Thursday, April 26, 2012

Hallmark: Words Preserved

This post is another Hallmark sponsored post. I am being paid by Hallmark to write it, but all writing, ideas and opinions are mine. Thankfully, Hallmark and I share the same idea--that little moments are to be celebrated and that good people, good efforts and good intentions deserve a spotlight. See Hallmark Life is a Special Occasion for more details, like them on Facebook, and/or sign up for their e-mail messages HERE.


Upon our arrival from Baltimore Monday evening, we walked in the house to find a (surprisingly) spotless kitchen and a stack of mail on the counter, the bills and coupons and car wash ads of which Brett had thankfully already weeded out. Hidden between a couple packages and my favorite catalogues was an envelope with Lainey’s name printed on it.

“Oh Lainey, it looks like you have mail!” I announced. And just like her mail-loving mama, my girl came running, her shy smile enhanced with a sideways tongue that curls up and around her top lip when she’s extra enthused.

She tore open the envelope herself, shooing away helping hands and pulling the enclosed card to her chest in a moment of sole possession—“It’s mine, not yours” clearly evident from her grip. She pulled it away long enough to notice a photo of her friend Sammy printed on the front of the card. Her smile stretched even further. Without even having to read the card, she knew what it was.

“It’s Sammy’s birthday,” she informed me. “I think I’m invited to her party.” More shy smile. More tongue.

She insisted I call Sammy’s mom right that second and tell her yes, Lainey was coming; Lainey couldn’t wait. And for the rest of the night she carried that card, propping it up within eye contact while she played and transferring it with her when she moved from room to room.

To Lainey, it was personal. Her own mail, a token of friendship she could hold, she could touch, she could pull out whenever she wanted to be reminded that she had good friends and a party on the horizon. If she’s lucky, that card is one of many that will follow over the years.

Tonight Sammy’s birthday invitation is tucked into a Minnetonka shoe box—Lainey’s own little Ark of the Covenant protecting her most precious things. Like sparkly lip gloss, a homemade pipe cleaner necklace, an old Gap credit card and a wrinkled dollar bill.

And it got me thinking, we’ve all acquired letters and cards we’ve saved over the years--things we couldn’t throw away because maybe they made us feel so good when we first read them that we knew we’d want to repeat that emotional swell. Or maybe we were hanging on to a time we knew was fleeting—like first birthday cards that preserve our babies’ memorable celebrations or handwritten notes from grandmas whose legacies strengthen once they are gone. Either way, the gift of written word is both permanent and renewable. The cards and notes and e-mails I’ve saved over the years are hardly one hit wonders. They are timeless—some reread on occasion when I need a hit of confidence or motivation, and some saved simply to become relics in the Family Hall of Fame. I envision a night not so far away when I pull out the old boxes of pictures and cards and letters on worn paper. I’ll spread them out on my bed and invite my girls to come sit while I tell them about why I saved each one. It will be one of those Marmee-and-her-Little-Women moments I look forward to except the 2020 version when things are delightfully more imperfect. Like maybe I won't be wearing a petticoat.

So, what’s in my box?

Today I pulled out a few old boxes--one of which, I’m sorry to say, is titled “Box ‘o Love,” its contents ranging from pictures of the early days of dating to love letters and anniversary cards Brett and I have traded over the years. I’m even more sorry to say there are embarrassing quotes scribbled all over its surface—including both Elizabeth Barrett Browning and---Oh God, cringe, here it comes…Olivia Newton John.

I had forgotten all that I had saved. I’ve never been so proud to be a hoarder.

Lainey's First Birthday Card

Her very first card. It came a week before her birthday when our friends and neighbors, Matt and Dede, were so excited to give her her new rocking horse that they brought it over a week before the big day to watch her open it. It came with the perfect card--because Dede always finds the perfect cards--and I remember making note that it was the very first birthday card my girl had ever received and should be saved.

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Student Teaching Card
A young girl named Abby gave me a card my last day of student teaching. I cried reading it because Abby wasn't one to speak up about feelings, and I had underestimated the impact a short teaching experience could make in one child's life. It reminds me to be aware of my potential to positively affect others.

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Letters for the Future
I started writing these when Lainey was about four months old. They are sealed in envelopes printed with different occassions with which they will be presented. The seal is not to be broken until it's read by my daughter. I figure some day when she's really mad at me, a different perspective might help iron out our problems--the perspective, of say, a mama smitten with her baby, telling the future girl inside that mamas make mistakes sometimes.

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Nella's Wishes
I couldn't read them for a while after she was born. There's a whole stack of them--wishes and love to our sweet girl, all written by friends who attended my baby shower when Nella was still somersaulting behind the tight skin of my middle. On the back of each card is a different photo of my pregnant belly--and scribbled on the front are cherished words from friends who awaited her arrival. I can't wait to read them to her someday--to tell her just how much she was anticipated; how much she was loved before she even made her big debut.

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My Index Card
Brett is a man of very few words when it comes to cards which nicely balances my need to fully express. He relies on Hallmark writers, marking a very special occassion when he adds more than one line to the pre-printed sentiments of holiday cards. So it was indeed something special when, after one year of marriage and a baby, I found an index card--nothing fancy--lying on my night stand one morning, with several sentences--all of them heartfelt, none of them forgotten. I love that card. I love that it is simple. I love that it is now bent at the corners and worn in the middle--I've read it many times. There's no photo of it because it's ours and it is precious, and some things Marmee likes to keep for just her little women.

There are many more words I've preserved in places where I can read them again--e-mails and quotes that are filed away in folders for bad days and needed confidence boosts. As many times as I've enjoyed them and refueled, I am reminded I too have the ability to make someone's day--to send an e-mail or a card that just might be read again. That might be saved in a moccassin box next to lipgloss and a wrinkled dollar bill.

Do you have any letters or cards you've saved? What correspondence from your past still motivates and reassures you today? Hallmark and I would love to hear your stories. In your comment, please share how others' words have helped make your life a special occasion.

To see other Hallmark posts on this blog, click HERE.



143 comments:

Elena said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elena said...

My hubby and I leave notes every once in a while, too...they're so special. <3

Jannice said...

I have saved every card my girls have ever gotten! I have A LOT of scrapbooking to do one day! I have many of the lovely cards from my husband. I have been jotting down little notes in a journal - one for each girl - that I will give them one day. I have from my mom, my baby book. I love that...a little blast from the past - now that I'm a mom, I can feel my moms emotions as she wrote them. I love it.

Jenny said...

I have a big ol' box. I call it my box of crap. But it is full of treasures and memories - notes, photos, bits and pieces. I occasionally go through it.

My husband is under strict instructions to destroy everything in it if anything happens to me. They are things just for me and my memories... I don't want others looking through it.

My son's stuff has it's own place. Lots of treasures being gathered there too.

Sarah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ellen said...

I have so many saved letters. Cute cards and sweet notes. I'm glad you're proud to hoard your letters because it makes me feel better about my tendency to hoard special things like cards.

Hazel said...

I have boxes and boxes of cards.
Probably the history of hallmark since 1979.

Luckily my mother was the same and I have some of my birthday cards from when I was a child, with names and handwriting of grandparents that have long since left us.

I know it's crazy but I still keep them.

I have the love letters (I even tediously wrote out a whole heap of texts from Rob too at one stage).

I think my greatest sadness for these notes lost, are all the letters from my best friend. She and I were inseparable from Grade 3 onwards. Until in grade 8 when I found out that she was moving away to the mainland of Australia. (a 2 hour plane ride away, forever to a teenager!)
were we ever sad. But we wrote to each other all through all our crazy teenage ups and downs and I kept them all.

But disaster struck, some f@*#ing ants laid nests throughout them all when they were being stored in a shed. When I found out I literally cried with rage and deep sadness. My ex-husband didn't get it at all. Hmph, maybe not surprisingly we're not still married.

Thanks for reminding me of the power of the written word.
I'm glad that Lainey loves mail, there's a birthday card addressed, stamped and waiting to send when it's a bit closer to her birthday.

My Secret Rooms said...

I find that now that most of my grandparents are gone, I love looking at their handwriting in cards they wrote to me. My grandmother even drew my portrait at one of them!! Very precious to me! <3

Consider The Lilies said...

my pastor encouraged us to physically write a letter and encourage someone with our words this week. after reading your post I'm reminded of the importance of written word and doing just that, sending something out!

i have a box full of letters from when my husband was away with the Army and I will treasure those written letters for ever :)

Karen said...

I have a letter my mother wrote for me on my 21st birthday saying how she loved me from the second I was born and how proud she was of me for growing up and being able to embrace difference in people and not judging.
It's especially meaningful as 3 months after my 21st she was killed in a car accident.
I don't think I was particularly good at embracing difference when I was younger but at 34 my son was born with DS - now I wonder if my mum knew something I didn't! I wish she was around to meet my gorgeous little boy.

