old, but the last few years have been really hard and i've realized that, aside from my public blog & private blog, i've only written in my actual journal a handful of times. which is horrible, because these past four years or so have been the most important of my life. you've made me see that i need to go back and write it all down before i completely forget! :)

  45. I wish I could keep up with my journal more–the minutia of my life is on my blog, but the really special stuff (like my wedding day) needs to be in a journal. Especially with my bad memory haha!

    shenaniganist.wordpress.com

  46. i'm such a journal lover! i love going back and reading my old ones and realizing how truly dramatic i was. but it's also such a good learning tool. i look at how i dealt with certain situations and how i could have done it a little better and then i strive in my life now, to learn from my mistakes in the past.
    its great.
    i also love my elementary school entries "today i had peanut butter and honey for lunch. i played war and won kaitlynn, i like marlin he's so cute." its awesome. :)

  47. Great advice Naomi! I SHOULD keep a journal, but I've always feared writing fully and deeply what I felt and thought, for fear someone would find it and read my inner most thoughts and secrets. It is sad though, I don't have a good memory and the little things today that mean so much more in the future, sometimes gets all muddled up and/or forgotten.

  48. Shandi

    i have a million journals: i have a dream journal to write all of my interesting dreams when i wake up, i have an idea journal (small in my purse) to write down any random ideas for blog posts and stuff, i have my own personal journal (dear diary) and my favorite is a journal that i use to write letters to my son (7) that he can read when he gets older where i record memories, i write love notes and i tell him how wonderful he is.

  49. amanda

    you're totally right! journals are great to have and to look back on. they keep the memories fresh.

    xoxo

  50. Mary

    i love journaling with all of my heart. my journals are sometimes hard to read, because i can be so ridiculous, but most of the time, i just love it! i often try to convince friends to do it more, hopefully with some success!

  51. Lainey

    Well said, Naomi. I feel the exact same way about journals. Thank God, I do because my husband always has a hard time remembering little details like saying "I love you" for the first time and things like that. So even if I were to ask him, he wouldn't know…haha! But yes, journaling is very important. And I wish I did it more nowadays. In fact, I think I'll start…so thank you for this little reminder.

  52. Naomi, that is just fantastic. I used to keep journals some years ago, and drawings that I would decorate the pages with. During a period of my life, I lost all of them that I kept as a child. {and by lost i mean, ruined, or just simply 'gone'} its a sad thing, but I got over it.. It took a long while before I could actually start journaling again because I was so upset. But.. now.. I blog. And I meet wonderful people like you {and others} along the way. have a nice day.. and Yes.. keep journaling.

  53. shopgirl

    Beautifully and honestly said.

    Thanks for sharing Naomi.

  54. I have kept a journal since I was 12 so I completely agree! I cant think of a single one of your posts that was dumb. You're real and that's why I like you :)

  55. Agreed. I'm a huge fan of my personal journal. However, I notice I only write in it when I'm struggling with something. It's a great way to vent, it's just me and I don't have to censor it to spare anyone's feelings. And it helps me figure out why I'm feeling the way I'm feeling. But I need to change that. I should document the happy moments too!

  56. Caitlin

    I've kept journals since I was in the 4th grade or so. I used to think it would pass them down to my future children so they would know who their mother was. However, like you mentioned, I have gotten so much more joy out of looking back and reading how far I've come (I don't journal about boys quite as much haha).

  57. karajean

    I could not agree more. I also combo journals (for myself) and blog. I have been writing in journals for about 10 years now and am amazed at how many I've filled. I love knowing that so much history is recorded.

  58. So true!!!

    Although I didn't journal but a little, and my husband was mentioned when I was 16 (I wrote that I knew I'd marry him), we dated before email and texting and I saved every letter. I am SO thankful I lived in the time period of letters.

    I just wrote about me and my husbands love story on my blog and had to go back and read to remember what happened when. It was awesome!

  59. I scrapbook, which an emphasis on journaling and words, as much as the pictures. I started when I was 19, so they have captured moments, thoughts, feelings, events, changes over the past years. I am so grateful to have these memories recorded in one place.

