Try this idea using a one line a day journal and pretty soon you’ll have a book full of your most treasured memories.
When my sister and I were little, my mom would jot down some of the crazy things we said on little slips of paper. Napkins, receipts, scraps — anything was fair game for recording a quick memory.
All of those little papers are now tucked into our baby books. One of my favorite things to do is to go back through those papers every so often, and read them and just laugh hysterically at the things we said as tiny kids.
They’re such funny, sweet, and sometimes poignant markers of the people we were and the people that we have become.
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When I had kids of my own, I knew that I wanted to keep a record of all of the fantastical things my own kids said and did. But I couldn’t really figure out how to organize it.
Henry would say something funny and I would think, “I have to remember that!” And of course, by the time I remembered to try to write it down, the thing he said was completely gone from my mind. Forgotten.
One day I was talking with a friend about how she writes about their family’s daily lives in a One Line a Day Journal, and it totally hit me that it would be a perfect place to jot down all of our kids’ quotes.
What is a One Line A Day Journal?
A one line a day journal is pretty much exactly what it sounds like!
It’s a small book, with each page broken out into five short, lined sections. Each lined section has a date at the top and blank spots for the years below it.
You can fill those few lines in each day to record your musings, activities, feelings, recipes, or just about anything you can think of.
At the end of five years, if you do it daily, you’ll have a journal full of snapshots of your life.
To me, it seemed like a perfect way to organize the things we want to remember our kids saying.
Use This Parenting Hack for your Journal
Now this probably isn’t a revelation for some of you, and maybe calling it “brilliant” is a bit extreme, but it was one of those things that dawned on me and just made my life as a mom so much easier.
So I wanted to share the exact process we use to make sure we don’t forget the little moments or things that they say before they actually make their way into the journal. Here’s how we do it.
If one of the kids says or does something that we want to remember, one parent texts it word for word to the other parent. So now we have a record of it, in case we forget to write it down quickly enough.
Ryan and I have these random little interjections of things that our kids have said sprinkled throughout our text stream (it would be super confusing if you were reading through it as an outsider – ha!).
Then, every couple of months, I take about 10 minutes and scroll back through the text stream, and write down the memory in a One Line a Day journal. I just turn to the page for the date that we texted a particular memory, fill in the year, and then write the memory down. I write the first initial of the kid who said it, and write the quote, and that’s it!
And by the way, this quote from Henry below stuck with me so deeply I wrote a whole post about it.
A Perfect WAy to Preserve Memories
We’ve been doing it for about 3 years now, and it’s so amazing to see the days fill up a little bit. It’s also awesome to be able to look back and see how far your kids have come.
I sometimes include little notes like the day that they took their first steps, or if there was a particular milestone that was really exciting.
I just love feeling like I’m on top of this particular little aspect of parenting, because memory keeping is so important to me. And figuring out a really easy way to make it happen felt like a priority, because time is so fleeting. Before you know it, those moments are gone.
Anyway, hope this little parenting hack helps you! (And if you’re not a parent, you can do the same for your own thoughts, your trips with friends, or your memories with family!). xoxo