Holly Lynn said...

OH wow. My little box includes a stack of sacred holiday cards from my dad, who died two years ago. Dad was the king of sending random cards on every holiday, from halloween to memorial day, and they always said the same thing----I love you.Remember to exercise and eat healthy. The dogs are doing good.----My sister and I laugh and cry over these cards and every holiday, I long for just one more in the mail. So glad I have the ones I do!

Beth said...

I have two oversized shoeboxes filled with letters: one reserved for family & friends dating all the way back to first day of school lunchbox notes from mom & sheets of notebook paper passed back and forth during high school classes :)

The second contains four years worth of long distance letters exchanged with my Marine. We've had to go several months at a time where handwritten letters are our only form of communication, and you better believe I've saved every last one! I imagine they'll be cherished for many generations to come.

Michelle@gigglegumgirls said...

I'm reading this post after just closing the lid on my sharpie pen to write a letter of thanks to my daughters kindergarten teacher who so kindly took the time to share with me all the "good books" at the book fair today. She's amazing.
My biggest regret since marriage is not being sentimental about "stuff" I wish I could go back and start saving things that I realize now are so important. I feel guilty that my third born will have the most momentos from her childhood and that I learned the lesson of backing up your photos so late. I now cherish the smallest things...specifically, a stick mama and stick little girl holding hands under a rainbow with the words "i Lov3 (backwards e) mom written across the top. Sweet sweet life.

Momma said...

Hello Kelle! New Slang- the Shins. Listen to it :) Dance about!
I realize this has nothing to do with your post. Actually, I don't even know if that's true cause I haven't read it yet. But it's on & I felt a calling to tell you of it. Enjoy.

B. Holmes said...

Just yesterday a very good friend of many years called and said the package I sent to her and her girls last month had made her cry and was so special to her. It included some drawings, a letter I wrote while spending 4 days in the hospital with my 7 yr. old son during his last surgery and photo copies of the pages her and her girls are in from my scrapbooks. It's great to let "your special people" know how special they really are to you, anytime...

Gi said...

I love reading your posts, everything you write is so beautiful and personal yet I feel like I know you so well. I often hide love notes in my fiances wallet so he finds them when hes out at work and he puts them in a little box he has, I know one day we will look back and this box will contain so much love.
xx

Michelle@gigglegumgirls said...

Speaking of mail did you ever get a po box?

Kate said...

I don't have a lot of birthday cards from my childhood (my mother is most definitely not a hoarder), but since I was about twelve or thirteen she (my mother) writes me a note on a business-card sized piece of paper once a week (I got one this morning, actually). I've saved every single one. My mother can't understand why I don't 'clean them out' after a while, but I know if I did I would one day be kicking myself for it.
So they stay, hidden away where she won't find them and decide to 'clean them up' for me.

Also, for about a year and a half (pending her imminent move to Mexico from Canada), my best friend and I exchanged letters with each other on a weekly basis. I still have every one of those letters. They're stored away in a box on my filing cabinet and even my mother knows those are sacred. The folds in the papers are all soft and falling apart from all the times I've read and re-read them, even though I've always handled them with utmost care; knowing they were one of a kind and our time together was limited.

Even now I love handwriting letters and notes for people. The problem is 'who do I start with...?'

girliesmomma said...

My dad wrote me a letter and handed it to me the moment before I got on a plane to move away from home for the first time. I haven't been able to find it since we've moved several times and I think about that letter at least once or twice a week wracking my brain trying to remember the words, exact phrases. I know one day I will want to look back and remember him when I don't have him to talk to and look in the eyes and it makes my heart ache already that I can't find this piece of computer paper, neatly typed with blue print.

Love is all you need said...

I love your future letters to Lainey! I've written my son a letter every mothers day for the past four years telling him why I love being his momma so much. And I have an old vintage cigar box that my husband and I keep all of our love letters in...

Heb said...

I have saved every card i have ever received, i also love to look through them time to time and think back to the time those loving words were wrote to me. The box o cards is overflowing and needs a bigger home, And that is OK with me. i am a sentimental fool...

For my mother's 50Th Birthday I asked all her friends to write a letter to her ( yes i hijacked her email account and address book) , letting my beautiful loving mother what she meant to her friends, what impact she had on their lives and to show there love. I was astounded at the response i got. Every single person I asked this of delivered, big time... I bought a Lovely box and printed each letter on a rose stationary and wrapped it up... She loved the box, the letters made her smile and i brought her to tears for showing all the love we all have for her.

ains said...

I've been going through quite a rough patch lately. One of those - nothing is turning out the way I hoped or dreamed it would - patches. Added to this dismay, my best friend and roommate (we are pretty much sisters) of 7 years is getting married in 43 days, and she will be moving out, and my life will be drastically different.

Last weekend I was feeling rather down about all of this. While I was organizing some files, I came across the drawer where I had stored every card I have gotten from her... I sat there reading every one... reminding myself of the incredible bond that we have formed, the trials and circumstances we have come through, and above all - how we have learned to grow and love each other through our faults. Our friendship could write a book of it's own.

We so quickly loose sight of the thing that matters most - love. Be it a co-worker, friend, family, husband, child... Something about it being written down changes things. When you start to disbelieve it - you can return to that tattered piece of paper and believe again.
Restore hope.
Accept love.
Regain piece...

"Cards" can be the vessel for profound encouragement. They are timeless. I truly hope the written word doesn't get lost in our digital era...

Heb said...

My dear hubby also leaves little notes of Love trough out the house for me to find, just an I love you kinda thing but it alsways makes my heart melt when i find one. i save every one of these notes. He also made me a book of resons he loves me... 200 pages filled with love.... I read it a few times a year, never gets old, even if i am..

Bea, OT said...

There is nothing like getting personal snail mail. It still beats email every time. I have saved special cards and letters I've received over the years in a box that's traveled with me all over the country. I can't get rid of them. They still make me happy.

I love giving cards too. I often use the blank ones with the beautiful photos...so I can personalize it even more. I usually go through the card isle and look for special cards. I buy them and save them in a box...to be given on a special occasion. I guess I'm a card hoarder.

One of my favorite things is to give a card out of the blue. One that's unexpected, but always welcome. It's just a great way to show someone you care!

la librivendola said...

I love this post! and I love letters, cards, e-mails, diaries. I still have the diaries that my very best friend and I wrote in elementary school and sometimes I like to read those sweet pages.

angela

fordreamsofmountains said...

My Mum kept all my birthday cards for ages 1 - 5 or so, and when I was a teenager and having a rough day I loved to read them over and over.

I think the letters you have written for Lainey are a wonderful, wonderful thing.

I have three very treasured letters.

One from my Mum when I was away at creative writing camp aged 8. She was dying of cancer, though I didn't know that at the time.

One from my Dad when my brother and I were staying at an aunt and uncle's house without him one summer. He, too, has now passed away, and reading the words bring him back immediately. Very straightforward on the surface, but there's a real sentimentality between the lines.

One from my husband on our first wedding anniversary. He had recently quit his job so I didn't want him to buy me anything expensive. Since it's the paper anniversary, he wrote me a wonderful letter about how much he had enjoyed our first year of marriage and how much he was looking forward to the rest of our lives.

One of the things that makes me saddest about the internet is the reduction in letters being sent; I have a few friends (we're all in our 20s) with whom I almost exclusively correspond by snail mail.

Becca said...

Kelle

I started reading your blog a few days after Nella was born and I've read each and every post since as your beautiful daughters grew.

But this? This isn't blogging, not as I generally understand the term, and in the interests of openness I wanted to let you know that it's lost you a reader - likely not the first or last, although I'm sure you knew that already.

All the best.

Becca

AER said...

My husband & I write our girls cards each year on their birthdays. We each write our own and seal them. They are in a box to be opened by each on their 18th birthday (when they might need a bit of "Oh I guess my parents are pretty cool").

The other cards that are most cherished to me are my mother's last two cards to me last year. One on Mother's Day, and one on my birthday in June. She passed away from Cancer in early August. Those will never leave my possession.

Team Lando said...

I saved every card from when I was pregnant with Ellie and so scared about whether or not she'd make it.

I did NOT sort them well, and yesterday, the box containing them (and various other items from her first birthday that need to be put away) fell on my head when I was looking for my favorite spring shoes in my closet :)

mummalove said...

I've recently been cleaning out boxes downstairs and found many shoeboxes filled with letters that I can't bear to throw out. After reading other blog comments tonight, I'm feeling better about my tendency to hoard these 'memories' ;) I've always loved letters and beautiful, thoughtful cards (to me, far more important than the present itself!) and it's usually amongst my resolutions each year to write more of them. Amongst my saved notes are cards to and from my beloved, new baby and first birthday cards sent to my boys, and journals filled with musings shared between my two best friends and I at high school.