  60. kate

    Naomi, I predict that someday your blogs/journals will make the NYT Best Seller List!

  61. Mikaela

    such a great post! I love to look back on past journals and blogs too.

  62. I am much better at journaling than I am at blogging. I always have at least 2 journals going at a time – it feels so good to write down what I am thinking! I never really did that on my blog, I think I am too afraid. Maybe a private blog would help. Good idea:)

  63. rix

    Hi! I am just an 18 year old from quaint old Idaho Falls, Idaho but i have to say: i LOVED this post. And i know it is no coincidence that some of my family sat around our table last night and talked about the beauty of journal writing. thank you for solidifying that fact! you helped confirm our theory. i think journal writing is SO difficult but worth it.
    thank you so much!
    love your blog:)
    -Ricky Romrell

  64. Melissa

    Thank you for reminding me how important journaling is! =)

  65. janis

    yes yes yes!

  66. what a sweet post.

  67. hmm… I guess this is another little "hint" to me that I need to keep a better journal. On Sunday the talks were about family history and the woman I visit teach talked about keeping a journal. She has kept one every single day since 1998. I LOVE that! Just think of all the memories!

    Maybe I should pick up on the "hint" and do it!! Thank you for this.

  68. I've kept some form of journal ever since I was 11 or 12, and recently it's become more and more meaningful, as life becomes fuller or as I journal through reading Scripture. I also have a lovely little book that I use especially as my courtship journal, to chronicle this beautiful season in its own place. I love it!
    Thanks for writing on this; I agree heartily, and want to remember all moments like that =)

  69. Becca

    Yes, Naomi! Journals are great, aren't they? I LOVE picking up an old journal and reading about the smallest of things in my life several years ago. It always makes me so appreciative of my life, my memories, changes, idiosyncrasies, etc.
    Maybe old fashioned? I don't know, but it's great. I have to write SOMETHING daily, just to have some small bit to remember the day by.
    :)

  70. I cam so relate to this. I sent josh a journal while he was in afghanistan (my dad kept one during the gulf war, my grandpa kept one during WWII, my great grandpa kept one during WWI) I thought it only fitting for him to keep one. When he got home I took a peak and it was empty :( I wish he knew how important it was.

  71. Sarah

    I completely agree! I'm terrible at journaling now, but I used to journal regularly from the age of 12 to 25 and I am so incredibly grateful that I have those memories written down. I met my (now) husband when I was 15 and we were good friends in a love/hate type of relationship. We didn't start to date until I was 28 and now I love to go back and read to him about how much I "hated" him because he didn't send me a carnation in home room in my junior year of high school on Valentine's Day. I'm SO glad we have those memories of our relationship to laugh over now that we're married (his version is so very different, too, "I was too nervous!"). Now that I think about it, I need to get back to journaling. Thanks for the reminder/kick in the butt!

  72. TeriLyn

    I just found a book that is great for those of us that aren't great at journalling: it's called: Building the Best You – A Two-Year Discovery Journal. It has two columns on each page and has prompts so you can answer the questions/journal and then compare where you are in your life with the same questions the next year. Very cool.

  73. Mara

    I've always written in a private journal. It's so funny to look back at the things I wrote and see how far I've come. I think they're so important too!

  74. jordyn.

    SUCH good advice. im a huge advocate of journals, too. i think written word is such a beautiful way of expressing emotion.

    and i watch the bachelor. in conclusion, i enjoyed this post.

  75. Kjrsten

    YES! I have always kept journals on my girls, silly things they say, moments of mothering amazement, but recenlty started an online class with vivianna of the polka dot robot, and I love it. It is encouraging me to write about what's going on with me, yes my girls are included but that's not the only thing. It really is delightful, you should check into it, I think you would really love it! Here's photos of mine:
    http://haveacuteday.blogspot.com/2010/03/hes-home.html

  76. abbey

    yes! i love journals too! i've kept one since i was 13 (so like seven years) and they are awesome to go back and read. woohoo! go journal-ers!