Family Love Journals

Love journal main picHi friends!

I wanted to share with you today something that David and I have started this year. I don’t know about you, but David and I are big greeting card people. For holidays, birthday, anniversaries, etc, we like to buy cards for each other and write special meaningful notes inside. However, if you haven’t noticed, cards are expensive!! For pretty decorated ones, they are upwards of $4 or $5! Seriously, for a piece of cardstock with words someone else came up with. Just think of how much that is when added up for all the special occasions each year. Plus, for us, greeting cards make it too easy to just sign your name and be done. They have nice poems and such inside, making it much easier to not have to share your heart to another. Not really as special, wouldn’t you say?

both journalsWe like to be more personal with our cards and what we write inside, so at first, we decided to start making our own cards for each other. David is a wiz at Photoshot, so he would make me the most amazing cards that were completely personalized. That was SO much more meaningful to me than a store bought card!

Because we are so sentimental, we both have saved ALL the cards we’ve ever given each other. That’s 5 years worth of cards! I love to go back sometimes and read the ones he gave me when we first started dating. It’s so special to see our love for each other evolve and grow over the years.

cardsBut, I’m running out of room to put them, and I can’t imagine having to store another 5, 10, 15+ years worth plus any cards from our kiddos!  Also, I have no idea how to use Photoshop, and my “handmade” cards weren’t as great (because how do you really make a manly card?!) so we then took it one step further.

David's journal 1We came up with the idea of having a “family love journal” for each other, where on each special occasion, we’d take each others and share our hearts and feelings. I bought a journal for him, and he picked a beautiful one out for me.

my journal1Not only are we writing in them for each other, but we are also going to have Jade and any future kiddos write in them their own special notes as well, for our birthdays and special occasions. What’s so great about having a journal is that each and every special little personal note is in ONE place to stay. There are no loose pages! You can look back throughout your journal at any time, and cherish those written sentiments from your loved ones. I can’t wait for Jade to be able to contribute and share a little scribble or stick drawing! I’d much rather have that than a card David quickly picked out and put Jade’s name on.

Father’s Day this year was fun because it was David’s first with Jade being here (last Father’s day I was still pregnant!). So, I  found this adorable poem and got Jade’s footprint for her daddy’s journal. He loved it!

David journal 2AND, another huge bonus of these family love journals: you save money! Who doesn’t like to save a buck? I do! Besides, adorable written notes from your husband or child are so much more special and memorable, like this one that David wrote to me on my birthday last month:

My journal 4

My journal5So precious!!

Jade will be 1 in November, and we also are going to buy her a journal and start writing in it every year for her birthday and special occasions as well. As she gets older, she will have a special place of notes from David and  I that she can read and look at whenever she wants to remember just how loved she is. What a cool keepsake to have for when she gets older and has kids of her own! Yikes, that means I’ll be older too.

I also love that you can add pictures or other keepsakes in the journal. We celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary this year in May, and David added some great little pictures of our life together so far:

My journal3

My journal2

While greeting cards can of course still be a special thing (we still get them of  course for other family members and friends), we treasure our heart-filled messages in our journals more. We love being able to have a space to gush over how much we love each other. The best part will be years from now when I can look back at this journal (and other subsequent ones after this is full) and see just how much my husband loves me, and how much my children have grown. And, we will probably have saved hundreds of dollars on greeting cards. 🙂

Do you have any special family journal or tradition for holidays and special occasions? I’d love to hear what you do!


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40 thoughts on “Family Love Journals

  1. I love this idea! The journal is such a meaningful and wonderful place to write loving notes and to read and feel so happy and loved. Thank you for sharing such a great idea!

    1. Thank you Kim! Yes, journals are so great. I was never one to keep a journal for myself (I’d try, write in it one day, and then forget about it!), but this is a lot more fun and special. Glad you enjoyed this idea! 🙂

    1. Ahh yay Kendra! 12 years?! I love it! Now you can have one place to keep all those love notes. 🙂 I just could never throw those cards and notes away, they mean too much! Hope you guys enjoy your journals as much as we do. 🙂

  2. I started this with Matt this year based on your suggestion, and I love it! And you are so right, the messages are so much more heartfelt when you don’t rely on a store bought card. Thank you so much for sharing!

    1. Aw, thanks Sam!! Isn’t it fun to go back and read what he wrote to you? Especially if it’s a rough day, I think reading how loved we are always helps us feel better. 🙂 So glad you guys are doing it, too!