Allie said...

Great poat as always Kelle! I have so many cards from mostly baptisms and birthdays from the boys. I am horrible at keeping them all in one place so you will find them in random parts of the house or in the kitchen mess drawers (yes there are multiple lol)
The all time best card saver is my husband. I never knew he didit until he asked me to find something in his desk one day, i was looking around for a paper and found the motherload of memories he had stashed. He had cards, poctures and letters. My most favorite were the 16 cards I had written from a business trip he took to Asia when we were dating! I wrote something for each day he was gone complete with quotes on love and lots of spicy details on his arrival home! Now we have 3 little kids and it was just hilarious to look back at where we were then and how far we have come! Kudos to him for saving those memories for us!
Thanks for the reminder of the fun saved memories! Xo

Abby said...

I met my husband when we were 13, back in 1990. We were always friends (flirty friends, though) and sometime just after we'd graduated high school, I sent him a VERY flirty Hallmark card.

We didn't officially start dating until we were 26 and would you believe he (a man of very few words and not particularly sentimental) pulled that tattered old card out and showed it to me. He'd saved it.

It helps me to remember that when he's being a real pill. ;)

Claire @ Scissors Paper Rock said...

I try not to hoard too much 'stuff' but when it comes to memorable cards, photos, letters & keepsakes, I ALWAYS make the effort to store them safely. Each of my children have a 'special' box where I store all their goodies that I want them to be able to look back on one day.
My husband's grandmother said to me recently, that the only handwritten mail she receives these days....is from me :) I love the tradition of handwritten cards, letters & invitations in the mail. Technology rocks....but so does the time & effort that a handwritten keepsake takes.
Kelle, you are very good at keepsaking memories & cherished moments of your children's lives. They are LUCKY little ladies. You're a good Mumma!
You inspire me!!!!
x
http://blog.scissorspaperrockdesigns.com.au/

Mrs.Joyner said...

This post has inspired me to write letters to Elaina (and any future babies if we should be so lucky) for them to open at certain times in their lives..What a great idea!!

My husband is also a man of few words..So when he brought home letters he had written me in the middle of the night while at the police academy, I was floored. All of his feelings for me, for our baby-to-be, and how hard, but how rewarding this career was going to be. And he's the same way w/cards. When he adds his thoughts to a great Hallmark card, that makes it all the better.

I too have saved all of Elaina's cards, from the ones we received when we announced I was pregnant, to her shower cards, to her first birthday cards. I save almost anything sentimental that pertains to her =) Thanks for another great post!!

Happiness is... said...

Oh, yes! Yes. I have a bundle of saved cards and letters tucked away in a vintage purse. Most are love notes or cards from my closest of friends; but I also saved a handful of cards that meant the most to me after my mom died. Some are from her friends and some are my friends; but they gave me strength and still do as I reread them.

I think receiving a card with a hand written note via snail mail is an extra special treat when most of our written communication occurs between social media, texting, and e-mail. There's just something about putting pen to paper. And now you've just pushed me to sit down and write a bunch of loving notes to my dear friends. Just because.

xo

Betsy said...

I'm not a card person, or a saving type of person, but the first card my husband gave me that has the word, "Wife" in it? I framed it and hung it on our dining room wall. I just turned to look at it as I type this, and I look at it a hundred times a day. That's the way I save things; out in the open to be enjoyed everyday.

joyfullyyours said...

I've been going through my card box lately - even used it in a children's story at church. I've saved every card or note my husband has given me in our 20 years together. I love that I can watch as the weeks and days built up to his proposal, anticipating our wedding (all which happened inside 5 1/2 months), and then things through the years. They hold some of my most precious memories.

I also have save, and put into albums cards from very special occasions - my 40th, our wedding, my beloved's ordination, etc. It's so true how the emotions are so easily evoked as the memories are brought back to life with these small things.

I love that you have written to your girls. I have a letter from my mom, written after her 80th birthday - she is so not a letter writer - and even though I still have her, I cry every time.

Katelin said...

I am in love with a good card- something I think I picked up from my mom. There is nothing better than receiving a REAL piece of mail, especially when everyone is so technologically connected today. I not not in love with clutter, so I don't hold on to as much sentimental stuff as others may. There are a few cards I have saved- from my mother. She sent me the cards when I was in college. I know they were sent to my dorm room mailbox when I was struggling with some issue, but many years later I cannot remember what the issue was. Perhaps I was homesick or dealing with a breakup. As I look back on the situations and the cards now, it doesn't matter what had caused my heartache; what is important is the connection I share with my mom. A beautiful mother-daughter connection, worded so perfectly in my mom's cards to me.

Just yesterday I was in Target with my daughter, Violet, searching for the perfect birthday card for my husband. As we went up and down the aisles, pulling out cards, laughing, Violet kept reaching for the racks saying, "Oh wow!" I thought to myself, "Oh yes, dear, the power of a well-worded, well timed card is pretty awesome!"

Cherie Dee said...

I love to save the little cards that come with flowers. I am 35 with 4 children of my own but my Dad ALWAYS gets me something just for me on Valentines Day. Just this one past he gave me a huge bouquet of flowers with a card that said "To my Valentine...Love Dad" I loved it! I keep that one in my wallet actually! There are small written sentiments tucked into places all over our house!

Tina said...

Love the post! I have a few boxes filled with my goodies! I have a letter written to me by my 5th grade teacher who always told us we could be and do anything! And 4 years ago when I had my boy at 26 weeks my friend wrote me the best letter and it always makes me cry when I read it!

Tina

Becky said...

I have a notebook that I have pasted ticket stubs, receipts, pictures and written my thoughts and prayers in all about my fiance. I started it when I "knew" he was the one for me. So glad I saved things like the receipt from the outfit I bought for our first date and cards he wrote for me "just because." We're getting married in August and I cannot wait to give it to him as a wedding gift on our special day. It's my whole heart all in one journal and it's so special.

Shari said...

I have saved a lot of stuff from my past some notes that my friends and I passed to each other in class. Cards from my graduation, dating, and marriage and all the way to birthday cards that my children now receive. I have a box that all their art and schoolwork goes into which I go through and keep only those which are precious to me and have framed some of them.

Fifty-two pairs in 2012 said...

Very nice post. It was refreshing to read what you've written about others. You might want to try branching out from the memoir-style of self-examination. I'm sure we'd all enjoy it.

The Reyna Family said...

I have also always been a saver of cards, and as much as it hurts to read my late grandmothers words sometimes, it feels so good to share her wisdom with my children whom she never met. Her handwriting is timeless and her words so simple, so full of love!

April Vernon said...

Lovely post. Got me all teary-eyed. Your playlist is awesome, too!

My first pregnancy was a very difficult one. I have a huge stack of cards that I received during those two months of bed rest. I hung them all over the walls to make me happy while I sat on the couch with my feet propped up. Evey one of those cards make me felt loved, and I treasure each of them.

I have every card my husband & I have given each other in a box.

I have several notes from students that I have saved over the years (and I haven't taught in 12 years). They remind me of the importance of balancing being cool with being respectable...great reminders for any mama!

Have a great weekend.

Crystal said...

As a freelance writer, words are so very important to me. So I have every letter my boyfriend and I wrote to each other during boot camp, tech school and deployments....and now he's my husband. If my house was on fire, that's the possession I would save first.

kcampbell said...

This post brought tears to my eyes. I do save cards and e-mails and the odd letter that I have received. My husband is not one for words so letters and notes from him are special. The most memorable are a letter my Sister sent me when I moved away to be a nanny, a note my then boyfriend (now husband) packed away in my suitcase for that same trip and an e-mail you sent me in return.
Thank you so much for continuing to write your blog. Enjoy your weekend!

Gloria said...

I have a photo box and a folder filled with cards and letters and...my diaries. Nearly every day of my life for the past 6 or so years recorded. Sadness when my friend moved to another country, happiness with one of the best vacations ever, wonderful camping trips, and a lotta hurt, all written down. And I wouldn't trade that for anything.

SallyGirl said...

I love this post and definitely relate. I save a lot of written things, even more so since I lost my dad nine years ago. We never had the money for a video camera, so the emails and a few notes I have from him are so precious, because they are his "voice" now that he's gone. I'm sentimental, so I write letters to myself on occasion about things I want to make sure I remember in the distant future. And, of course, any card from my husband gets special place of honor and won't be thrown out. However, the shoebox full on notes passed between me and my besties in middle and high school? Most of those have been cleaned out, and I kept just a few to represent that time.

Dianagoddess said...

Since we were little, when my three sisters and I would buy a Hallmark card for our Mother for Mother's Day, we would look for the biggest, grandest card, the store sold. Little did we know our Mother was saving the cards in a large scrapbook and when my Mom passed away we found them. It made us feel good that they meant as much to her as they did to us.

