Wednesday, November 17, 2010

DIY: Homemaker's Journal

The rain and leaves are falling quietly outside while both my babies sleep and my house is clean. I almost don't know what to do with myself this afternoon!

How about a little DIY project? It's been awhile since we've gotten our craft on around here and this is the perfect sort of project for a day like today.


Before my grandparents moved up to the lake this summer, they lived downtown in the home they built over 50 years ago. Most times when Caws would stop by for a visit, she would bring with her some little thing she had found hidden away in a closet or the basement.

Little pieces of herself from around her house that she wanted to pass on. An old dress pattern she never used , an article torn from the newspaper from the 60's, sewing notions that she thought I could use. To her it was old junk, but to me these were little pieces of herself that gave me a glimpse into her past. They are all saved in a wooden box in my sewing room and when I look through her trinkets, I can't help but wonder what she was like at 16? 25? 37?

What were her biggest dreams in life? And the biggest struggles? Who were her friends, how often did she see them, and what would they do for fun? Where did she shop each week? What would she fix my daddy for his breakfast? I ask, but she can't remember the details. The everyday mundane that seemed unimportant at the time are the things I would love to know now.

And it isn't just my grandmother. I'd love to talk to my mother 26 years ago when she was at the same stage of life that I am in right now. She offers her advice and wisdom as I raise my own, but it is filtered through age and wisdom. I would love to know all the details from her days when we were little and what she would share with me, woman to woman as a young mother without the luxury of experience.

A few months ago, I was inspired by this post to keep a homemakers journal. Something I had never considered before. I realize that this stage of young motherhood is passing much to quickly and I want to remember these days at home with my girls. All the little insignificant details that marry together in what our life is now. And not just for myself, but to pass on to them one day when they become mothers.

For several afternoons while Caroline napped, Anna Cate and I cozied up on the couch, lit a candle, turned on some soft music, and flipped through all my old magazines (we had to borrow some from my mom and sister too)


What a sweet sweet time we spent together finding our favorite pictures and talking about different things. Sometimes I miss her baby ways, but I love this age of her discovering herself! I love hearing about what she likes and why, all of the silly things a three-year old thinks about and wonders. She takes on such a grown up air when we spend time one-on-one together and I love that she feels so important and special when I spend intentional time with her.

As we chatted, we tore out any pictures that we liked. You know, the ones that make you feel nostalgic and inspired or represent a part of yourself that is hidden somewhere down deep. It is fun to see what kind of pictures speak to you the most. Before I knew it, I soon had quite the collection of table settings, front porches, and floral arrangements, mostly taken from on a farm or by the ocean.
note to self: If those things make me happy, I should take more time to incorporate them into our own house.journal2

She cut out all of her favorite pictures too, mostly from Pottery Barn Kids.
also note to self: finish up her big girl room! it has been put on hold for 2 years now, just making do and the child obviously loves pink, pink, and a little green. it should be a space that reflects her personality, not just an empty box with a bed and dresser!

We arranged our pictures and glued them into a blank artist notebook. Well, I used an artist sketch pad, she used a school notebook from the Target clearance aisle. ;)


I have grown so found of my journal over the past few months. At first I felt nervous to write in it, unsure of exactly what to write and how. But it has become a place where I can

record a new favorite recipe
highlight a verse from my quiet time to medidate on throughout the day
organize our weekly menu
remember something funny one of the girls said or did
jot down ideas I have for family activities and outings
give thanks and praise for all my blessings


This simple exercise of taking pen to paper inspires creativity and reminds me to take a deep breath and find beauty in the ordinary.

It helps me stay more in the moment, to pause and smile for the little blessings throughout the day. Most importantly, this daily discipline encourages me to be more intentional with my time and appreciate the seemingly insignificant details that I tend to overlook and take for granted.


I've already enjoyed looking back through my notes from several months ago and hope this will be something my children and grandchildren will enjoy and treasure one day too!


  1. THANKS SO MUCH! What a great idea!

  2. I recently found letters and postcards from my mother. These notes dated back to her sweet sixteen. She is in her mid-seventies and has dementia. Getting to know who she is becoming is a process I embrace, but the ability to access her past memories is a blessing. Notes such as yours is a valuable contribution to your family. Keep it up and God bless!