  3. I love the idea, it must be great to look through all of those memories. My husband and I have a journal that we write poems, song lyrics or other sayings we come across that reminds us of each other, our love. I also have one I write in for my kids with sayings, book quotes or songs with words I want them to ave from me for now, love, in the future. My husband is not great with words himself so he is able to convey how he feels through using other peoples words. It has been really special for us.
    Emily recently posted…how small is too small?My Profile

    1. Thanks Emily! Yes it’s so fun looking through to see what my husband shared. Great idea about sharing poems and song lyrics, I love that! I’d love to start another one for my little one too, with my random sayings or quotes, great idea! Thanks for visiting! Have a happy Friday! 🙂

    1. Thank you SO much, Antoinette!! Even though my husband and I have only been married 3 years, the paper already has been accumulating! I can’t imagine how much there is after 24 years! 🙂 It definitely takes up space, and a journal is easier to store! Have a great rest of the weekend! 🙂

  4. This is such a wonderful idea! You two have created a tradition, keepsake and even a tool to strengthen your relationship.

    This is amazing and it’s great that you’ll start one for Jade soon.

    Thank you for sharing this at the Thank Goodness It’s Thursday party, Amanda.
    Sarah Nenni Daher recently posted…Kid’s Headphone Sizer HackMy Profile

    1. Thank you, Sarah! It’s nice to have traditions set up in marriages, especially when they can become keepsakes later on in life! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

    1. Thank you, Jenna! It’s so easy to do and so nice to not have to save all that paper, but still have those words and memories. Thanks for visiting! 🙂

  5. Amanda,
    You have a wonderful way of capturing the memories of your family. I have saved handwritten notes along the way. Each son has a box and I have kept a simple journal. My husband has a drawer. I love the idea of it all being together for the future. Great Idea,
    I am inspired,
    Karen Marie
    Dragonfly & Lily Pads

    1. Thank you, Karen! That’s so great that you have journals for your sons, too! What a special thing for them to have later on in life. It keeps a piece of you close to their hearts! Thanks so much for visiting! 🙂

  6. I just LOVE this!! Our anniversary is coming up next week and this sounds like just the perfect gift! We both are note writers and I love being able to keep something like this for years and years and years to look back on.

    I wanted to stop by and let you know though that I nominated you for a Liebster award over on my blog this morning. You can check it out here: Have a great week!
    Amanda {Burlap & Babies} recently posted…Liebster Award NominationMy Profile

    1. Thank you, Amanda!! Yes, I’m so excited to keep doing this and then having special memories years down the road to look back on and read! Happy early Anniversary! And yay, thank you for the nomination!! I’ll get on writing that post. 🙂 Have a great Thursday!

  7. I too am a card loving gal, but I have to agree all the beautiful cards are so expensive…I still go that route though because I just love getting something in the mail box other than bills. BUT, I have to say your idea is ingenious! Wondering if you would be open to me featuring your idea/photos on my blog as I think my readers would love this idea. Lovely to meet you.
    Barb recently posted…Moleskine® and MeMy Profile

    1. Thank you, Barb!! Yes, getting pretty cards in the mail is definitely a nice thing!! I’d be honored to have you feature my idea on your blog, thank you!! Let me know when you do, I’d love to see it! Thanks for visiting, have a great Friday!:)

  8. I planned to make these amazing birthday cards for my twins first birthdays and then time went away from me and the night before I had nothing – so I grabbed two journals and wrote them each a letter. My plan is to do that on every birthday and occasion now instead of getting them a card. Thank you so much for sharing your journals, I love how you have added photos and might try that too.
    Clare recently posted…Fun farm activities for toddlersMy Profile

    1. That’s so awesome, Clare! I think it’s such a great (and easy!) idea to start with our children especially. There’s something so personal about being able to write them a letter from your heart! They will cherish it forever. Thanks for visiting! 🙂

    1. Thanks, Kristy! That’s a great idea to send a journal back and forth when you’re apart! I bet it’s fun to look at it together now! Have a fabulous week! 🙂

    1. Thank you, Deborah! It’s never too late to start! I’m sure your daughter will love having this new tradition! Thanks so much for visiting, have a great week! 🙂

  9. This is SO beautiful!!! I love this idea! We have envelopes on our doors that we leave little love notes in for each other, but it gets cluttered and looks crazy sometimes! 🙂 This is a wonderful craft that could replace the post-it doors! 🙂 Thank you!

    1. Thank you, Michelle!! Envelopes on the door sounds like such a fun idea! Who doesn’t love getting letters? 🙂 But you’re right, you could totally hang a journal on the door instead! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  10. My husband and I have two children who are now 15 and 17 years old and we have four love journals that we have been writing in since they were three years old. I had the EXACT same experience you described in your blog. I hated spending money on cards and then was frustrated trying to save the cards. I bought four journals for your family and called them our “love journals”. Every birthday, holiday, special occasion, the love journals will be on our dining room table and everyone will have written in the journals. Now, as my daughter prepares to head off to college, she has 15 years worth of love notes in her journal to take with her!

    1. Melissa, this totally makes my day hearing this!! How incredibly special for your kiddos to have and take with them to college! I can’t wait for my daughter to have this as she gets older to look back on and read how much she’s loved! Thank you for sharing this with me! 🙂

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