Rachael said...

Oh I loved this post, because I do the same thing! I have saved every card and letter I've received since I was about 8 years old, so i've got about 6 different boxes going. I also have a box dedicated to the cards my boyfriend has given me over the past 6 years, and they mean the world to me. Fortunately, my mom also made a baby book and a few scrapbooks for me when I was little, and they're so valuable to me. I know your girls will love that you've saved cards and written letters to them as well, a great way to show them how much they are loved.
The best letters I've saved though? I found a stack of old love letters that my grandfather wrote to my grandmother when he was away during the war. They are so beautiful and heartfelt, and after my grandmother passed away I got to keep them. It's so amazing to get a peek into their relationship in the early years!

Hands down I prefer receiving a card or letter over a present any day, words mean so much more to me. Thank you for sharing:)

Lana said...

I have several boxes and shelves with notes and cards and letters tucked away. I always think that someday I will take the time to read them through and sort them, maybe let go of some. I have lived in different provinces and traveled to many parts of the world and so have lots of letters from my family and from the friends I made along the way. And now with my children...ai yi yi. They are all treasures to me.

Shannon said...

I keep written momentos in a box, too. I kept the last birthday, Christmas and graduation cards I received from my grandparents, when both my grampas were still alive. I keep the letter my husband wrote to me on our wedding day (also a man of few words). Actually I've kept every card my husband has given me. A letter my mom wrote to me when I was on a retreat in college. A couple folded up piecesa of notebook paper that my best friend in high school and I wrote to each other, to remember the things we joked about and wanted to remember. Yes, I am definitely a sentimental person.

Caitlin said...

I come from a long line of note-writing women... my mother & grandmother were both masters of the handwritten word, my great-aunt & uncle fell in love via snail mail (after one meeting!), and, like you & Lainey, I rejoice on getting a hand-addressed letter! I send a ton of snail mail out to my friends and also save the special notes I receive. I have a box of our wedding cards, my shower cards... even our wedding RSVP cards which came with some very sweet notes handwritten in the margins.

I struggle to get rid of clutter and stuff I don't need, but things like this... for now... I need.

Lesley said...

Mail. I LOVE LOVE LOVE getting mail. My first love was met at summer camp and our entire relationship was conducted through pre-teen letters. I used to run to the mailbox and how my heart soared when there was a note from HIM. I used to hum, "I'm walkin' on sunshine..." as I skipped to the mailbox at the end of our street. There is that line in the song "Now everytime I go for the mailbox , gotta hold myself down. 'Cause I just wait till you write me your coming around". (never mind that when I spent a weekend with my summer camp bestie the next year, I found out that she had been getting the same letters.) Cad.
Anyway, my husband is terrible at sending mail to everyone in time for their special occasions but he is an amazing card writer. For some reason he gets a blank card and goes TO TOWN. I get poems, professions of undying love. It is seriously fabulous. So, for Christmas one year I decided to give him the gift of getting these messages to others he loves in a timely fashion. I made him a shoebox organized with index cards by month. Each month contained all cards necessary for each person. This included birthdays, anniversaries, etc... I addressed and stamped the envelopes so all he had to do was at the beginning of each month, go to the shoebox, select the card and get writing. It was great! I should do that again as it has been awhile since anyone on his side of the family got anything other than a last minute Amazon gift certificate for their birthday.
Fun stuff!
Lx

{Jessica} said...

Love this post! I am a firm believer in the power of written words. That is my love language and always will be! So glad that you share this love with me:) I save all of my cards from special events too and can't wait to look back at them one day with my own - as yet unborn - children. And I adore the letters for the future. What a novel idea! And wonderful way to share yourself with Lainey! Happy Friday Kelle:)

Sarah said...

I have a letter that my brother sent me from Iraq saying that if he died not getting to meet my future husband and be in his wedding would be a big regret. Thankfully, he lived. I have a box of letters from my Granny, which looking back on it make me feel a little guilty when I toss cards that my mom sends my girls. My Granny wrote letters and I treasure them so much. I am NOT a saver but maybe I should buy each of the girls a pretty little box for the really good letters. Sorry Hallmark, I'm not a card keeper. My mom kept everything so I keep NOTHING because it drove me crazy.

Molly said...

So beautiful. I am big on boxes filled with memories. It started when I was in high school with my very first boyfriend. I saved everything that had to do with him. Eventually, I grew up and those love letters no longer meant what they meant years earlier so it got thrown away.

I have one box o' love for my husband and I filled with love letters and cards and little trinkets. I also have two boxes. One for each boy filled with memories dating back to both of my pregnancies. It has been awhile since I've opened all these boxes and now I want to!

Tiffany said...

I have every card I got at my wedding in a little glittery gift bag, that was the best day of my life. I have cards from my baby shower and cards from my graduation, and handwritten letters from my husband. I also have an envelope stuffed to the brim with letters from my parents they wrote me when they were in jail and I was a teenager, sometimes I hate remembering those times but other times I am thankful for those heartfelt letters when I could not see them, it reminds me that people aren't perfect but that doesn't mean they don't love you.

Kristin said...

I have every card, letter, or note that I've ever gotten. Every SINGLE one. They are packed up in random boxes and totes (really should organize them better). I cannot stand the thought of throwing any of them away. I love to go through them from time to time and remember the emotions from the moment that I first recieved them. I also have all of the cards that my son has ever gotten since birth. Someday I want to be able to go through everything with my grandchildren and share the memories with them too.

Jennifer said...

OH yes. I have saved cards and letters and notes from people since I was nine years old.

My most prized possession is a letter my mom wrote to me in 1996 when my parents were in the middle of their divorce. It's the letter where she says she is sorry and she messed up and tells me how much she loves me and is proud of me. The first time and the last that she ever said those things.

With her gone (she died when I was 18), any note or card with her words on it are like gold to me - an insight to her soul.

Because I don't have my mom, I too write letters to my son on his birthday and his baby book and so on. I guess I always wished I had more words from my mom than I did, and anytime I write something for Tommy, I feel like I can leave him with a bit more of myself.

Loved this post. I love that other people do the same thing that I have for years!

Amy K said...

For my first valentines day with my husband (back in high school) he bought me a keepsake box. I have over 12 years of memories in it...notes passed back and forth from high school, photos, cards, mementos from our trips we've taken. It's so precious to me. I open it and all the memories flood back. I can't wait to share it with my son and daughters some day.

Abby said...

I am definately a hoarder when it comes to hand-written cards and notes. I have multiple boxes of things that mean a little and a lot. I could sit for hours rumaging through notes from my Mom from years before saying "Break a leg" or "We are so proud of you". There are Birthday cards, Valentines day cards, and more. I have lots of old pictures with hand writting on the back dated with notes about what was taking place. Now that I am a mother these things are even more meaningful and I save everything. My favorite thing ever is a note I found on the fridge one morning before leaving for work when I was pregnant with our 1st baby. It was on a torn in half sheet of paper and simply said, "I love you two" It meant everything to me.

Kelly said...

OMG! Do I throw away a card? That's a more appropriate question for me. I can't seem to part with something that someone sent or wrote just for me, to make me feel special and loved. Actually I'm looking for a great way to organize and store them rather than random file folders or boxes. Rereading the words, written just for me, from loved ones always cheers me up or makes me feel close by when I'm feeling homesick. I love having a tangible thing to cherish, something they've held and touched with their own hands and handwriting.

Coraly said...

My most prized card is from my mama . It was given to me the night before I got married. My mama is a woman of few words, and this card has writing all over it. 10 years later when I read it I still cry! I love my mama and her quiet stillness...

PregnantPeeper said...

I save but a precious few. Not much space and many moves have necessitated keeping the stack lean.

I still have the page out of my Franklin Covey planner from my first date with my husband 14 years ago. Like Brett, Tim is a man of few carefully chosen words. I have a short pile of index cards, post-it notes and random bits of paper where he has written all that I ever needed to read. Maybe this is why we've scarcely exchanged more than 2 greeting cards in all these years.

My biggest stack is in my desk at work. It's the mail I've gotten from clients - thank you notes for having helped their pet in some specific way, being a steady source of support in a difficult time or having facilitated a graceful euthanasia. These I read and re-read, especially on long, hard days (weeks) where nothing seems to be going well.

bencu said...

I am a saver of precious cards too. I put them in a box and they live in my hope chest.
One of my most significant and meaningful cards is from my dad. He was also a man of few words and very rarely wrote on my birthday cards. He sent me a lovely card for my 29th birthday, which is on January 24th. It was postmarked January 17th, way earlier than he would normally send me a card. It was the last time he communicated with me. He unexpectedly died in his sleep that night. I will forever cherish that card and I pull it out every year around my birthday and remember the great man who was my dad!!

Mama Tamby said...

