Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Back and Forth Journal: Our Love Story

How did I know Aaron was THE ONE? There were several factors, of course, but one of the main reasons was because it was so easy to talk to him about anything and everything. It felt natural. It felt right. When Aaron started pursuing me (which he did very intentionally and very patiently), we were two and a half hours apart. Because of this distance, our only means of communication was on the phone, via Skype, or through simple text messages.  It's safe to say that I fell in love with Aaron during these talks. Through our words.

By the time I decided to take the leap and go on our first date, I already knew I was going to marry him.  Between Bo Ling's dinner and dancing in the rain while waiting for the midnight premiere of The Hunger Games, Aaron had an idea: we should get a journal at Barnes and Noble. We could each write in it: one person wrote for a week or two, and then we would switch when we saw each other.  I agreed, and our story was born.

Our Journal. Our Memories. Our Story.
When we had a bad day, a Bible verse to share, a story to tell, or a laugh to remember- it all went in the journal. Even when Aaron moved and we were in the same city, we continued to rotate writing. It was so fun to read it on the day of our wedding. There was our entire love story, all penned out for us in our own handwriting, in a series of back and forth letters. What a gift. What a joy to see the different phases of our relationship. What an incredible reminder of the emotions that we felt early on, the longing to be in the same place, the excitement of an engagement, and the anticipation of a marriage. Oh, and lots of laughs.

Going through the journal on our wedding day.
I've always been an incredibly nostalgic person. I want to enjoy today and live fully in the moment, but I also want to take the time to appreciate and remember the past. Because of our journal, I've got a timeless piece of history: our story that will live on long after we do. I get emotional every time I flip through it. When I'm caught in a moment of frustration, I turn to a page and get to read my own loving words about Aaron. It's pretty hard to be upset after that. I can read the stories of the troubles we've endured together, the secrets we've shared, and the dreams we've dreamed. I love our journal. I love our story. I love writing it together.


Because of our experience, I highly recommend back and forth journaling for everyone. It's a great way to remember things from all phases of life. You could easy use a back and forth journal for several reasons:
  • Writing back and forth with your child
  • Writing back and forth with your friend(s)
  • Writing back and forth with your sibling(s)
  • Writing back and forth with your significant other/fiance'/spouse
  • Writing to your future child/baby (from both you and your spouse)
You can do it! Just find a journal, decorate it if desired, and get to writing! You could do this electronically, but I really recommend handwriting it- it's much more authentic. If you feel like you need help getting started, there are several different journals you can purchase that provide for more structured responses. Check out the Book of Us: A Journal of Your Love Story in 150 Questions.  Another cool one is Our Q&A a Day: 3-Year Journal for 2 People. Need help? Have questions? Contact me here.

Write your story. It's worth telling.

Currently,
Kelsie

I'm linking up with Welcome Home Wednesday.

31 comments:

  1. This is such a cool idea! What a great way to relive all of your memories and it would be very cool to read it from the others perspective, very creative! Thanks for sharing and joining the Link-It To Me Link Up party this week, I hope you will party with us again next week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Chantal! It was really awesome. I love the Link-IT To Me Party. I plan to come back again!

      Delete
  2. My cousins did this before their wedding and absolutely loved it. They have that journal as a special memory to look back on. I think documenting life's moments is so important especially if it is handwritten. Great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree Hailey, documenting life's moments is definitely incredibly important! I'm a sucker for the handwritten stuff, especially from my hubby :) Thanks so much for visiting and commenting on the post. Have a great day!

      Delete
  3. That is such an awesome piece of your history to hang on to! My husband and I were also dating long-distance, and we did a couple of things: First, my husband compiled all of our emails into a book he designed and illustrated for Valentine's Day. Then, after we got engaged, I presented him with a book filled with pictures and journal-type entries I had been secretly writing for him while we lived apart. While I wish those books were hand-written, we will always treasure our sweet words to each other. I'm glad to hear someone else also has such a gem to hang onto!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, Alexandra! That is so amazing that he put that all together for you. Sounds like a keeper! I love that you did some secret writing for him too. Words are the best :)

      Delete
    2. Words ARE the best! Happy blogging :)

      Delete
  4. Awesome idea! I have done this with my daughter's as part of their school. Love the "our story" in writing idea though!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Kim! That is super cool that your daughter had something like this assigned in school. Love the power of the written word.

      Delete
  5. I love this - what a beautiful idea and what a lovely thing to look back on :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Louise! It has been a blast to look back on. Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  6. This is such a lovely idea, very special to be able to look back on and to write.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much! Yes, it's been a blast to check out! Something I will always treasure.

      Delete
  7. This is such a lovely idea, very special to be able to look back on and to write.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is so sweet! The entirety of my courtship and engagement with my (now ex) husband was by letter, because he was deployed to Iraq. I quite literally filled notebooks of letters to him and mailed them all once he had an address. I've kept all of his letters back to me, although he discarded mine. Sadly, he chose to leave the marriage after 8 years, but I'll always have those letters to show our daughters that there was once genuine love and tenderness, and that THAT is where they came from.

    Thanks for linking with #TwinklyTuesday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sadia! Wow, I'm sorry that things ended the way they did for you, but like you said, what a beautiful way for your daughters to know just how much their Dad loved their Mom and how their relationship started. Words are a beautiful way to hold onto those wonderful memories. Thanks so much for sharing! I will be praying for you and your sweet family. Thanks for stopping by :)

      Delete
  9. I love this idea! I wish I had thought of it when my husband and I first started dating. We just celebrated our 2 wedding anniversary, and we've been together for 10 years total. Imagine all the journals we would have gone through!!!! Going to share this with him tonight.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Cori! I love it so much :) Thanks for sharing- I'd love to hear if you pick it up again!

      Delete
  10. This is so sweet. I actually did this with some friends of mine in middle school, and then again recently with a group of friends where we mailed a journal around. It's a really nice way to connect!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well thanks, Becky!! That's so fun that you've done it before with friends. I would love to start this up with some college friends again that I don't see very often. May have to do that!!

      Delete
  11. This is such a great idea and way to write down your story together! I know this will serve me in the future, I have to try it out! Thank you for sharing <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Murielle! Give it a try for sure- it's so fun!

      Delete
  12. This is such a cool idea! I love it! Thanks for sharing. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Crystal! I just love getting to go back and read our story! Thanks for reading :)

      Delete
  13. My husband and I did cards (and still do) when we were doing long distance and I have many scrapbooks I love to look back through. This would be great to do with kiddos. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cards are so fun! I love getting and giving them for all sorts of occasions. I even made a little scrapbook out of our wedding cards. Definitely could be fun to do with kiddos- thanks for reading :)

      Delete
  14. I love the back and forth books! My friends and I did that in middle & high school and I still love looking back through them and remembering the memories. Thanks for sharing this at the Welcome Home Wednesday link party we hope to see you again tomorrow!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well thanks so much! It is definitely so much fun to look back! Thanks for having me, I plan to be back tomorrow!

      Delete
  15. I really enjoyed your blog post

    ReplyDelete
  16. My sister did this before their wedding and totally adored it. They have that diary as a unique memory to think back on. I think reporting life's minutes is so essential particularly on the off chance that it is written by hand. Awesome post!

    ReplyDelete

Have a question or comment?