A journal to my boys // traveler’s notebook style

A lot of wordy words are hard for me. Which is kind of ironic based on the length of this post. 😉

As an I/ESTJ, it’s hard for me to convey my feelings and emotions outwardly. But that doesn’t mean I don’t FEEL all the feelings – I do and I’m super emotional and sentimental. So I tend to choose short & concise statements or sentiments along with photos to convey emotion for me in my memory keeping. And while my large albums of memories are fine, in my heart I’ve always wanted to write letters to my kids and tell them all the things that need to be said. But again – wordy words.

Rewind to the other day when I nearly lost my mind and texted my best girl that I was downsizing my weekly family pocket album to 6×8. She supported and questioned and suggested – as any good friend would. And I thought and planned and tried to convince myself I could fit up to 10 photos a week into hopefully 2 small albums. Well, it ended up that there’s just no way I could escape 12×12. So my normal format shall remain – BUT…here’s where it gets fun.

Within our several texty exchanges during this 12 hour period – one thing she brought up was the possibility of doing the “family stories” in 6×8 and then kid specific stories for each boy in a Traveler’s Notebook (because in case you don’t follow me on Instagram – I’m slightly obsessed with traveler’s notebooks).
It was a true lightbulb moment that kinda morphed as the day went on as I determined if I could do all my memory keeping in smaller formats.

I got home from work to really sit down and analyze my first 2 weeks of printed photos for 2017. Could I put them in different piles based on the story I wanted to tell? Could I separate the photos from their weeks and put them in different albums? It took me about 20 minutes to realize that the answer was OH-GOOD-LORD-NO!

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BUT … stick with me here … she was onto something with the separate notebooks for the boys. I’ve got 2. One is 9 and one is 15. I have typically rejected doing separate photo albums for them. I don’t have the time and they’ll just have to figure out who gets the 50+ scrapbooks when I’m gone. So this project will not be a “here’s what you were like at this time” thing. Nope, that’s what the family albums are for. This project is a journal to each boy. Time is flying and there’s so much to tell them both. Some things I would tell them both the same things – but then there are certain things I would only want to focus on with each boy. So I immediately thought of those “Open when…” letters or “Things I want my child to know before he turns…” that have shown up on my Pinterest feed. This will be similar but they don’t have to wait to open anything. This is me talking to them about the things we’ve instilled in them but it’s a piece of my creative heart that they can keep forever. Each boy will have a traveler’s notebook with photos of them, photos of us, old photos and room for future photos with some really important reminders about life and tips for when they’re stuck.

I scrolled Pinterest for a few lists that others have put together and found a couple that I really liked here and here. I put them together and also added my own topics below. My goal with these is to use small photos and quotes that represents the topic, add the verse and then journal briefly about the details I want them to know. For now, I’ve got a board on Pinterest where I’m storing any topics I want to include and then will print them in batches to work on.

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The pins I linked above go into their own details for each topic so feel free to check it out for reference or gather your own ideals and thoughts just using the prompts below:

FULFILL RESPONSIBILITY: Colossians 3:23
RESPECT AUTHORITY: Ephesians 6:1 / Hebrews 13:17
TRUST MOM & DAD: We don’t know everything but we know more than you think.
BE HONEST: Proverbs 12:22 / Proverbs 17:7
CHOOSE GOOD FRIENDS: 1 Corinthians 15:33
RESPECT YOUR MORALS: 1 Timothy 4:12
PROTECT YOUR BROTHER:
KEEP GOD CLOSE: 1 John 4:19 / Romans 6:11
BE KIND: Galatians 5:23
CHOOSE HAPPINESS: It’s not the end, it’s a journey and a choice Philippians 4:4
TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY: 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
FORGIVE: Ephesians 4:32 / Galatians 5:22
FEEL YOUR FEELINGS
MISTAKES DON’T DEFINE YOU
NEEDING IS DIFFERENT THAN WANTING
DATING IS INTERVIEWING (on both sides)
HANG IN THERE WHEN LIFE GETS DARK: It’s always darkest before the dawn
I WILL ALWAYS BE HERE FOR YOU
DON’T BE AFRAID TO FAIL
BUILD YOUR CASTLE BEFORE YOU MARRY YOUR PRINCESS
LOVE YOU, LOVE YOUR SHOW

This list is just the start and I do plan to add on to it but wanted to share it with you so you can take from it what you need if you decide to make one of these for your kids.

Now that we have a list, let’s talk about the format. I figure that with a standard notebook there’s about 32 pages and I’d like to keep each topic to a page which will allow me 30-ish items in each book so the list above will grow and morph as they grow and morph into who God meant them to be. The notebooks I’ll be using are these pocket page notebooks by The Stamp Spot. They alternate between both white pages and half page pockets so I plan to tuck little things into these notebooks as well as make entries on the pages, obviously.

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I bet at this point you’re thinking “okay, this is great but if you’re not doing this as a snapshot in time, when will you give it to them?”. Or maybe you’re not thinking that – but either way, here’s the answer as I am feeling right now. For Gibson, who is currently 15.5, I’d like to give it to him when he turns 18. While I do not really like the idea of having a long drawn out project – the end result and the joy I will get from creating it will be totally worth it. It’s very possible that I could just fly through this project if I get going and could give it to him on his 16th birthday. That’s actually possible!

So you can definitely expect to see more pages in my different TNs as well as more 12×12 and smaller pages within my family albums! BUt I may not be sharing the details of this project on instagram because GIbson follows me there and I don’t want him seeing it of course. Or do I? Hmmmm…something to think about.

Let me know if you plan to make a similar journal – I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Talk to you soon!
Happy journaling,
Andrea

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