When I was in college my grandma would send me letters once a month with a 20 dollar bill it in, saved from her Social Security check. Each letter made me cry at how proud my grandma was of me for going on to school, something she never got to do. I knew then, that someday I would cherish these letters when she was gone. I have boxes of them from the 4 1/2 years it took me to graduate, and still have not been able to look at them. I can't wait for the day though to show my sons just how amazing of a women their great-granda was and how she truely held our family together with her love.

Karen D said...

I was a single teenage mother, and I have saved every single mothers day card from anyone who has taken a moment of their life to give me one. They have meant so much to me in times when I was lonley or feeling inadequate. My daughter and I have a notebook where we write each other letters. We hide the notebook so it is a surprise to find... under pillows, in folded clothes, in back packs, beside the coffee cups... so it is always a little surprize! I love this post :)

Kelly Sheehy said...

Beautiful post. I have a huge box, downstairs marked "Sentimental Stuff", and it's full to the brim with letters and cards, and pictures that I've saved. That box has been worrying me, because we are moving across the country and downsizing. I have been putting off going through it and trying to decide what to keep and what to throw away. After reading this post, I am reminded that it is important, and it will make the cross-country trek with us.

Shel said...

Oh Lord...I save everything. I have a shoebox that I dedicated just for my favorite summer, with memorabilia from all the fun I had (including a chewed up drink stirrer..ewwww!)and covered with magazine clippings and quotes that still take me back there. But what I really save is cards. All of them. I have boxes full of Christmas and Birthday cards (for both of my kids too!) my wedding cards, baby shower cards, even my own christening cards ( I guess this was a handed down trait!)and every once in awhile I go through them and think...maybe I will just keep the "special" ones, but then how do you choose? So I keep them all and thank the good Lord that I have a LOT of attic space!

Glad to see you are coming to Michigan, I will bring my special girl Chloe to meet you :) I can't wait!

Kathleen said...

I have a card from my mom that she packed in my suitcase on my very first overnight away from her. It was Brownie camp - like girl scouts but younger. I remember the front, a picture of a folded paper plane with x's and o's all around it. It was a blank card and she filled the whole thing with wonderful sentences that made me feel loved. I'll never forget that feeling when I opened my suitcase and saw it. I wanted to read it right then and there, yet I also wanted to make a good impression to my new fellow bunk mates. I knew words from my mom were sure to make me cry. I chose to read it right then. I can't remember if I cried or not, but I remember the joy in my heart and the positive response from those bunkmates. It was one of many moments in my life when others comment on how amazing my mother is and wish she was their own. Ok maybe that last part isn't true but that is always my perspective. Today, I still would stand on a soapbox and proclaim that I have the best mom in the world to anyone who'd listen.

Janita said...

I totally save them all! The best part? I have no particular filing system for them, so they're jammed all over the house...closets, filing cabinets, purses, coats, the odd shoe, drawers in the bathroom, the toy trunk...I let 'em fall where they may. And it's fun to stumble across them, to read how you've made someone's day brighter just by being in it. That's what makes this journey worthwhile, isn't it? And Lord knows I have many days where I feel I'm just not measuring up, so coming across these written words telling me that yes, I am good enough, I am adding sunshine, well, let's just say it's like a warm beam from the sun on rainy days. Thanks for the lovely post. Those letters to Lainey? Golden Jerry, golden. xo

steveyukena said...

I don't save all of my cards, because usually my people are talkers, not writers, and they just let Hallmark do the talking. I have a few amazing things that I keep tucked away for just me.

There's a letter that my then-fiancee wrote and snail-mailed me while I was still in college... and it made me fall for him so much more. He's not a huge talker, so it was fantastic to hear those things.

Another thing I've got was through a bit of force on my part. The hubs and I have one of those journal scrapbooks that we keep our life in. It started out as a manual on how to handle me (per his request for a wedding gift.. ha and has morphed into our goofy drawings of our life happenings. I love it.

By the way, I just got my copy of Bloom last night. Being 33 weeks pregnant might have added to it, but I cried through the first seven chapters last night. Your words are amazingly beautiful. I just hope I can be the kind of Momma to my son as you are to your girls.

Just Glory said...

I absolutely do. As I get older, I keep fewer because my hoarding was getting out of control, and I learned to weed out what I'm really going to want to read over and over. I even have a box full of every letter my girls' dad ever wrote to me and pictures of our relationship. I'll give that box to my girls someday. Although our marriage didn't work out, I want my girls to understand that they were born out of love and my relationship with their dad was intense and complex and worth having.

Lauren said...

I adore this post! Like you, I've saved a lot of things from the past in a box. I keep investing in larger boxes so that I can store all of my keepsakes together. My husband and I always try to outdo ourselves with cards! We'll find the sweetest, silliest, or most meaningful card we can and watch proudly as the other opens it!

Mandy Atkinson said...

oh this hits home so hard with me. When I was a child my mother and I were seperated for many years. It was heartbreaking for us both. but, she sent cards and letters to me all the time. I kept every single one of them. Then as a teenager, when we were together again, i became rebellious and had some anger towards her because we were seperated. so we had a rough relationship for many years. It wasn't until I was an adult that we formed a bond and became best friends. 2 1/2 years ago, she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. She passed away in February of this year. I lost my very best friend in the whole world. But, as I was cleaning and making room for some of her things, I came across my box that had all of those letters and cards. Oh you bet those are so very cherished now. I am so glad I have those to pull out and look at. I can look at some of them and remember what she looked like back then and how it felt when she would visit. I can feel her arms around me again and hear her voice telling me she loved me. Now that I have tears pouring down my face, it makes me want to run home and hold on tight to that box of those treasures.

Rachel Hagan said...

I have always saved cards from my family and now-fiance but my favorite of all the cards I've saved is a hand written letter my Grandma wrote me when I was a freshman in college. All she wrote about was what her and my grandpa had been up to lately but she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's shortly after she sent that letter and so it's extra special to me. I'm just glad I was smart enough to save it when I was 18!

Susan said...

I created an email for my son who is now just a little over a year old. I email him every once in a while with random stories or sentiments. I'll tell him about it someday and give him the password so he can read all of his letters.

Pam said...

I do have some special cards - The one our foster daughter bought for Sara to give me "From your little stinkweed." :) The one Sara hid behind her back as she wanted money to buy - I said, "If you have a card - it isn't worth it." She said, "But this one is." It said,"Mom, you know all that advice you give me." open it "Someday I am going to use it." And then the most precious one. Sara had been really mad at me - beyond explaining mad at me - For Mother's Day the card said," Mom - Raising me couldn't have been easy, but when other mothers would have said, "I give up!" or "I can't take it!" you said and when I opened it the song "I will survive" started playing. & it said, "Thanks for loving me and sticking by me no matter what. Happy Mother's Day" It is priceless.

Haley said...

I love this post and I love the idea of writing my children letters for the future.

I am also a hoarder of cards, notes, my childrens work from preschool and on. I love to go to them to reflect on what a wonderful life I have, when at times it doesn't feel so wonderful.

My husband and I just shared our ten year anniversary. We have 4 children and I am a stay at home mom, so we do not give each other gifts often. I am happy with a card & a note inside. This year I wanted to do something special for him, to show him how much I really appericate all he does for our family. I made him photo book of our first ten years. For each year, there was a page talking about that year and attached was the card I gave him for that year. It was beautiful for me to go back and read each one, but watching him tear up reading each one & the book was even more beautiful. He knows how crazy I am about my cards, but was surprised I saved all of them for so long. It made our 10 year anniversary very special.

I encourage everyone to save those special little notes. When life has you down, you can look back and remember that life has been wonderful and the sunshine will return soon!

Thank you for your blog, I enjoy reading it so much!!!

Glitter Madchen said...

Although our marriage was pretty darn short and we've been divorced over 20 years, I still have the first card my first love gave me for Christmas when we were 16 years old.

Sharmaine said...

I too have a whole box of things to be remembered!! We take it out once in a while and it brings back so many memories and stories!

Future letters are also our thing. I can't wait for my son to read them. Sometimes I just write about something that happened, something that I know I'd really want to remember and want him to know.

Thank you for sharing your memories with us! They are pretty darn awesome!

Genia & Shaylon said...

I have a box of notes saved somewhere. I need to take them out and sort them. I keep everything so that will be hard for me. I love that you write letters to your babies. Every year on my kids birthdays I write them a letter about them and where we are as a family. I love looking back and reading it and remembering my sweet itty bitty babies.

Kelly Cach said...

Each of my boys have their own rubber maid container FULL of pieces from their school years, and even earlier scribbles when they first held a pencil or crayon. I save most everything they come home with from school!

I have notes, cards, recipes, etc from various people in various places in our home (not organized), but I find it funny that most of my really sentimental words have been written by ME---poems I had written about my first love, notes taken during engagement encounters, snippets during each pregnancy, angry/hurting/sad feelings after Nora was born.....

But one of my favorite "collections" is the one where I jotted down the cute things my boys have said, especially during their 1st years of talking. Like Gabe's first 2 year old prayer:
"Dear Jesus, fink you for a go a walk today an a liberry, an fink you for a pack-pack an get some books. (with one eye opened staring at his dinner plate, he continued....). Fink you for da chicken an a salad an some rice.....and fink you for my daddy, he so cute. Amen."

Both my boys (and Nora too, someday) LOVE to talk about the things they used to say. Little do they know that I still keep records....they give me a LOT of material. Like Eli walking into the pet store one day wondering where they keep the whales. Love 'em!!!!

Lisa said...

My hubby is Mr. Organized and keeps a small file cabinet with sections like "Insurance info," "Passports," and "House documents." I hardly touch the thing ;) A couple of years ago, he asked me to grab the insurance folder after I had rearended someone (oops), and I found a folder labeled "Lisa." Inside was every card or handmade something I'd given him since day one. We now throw it all together, but he won a lot of points for that :)
My mom is a saver, and as much crap as I have given her over the years, I'm thankful. I have cards from people who I barely got to know because they passed away when I was young. I cherish the birthday cards from my aunt, my mom's sister, whom I remember but only knew until I was seven. I learned from my mom to hang onto those things, and I now have cards from my precious grandparents who are now gone, but I have their words and handwriting to hang on to. I do go back and look at them, and while it stings a bit it also warms my heart.
I save these things for my daughters because I know how much they will mean to them someday. We all have a plastic drawer in the garage where these things go before they are lost.
This is also a great reminder to write to my girls. What a sacred and special thing for them to have down the road. And handwritten. It means so much to me to see the writing of those I've lost and missed, as well as memories with the ones who are still alive and well :)
Love this post :)

Lisa said...

I am a card-giver. I love to go in to the Hallmark store and pick the perfect card for whatever the occasion. I think I inherited this from my sister (who is 12 years older than me). In fact, I just sent my best friend a card last week and she said she loved it and that she rarely gets snail-mail anymore. I love that I can put a smile on someone's face after a hard day just by sending them some love in a card! I save all cards that are given to us by family and close friends. They are all currently in a big Rubbermaid box and one day (hopefully soon!)I am going to seperate them all out into individual boxes for me, my husband and son. I have received many special cards from my husband over the past 25 years and smile when I come accross them and read them again. But my mom has sent me two maybe three cards ever outside of a holiday or birthday. My mom is not expressive of her feelings and is definitely not a random card-giver. But I have one from her right after my son was born with some advice and support and one just this past winter after she recovered from surgery telling me how much she appreciated my help and support. These cards touch my heart deeply and I will always cherish. Do not underestimate how a card can touch someone's life.

The Scott's said...

Love the post! I have several boxes of memories... My favorite is from the night I met my husband. We hit it off and I wanted to give him my number and neither of us had our cell phones or anything so I borred a pen from the bartender and wrote my name and number on a dollar bill and he still has it! For our first anniversary he framed that dollar bill and its safly in our safe :)

KateH said...

When I was a freshman in college and having a particularly rough time after a break-up, my mom and sister showed up on my doorstep with a cardboard box labeled "Kate's Care Box." Inside was the most random assortment of things - toilet paper, chocolate, socks - and attached to each one was a note from my mom. I've never been able to throw away her words of encouragement, however silly (on a package of cinnamon gum, she wrote, "You're on fire!") or seemingly trivial in the moment. It meant so much to me, and I love to look at those notes to remind me how much I am always loved.

Bean Sprouts said...

Every letter and pictures I got from my birthday daughter and her adoptive parents over the last 9 years. I treasure those items so much.

Susan said...

I love getting and receiving cards. I have every card ever sent to my daughter, from the baby showers before she was born and on until after her funeral at the age of 4. It's nice to sit and look at them and remember the love and outpouring of support I received over the course of her short, sweet life.

Melissa said...

For many reasons, its great to be a hoarder, but here is my favorite. I save cards, like so many others. When my best friend of 15 years lost her mother to a heart attack while at work, I was able to dig through my stash and come up with three cards in which her mom had written funny poems or silly thank yous, cards where her personality really shone through. Those cards were better than all the flowers in the world to my friend.

Anto said...

CIAO KELLE IL TUO LIBRO ESCE IN ITALIANO?????' BACI ANTO

Angie said...

I love this post and how you've reminded me of sweet momentos from the past.

My favorites:

A shoebox full of letters written back and forth between me and my best friend after she moved from Ohio to California when we were in high school.

A note written by the sweet friend I used to nanny for telling me how I was a blessing to their family, how I made the fear of her going back to work dissipate because she knew I loved her boys, how she knew they were well taken care of when she was at her office. I love that it was scribbled on a piece of 'chart' paper from the office where she practices medicine.

A note my mom placed in my lunchbox in second grade. It read "I love you because you're my kid but I like you because you're you." On the inside she wrote something like be safe walking home and DON'T TALK TO STRANGERS!!! Ha :)

A shoe (I know, weird) my dad wrote "I love you" on the sole. We were sitting in church, I had my foot perched up on my knee and he took the pen he was so diligently taking notes with and forever touched my soul with his sweet note.

Endless post it notes my then boyfriend, now husband wrote nearly fifteen years ago.

All those precious finger paintings/scribbles from my kiddos. If you look close enough you can see they really say "I love you, Mama"...

I have a journal for each of my kids that I write in from time to time. I like the idea of them going back and reading them someday. Like you said, as a teenager when they need to know how deep the love of a mama goes...

XOXO,
Angie from Ohio

mroo said...

I'm almost sixteen, and almost a year ago, on my fifteenth birthday, my Daddy wrote me a typed letter telling me how much he loved me and thanking me for letting him be my Superman. I'll cherish notes like that forever.

:0)

keri said...

when my husband and I first started dating we were in college - - different states so we emailed each other all the time - this was 1995 so email was "new". Before graduation, I printed out every single email and have it in a binder. I love to read the notes - it reminds me of how far we've come and a glimpse into our blossoming relationship.

mroo said...

I'm almost sixteen and a year ago on my birthday, my Daddy typed me a special note telling me how much he loves me and thanking me for letting him be my Superman. I'll always love that letter. :0)

Also, I just finished Bloom and I constantly think about how inspiring your little girls are and how I want some just like them when I'm a Mommy. :0)

mroo said...

I'm almost sixteen and a year ago on my birthday, my Daddy typed me a special note telling me how much he loves me and thanking me for letting him be my Superman. I'll always love that letter. :0)

Also, I just finished Bloom and I constantly think about how inspiring your little girls are and how I want some just like them when I'm a Mommy. :0)

Emily said...

This has absolutely nothing to do with this post buttttt I found your twin...

http://www.tobi.com/women/dresses?page=2

Melina said...

Hi Kelle!!

So, I've been reading every post, just not commenting as often because I get pulled away- to pack up another box or two, to transfer the cable bill to my roommate, to take the dog on another walk because I feel so guilty that she'll be without me all summer.

But I've read every post, loved them all, and -yes- am about 20 pages away from completing Bloom. It's been my little oasis of comfort and rest and enjoyment during this busy time for me. A time of great change. And what a fitting book to be reading during such a time of tidal change. Sea change, even.

I recently got a cool little letter in the mail. My good friend Abby, from another life in North Carolina so many years ago, stumbled upon a bar called Home Team. Hometeam is, of course, the name of my dog, my baby girl. Abby bought a few Hometeam bumper stickers, and sent them my way with a long letter telling me how much she missed me. I haven't spoken to her in two years. It was....wonderful. How is it that a simple thought, a simple gesture, 35 cents of postage is worth more than any....well, than anything, really?

It got me thinking....as I'm pakcig up and trying to 'lighten up' my material load here on earth, why not send cool little trinkets to my friends around the country instead of just sending them to good will or tossing them? I may not hear from most of the recipients, I'll be on a boat in Alaska with no address, but the mail karma I'll be collecting? DUDE.

Well Kelle....I've missed leaving comments and I hope to get back into the swing of the blog lovin' thing. I sure do enjoy your book, and YOU.
xo
Melina

PS what's with your kids getting so big??

Carlita_Welly said...

Great post.

There is NOTHING like good old "snail mail" and stickers sure add that extra fun to it!

I have some HI-larious notes saved from way back when.

I was wondering.....are there other bloggers who write for Hallmark as well? Same topics? I love the topics of choice for these Hallmark posts and would be interested in reading other ones as well.

Thanks for the breath of fresh air. :)

Brie said...

Maybe one of my favorite posts, because I also keep cards that are special. My mom sent me a card after my last miscarriage, that said more to me than anyone ever could. It told me how much she understood my grief, yet understood the paradoxal hope for the future. Even now, in my final weeks of pregnancy, I hold onto that card and remember my pain, remember my hope - and feel a new a precious baby growing inside of me.

Linda MG in Soquel, CA said...

To: "Momma"..Oh YES< New Slang by the Shins. I've liked for a LONG time; have had it on a CD for very long time. KELLE! Loved your post. Yes, i save everything! I love the stuff from when my now-adult-daughters were littles. Yes, the written word. I think the art of letter writing is lost almost now, and that is sad. People dont take the time. I am one who STILL loves sending letters, notes, cards to everyone. I do it all the time. I know they love it; they tell me so. Who DOESNT like to get personal mail? It seems so rare. And YES, i love how you wrote that we can positively touch or influence someone. I love how you shared about when you were a teacher, etc.. I did wanna share something and i hope you dont mind. I am not personally a part of, except i HAVE donated often. All schools are in such trouble, and teachers using own monies for supplies. Here in Calif, it is very bad. There is an organization, has been around for years - the starter appeared on Oprah. It Donors Choose, where anyone can donate to totally fund a class project (items needed) or partially fund, across the U.S.. Before they finally had Calif schools involved, I was even donating for schools in other states. I figured it is still helping kids, schools! Just go to www.DonorsChoose.org to help. And one of the best parts? If you fund a project, or a big portion of, you get leters from each kid in that class. I tell you, that was THE BEST! And i will always remember how one little girl wrote soemthing how she did not know that people cared like that and would help. And i thought, wow, maybe that is one of the BEST things a student could "learn", that we think of others and put that into action..even if we dont know them. Maybe she will remember that as she grows up, and do the same. I know finances are tough for many, but it really is worthwhile group. Sorry to ramble. Love you, Kelle. From your Blog Mama~

Melina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ashley @ ashley's adventures in alaska said...

Ahh I love old cards and letters! My husband works in a super remote place here in Alaska for a few months at a time, and doesn't have phone service (or electricity they don't have to make themselves, for that matter) so we chat through online messenger programs and send each other old fashioned love notes. I have almost every single letter he's sent me through our entire relationship and have them tucked in drawers here and there around the house. I love coming across them and rereading them! The ones right after we were married and on our anniversaries are the best. :)

Simply Shelley said...

I love old cards! I have 2 entire shoeboxes full of cards, and I don't even have kids yet!!!

I will be finished with my student teaching experience in one and a half weeks! And it's been such a crazy whirlwind! The cards I've already received are so very, very special to me.

My fiance also proposed to me with a Hallmark card, because I'm such a card fanatic! And that card is something that I will have forever!!!

Love this post :)

-Simply Shelley
http://simply-shelley.blogspot.com/

Simply Shelley said...

P.S. - TOTALLY LOVING BLOOM!!!!!!!

Karen said...

Yesterday, I had a really, really bad day at work. Enough to leave an hour early. This was after meeting with my two supervisors, to clear up an incident - that I still feel should have been no big deal - where I would have been fired, after 11 years at this position, without their intervention. I had been thinking about it, but now I will do it: Send each of them a card thanking them for sticking up for me.

Sasha Taylor said...

When my 4 girls grow up and get to that point where you parents tell you that you have to take all your stuff now, they will probably need a truck each to load their memory boxes onto :) They have one a year and occasionally, there is an extra one - first trip to England or first Christmas, baby shower etc.. Into each one I load cards and bits of ribbon and the tickets from the zoo trip. I have my boxes too - filled with first pictures they drew me and once they started to write, notes - some telling me they love me; others telling me I'm mean :) Love them all.

We had a house fire 9 years ago and the thing that I missed the most were the letters, proper hand written letters from friends over the years. Emails just aren't the same.

Bit of an essay :) But words mean loads to me. It took quite a few years for my husband to understand that I'd much rather have the soppy card for my birthday than the joke one.

Happy Friday!

CountryMouse said...

I love making cards for people giving it that personal touch that has been made just for them but often finding the words to write inside is difficult.
I have kept the cards and letters I have recieved from when I was a child. The ones folded in fancy origami from friends when we were going through a stage, post cards from grandparents at some destination, gift tags made with love, and letters from those who aren't here any more ... I think those are the most precious as they are a tie to the person you loved. Most read for me is a card my Mum made and wrote for my 18th withe every spare space filled with advise for life things like always embrace your inner child.

Melissa Moore said...

I absolutely love giving cards to the people that fill my life...short-term or long. But when it comes to that which I have kept for my self...my husband has purchased a recordable card every mothers day since my babies could talk. I will forever have their little voices to hear whenever I want. And I will admit I cry every time!!

thb said...

i started a journal for my kids to read when they get older. Talking about how my pregnancy went with them. How things are going around us. I figured I would give it to the oldest when he's in college or high school.

kmryser said...

I was shopping at Tjmaxx one day where I found this cute, totally me diary for 5$! I bought it even though I don't do diaries. It's now tucked away someplace special where my mom can't find it. It's filled with little memories, jokes, and pictures I've created for my mama for when she's older!

Rachel S said...

Wow. I love the idea of writing letters to Lainey that she can read down the road on different occassions. My daughter is only 11 months old and I think I might start doing that for her. Great idea!!

...sensible of shoe said...

My husband and I have all of the letters we wrote each while in the college. Email was brand new, we kept it old school.

p.s.
Nudie Booty, Dede? Skinny dipping is one of my life goals but not with my neighbors, they are old and we only have a wading pool.

Rosanna said...

I have a 'love box' too. My husband and I started dating our senior year of high school, and have been together 11 years now. So the bottom of the box contains dorky cards from high school, then sweet love letters while we were going to college in two different cities. Next are the notes anticipating our wedding, then encouraging words for grad school, pregnancy, and the birth of our baby boy. I love adding to that box, and I love reading through memories that are ours alone.

Erin said...

Kelle,
I just have to tell you how refreshing it is to read about someone else who seeks to see the positive in a potentially challenging situation. This goes for your entire blog... not just this post. You always have a way to inspire me and encourage me to continue to look at the brighter side of life. Keep doing what your doing. I need to be reminded of unicorns and rainbows.

Emma R said...

I've had Bloom for a week or so now and have been trying to finish the book I'm reading before I started it but this morning I could wait no more. I am 90 pages in and have spent most of it trying to read through a torrent of tears. There is soooo much of it, that could be my own story. I dont have a child with ds, but I spent most of my 2nd pregnancy in hospital bleeding because of a blood clot, terrified that labour would start and Id lose my girl. I sent my husband home to be with our eldest every night when I needed him more than ever so that he could be with our eldest because I couldnt be with her. My friends brought me food and dvds and books and music and cried with me and held me when the fear and sadness was too overwhelming to contain. I have also spent a night on the other side, as the supporter, when my sisters son was born at 24 weeks and they told her that if he did survive he'd be profoundly disabled. And do you know what I told her as we lay curled up on the bed, crying an unfathomable sadness? I told her she'd been chosen for this, and that she wouldnt be sent more than she could cope with. Her blessed Peter didnt make it, and sometimes I think that is more than she can cope with, but that night we shared in that hospital, while devastating beyond words, was probably the most special time we've ever spent together. I've had to stop reading as I really am feeling emotionally drained. My hubby is going to return from his bike ride soon and wonder what on earth is wrong. Just wanted to share and thank you for sharing such honest memories and reflections. I'm sure I am only 1 of thousands who can empathise, like you say, we are all so much more alike than different. Much love xo

Kelly said...

I am such a sentimental person, I have a whole tub of saved things....I cant let go of the wonderful childhood I had and the I feel like in order to preserve those things I might otherwise forget, I have to keep everything as a reminder.

As for the kids, I save everything. I have art bins of their art work, tubs of a few of my favorite baby clothes, their nursery crib quilts, my daughters very first ballet leotard. Time is changing each day and they are growing older older. I cherish those things I have saved and cant wait until one day I can show them when are older and (hopefully!) have kids themselves <3

genderist said...

I have a few letters that my grandfather wrote home to my grandmother when he was serving overseas in WWII.

LadyDi said...

I am a saver for sure! I have a tub of childhood momentos too. But one special thing I have is a notebook my highschool sweetheart (now husband) and I passed back and forth to each other. We wrote random things in it, love notes and just 'thinking of you thoughts'. It is tattered and worn but its special. Alot was written in pencil so it has faded. And that was 35 yrs ago!

Lisa said...

I am a card-hoarder! I have a whole box full of birthday, wedding/anniversary, Christmas etc etc etc cards! I love them. Each "season" when I add more to the box, I look through all the old ones. As much as I love technology and getting texts and emails, to me - nothing will ever come close to receiving a hand-written card or note. I love them :)

rose said...

I have a card from a 15 year old boy who was smitten with me in high school. I was an unhappy girl with a lot of self esteem problems. In the card he handwrote a special message about how I deserved more than I thought I did and how I was a wonderful person. He ended his note with how when we were older we can always go away together and how he loved me.
That card how hangs in a frame in the bedroom of my husband and I. It is one of my very prized possesions because my husband was the one that wrote it 23 years ago. :)

Hope said...

I have a whole tote filled with memorabilia that I want to save forever. It includes 5 years worth of birthday cards, souvenirs from past trips, letters from friends, school photos, friendship bracelets, a bowling trophy, a doll given to me by my grandpa, and a whole lot of other random junk! If there's one thing I would grab in case of a fire, it would be that! :)

Jen said...

Even though it's not a note per say, it's a comic strip. http://megatokyo.com/strip/1003.
My best friend sent this to me one night in an attempt to explain how we were. In fact, I got a print of it and it sits on my computer desk to remind me daily that there is someone who still cares about me, no matter how alone I feel. He knew instantly that I needed this. He is forever in my heart and the friend whose wisdom keeps me going daily. I look at it every morning and remind myself that someone believes in me and I can make it through everything.
I keep a lot of notes from people, but that is the most amazing!
Ps. I just got your book in the mail and it got my through a hard week with another friend leaving after 11 days of visiting. Thank you!!!!

MB and ME said...

My husband & I have opposite work schedules so sometimes the only communication we have is through letters. We have been together 3 years & have used index cards, actual cards, notebooks, napkins, anything to leave each other so we're always "speaking when we're not speaking." There have been many times when we have had to settle arguments over our notes and I have saved each & every bad, great, and indifferent one. I'm hoping to have a giant box in 50 years for our children & grandchildren to look through, and show them that to us, good communication was the basis of our relationship.

Rachel said...

One of my favorite post. I have a few of these boxes and they are so precious!! Thanks for writing it!

Michelle said...

I have boxes of letters my husband and I have written to each other through deployments and patrols....and interspersed among the letters are every day notes, most often just a scrap of paper taped to the coffee pot or tucked into a lunch bag, with heart felt words of love. The boxes are bulging and it's been 20 years, and we are still not done writing.

Amy said...

My dad died unexpectedly over ten years ago. He was a man of few words, and rarely wrote anything. I recently found a note he left for me once on notebook paper. I didn't remember it or the occasion it was given, but I treasure it now. It says, "Amy, I love you. Dad"

mamaathome said...

By golly you know how to pull at the heart strings!! Tears overflowed with your beautiful words of sentiment. Thank you.

ellen said...

I send a lot of cards (I just dropped $75 at the Post Office last week -- on stamps!). I make photocards and use more than I sell. I also have a lot of letters that I've saved and some special ones I carry around in my calendar. Mail is wonderful.

lanaelise44 said...

My now boyfriend of a year and a half sent me a letter one day when he was at work at the post office. We weren't dating then but he was one of my best friends and we were loving finding this new and wonderful friendship/relationship. We used to watch movies together in his room and just hang out - all very innocent even though we were 23 and 28! This letter was sent on Christmas Eve and we started dating on Boxing Day - 26th December. I got the letter on the 28th December - the letter was full of our little in jokes, movie quotes we always say and it was just so sweet. I couldn't stop smiling from ear to ear. I have kept that letter and will keep it always - he's admitted to me that he was quite smitten when he wrote it....... i really love this one!!

Abs said...

I have a thank you card from the mother of my friend, Ryan, who died a few years after high school. Ryan had a bit of a crush on me but but all throughout high school, we were just good friends. after he died, my high school class (all 32 of us) pooled our money together to give to his family a donation to his daughter's college fund. It wasn't much but it meant a lot to Ryan's mom. She wrote me the nicest note saying that she thought Ryan respected me and eventually looked for some of my characteristics in his future wife. It was so genuine but completely surprising.

I try to tell the people I love and the people to whom I'm grateful exactly how I'm feeling. It's usually not verbal but rather a card or an email after-the-fact. I think it's so important and that note from Ryan's Mom helped me realize that you shouldn't wait to tell someone how you feel. Time is fleeting.

cindyjean said...

I've saved cards and letters from over the years.... and couldn't bear to part with them.

One of my top five treasures is my suitcase of letters and cards from my husband. We began our relationship long distance; he was British and me American. We fell in love and wrote every day. He was separated and there was a long history; life was not easy and there were plenty of ups and downs in our 26 years together. But every card and every letter is a treasure in my heart. I saved them even when we divorced after almost 20 years of marriage and 26 years together. We remained close, loving... it's hard when you love each other so much but have grown apart and fear a future like that. I wish he and I had re-read the letters and cards before things became so distant. With the love we had together even after the divorce, I know, those letters would have reminded us of all that was still in our hearts and merely clouded. He passed away 5 years ago.... someday, my children will own those long beautiful letters he wrote and they'll understand. For now, I cherish them above everything. I am grateful he was able to put things in writing that sometimes he just couldn't say. Thank you for letting me share.

~j said...

While I've saved some cards that are tucked away in random places as a result of the frequent moving that is your mid-20's, there is one note, one a piece of construction paper that i have tucked on my bedroom mirror. After a particularly hard breakup, I came home to find my bedside table suddenly filled with a bright bouquet of flowers and a note from my roommate that said.

Jen,
Never forget, you are INCREDIBLE.
<3 Nicole.

These five words on a small square of pink construction paper made me feel so loved, and appreciated and capable, during such a down time, as I've recently entered an even rougher patch, I still look at those words and smile every morning when I wake up. Life may be rough right now, but with friends like that... it can't really be THAT bad can it :)

Ryann said...

I began saving things in an old shoe box in middle school- I called it my warm and fuzzy box. It is filled with letters, old school essays, birthday cards, holiday cards; basically any type of sentimental reminder of my past you can think of. I turn to it every time I need a pick me up or a reminder of the wonderful people I've met along the way. My fiance (then boyfriend) used to make fun of me and my "hoarding" and the times I would open it pouring over each item- it was a guaranteed tear fest. Our second Christmas together he bought me a wooden box to replace my tattered shoebox. He even transferred all the items and wrapped it up for me to open on Christmas eve. This gift (my favorite to this day)demonstrated that he got it- it was his full understanding of this collection of items and how important my friends, family and past are in who I am today. I am so glad Lainey will have all of this to fill her life and heart.

Whitney said...

My father keeps "memory boxes". I mean DOZENS of plastic totes with every paper, card, note, report card, everything for us three girls. One year we were looking through one of the boxes and I realized that for three years in a row I had gotten him the SAME father's day card. Neither one of us had caught it until then, but we both knew it had been the PERFECT card!

avasmama said...

When we were dating, my now husband would leave me little notes written on coffee filters he would find in my apartment - I'm guessing he couldn't ever find a notepad in my little bachelorette pad! I have saved all of them. For our second wedding anniversary, I compiled all the emails we had sent to one another during our courtship and made them into a scrapbook. It was kind of a challenge scrapbooking with words instead of photos, but I think it's pretty amazing! I have saved lots of letters and cards throughout the years, some from granparents or other relatives that are gone now. When I read them, I hear their voice speaking to me and it brings me joy. :)

Renee' said...

I am such a softy when it comes to saving "love letters" from over 40 years ago. I have letters from my first boyfriend. That was in the 1960's. I love going back from time to time as re-reading them. Brings back such tender memories. I will never dispose of them! I'll leave that task up to my children when I pass Kelle. <3 <3

Jen said...

I love to keep every card I get, no matter the occasion. I also still have letters from friends in high school, as well as all letters from my mom.
My favourite part of that box is letters I write to myself. It's usually how I am feeling at the time. I will also write letters of memories and moments I want to keep. I also print out important conversations I have with people. I like my thoughts organized.
I keep it all in a box in my closet. It's my reminder of the life I've lived when I need a moment to remember it.

Celeste said...

I have several boxes of nearly every card I've ever received. I still cherish them and love looking back at them.

I adore the idea of writing letters for your child to read in the future. I can imagine how wonderful those words would be to read during a hard time, knowing how much your mom has always loved you. I fully intend to do this with my future babies :)

Krystle said...

My Grandmother has always written letters to all of her kids, grandkids, and other family and friends. She must write at least 5 letters a day since my family is pretty huge.
One Christmas, when I was an early teen I received a wooden box made by my grandfather. It was perfect and simple.
From that day on I have kept all of their letters and now just her letters in there.
It is something that I cherish so much!

jenjamin said...

Magic. Pure magic. You have a magical gift with words. I wholeheartedly agree with all you have said and the importance of the written word. I have kept journals for all my 6 kids from the time they were in the womb.... or as you put it while they were"somersaulting behind the tight skin of my middle".

Thank you for the inspiration!! again
xo