Tag Archives: 5 Year Journal

there is love

After a three month writing hiatus, it might seem cliche to focus on ways I’ve witnessed love through writing, but this is where I’ve been finding my heart, my jam, during the Winter days of wonder. These expressions or signs often jump in my face, knock me over with an inked blow, and I’m unable to ignore all the forms of heartfelt emotions seen thru writing.

I find it in the note I leave my child on his desk complimenting him for some action or completed task, then receiving a written note in return on the other side of the paper sitting on my bedroom pillow. There is love.

It’s in the postcards mailed to Senators voicing a passion or concern, a handwritten protest sign, or the words in Gloria Steinem’s handwritten speech. There is love.

I see it in the written directions on a Post-it attached to a homemade lemon, ginger elixir made with care from a busy cousin. There is love.

I’ve found it when my daughter asks to write down details of each day in her miniature wall calendar, then asking last night for a 5-Year-Journal like mine so there is space for more writing. There is love.

It’s in a friend’s Orange Cake recipe I’ve been searching for while planning a celebration and then when I write down the ingredients on my grocery list, there is a whole lotta love…and a few oranges as well.

In these written words I find not only love but wisdom, guidance, hope, individuality, freedom of expression and the value of each day we are given. Don’t overlook these bits of handwritten love scattered throughout your day. And while it’s on your mind, write someone an unexpected Valentine – It might be a Hallmark holiday but this one’s not to be missed. Happy Writing! xoxoxo, w

P.S. If you live in the Twin Cities, be sure to check out the Brown Ink Paper Goods love notes now being sold at The Foundry and Room No. 3 while supplies last!

P.P.S. If you are needing any advice on writing the perfect love letter, Sugar Paper has you covered!


Red Flag

While traveling for work a few weeks ago a simple quote caught my eye in the latest Real Simple magazine (flying seems to be the only time I have for reading these days!). In the Your Words column the question was asked: What advice would you give your younger self? One woman shared remorse for not writing things down over the years. “You’ll want to record important dates (like when you had a major surgery) or precious knowledge (like Nancy’s colelslaw recipe). You think you can remember but it’s just not possible.”


Not only do I think Christine Baker from Waldwick, New Jersey is on to something but I experienced this up close and personal. After not enough sleep, too much work and lack of needed down time, I returned home from New York last weekend with a bad case of pneumonia. Unfortunately, I had experienced pneumonia two years ago — and although I remember being tired for many months, the whole sickness and recovery was a bit blurry. I couldn’t recall all the details…How many days was I in bed? How long before I had an appetite? When could I go for a run? And for how long did I not feel myself? All of these questions were running through my mind as I lay in Urgent Care, wanting life to normalize immediately!


Thankfully and perhaps as unlikely as it sounds, I had answers to all of my questions in my 5 Year Journal. Not only could I look back at the end of October 2013 and see how pneumonia rocked my world for a good chunk of time, but I was reminded how soon I jumped back into the every day life. This bit of knowledge, I later came to learn, was not necessarily a good thing!

I completely understand if this all seems a bit over-the-top for some of you. However, as time moves on, even being 41, I don’t remember every ailment or how I celebrated a birthday or how often my husband cooked or how early Spring arrived or my highs and lows with Brown Ink or whatever the occasion or event may have been. Although this 5 Year Journal holds only a few thoughts from each day and doesn’t necessarily allow my creativity to flow (that’s where my “other” journals step in), I’ve come to rely on these everyday thoughts, even the mundane ones. Each single day stands out on its own, each win or loss, thoughts, feelings, events. As I’ve looked back and reflected on this particular time in my life when pneumonia first appeared, a big old red flag popped up. Journaling gave me the ability to see why life needs to change a bit and take a different road this round of healing. And this is why I journal, to learn and to remember.

Cocoa Bellyache

Some people might think the last thing I need right now is a new journal. When I look at the current stack on my desk which stares at me most days…a journal for Emmett, one for Oliver, and another one for Beatrice, a travel journal, My Quotable Kid journal, a holiday journal and a personal journal, don’t I have my fill already? But here’s the deal; my days seem to be flying by and as much as I would hope to write every few days it’s simply not happening. Which is why, even three days into it, I am crazy about my new Five Year Diary.


Let me take a step back. In the early days of brown ink I blogged about a daily email I receive from ohlife.com where I often reply back with a one or two sentence statement of that day and it reminds me of details on random days in the past. Although this journaling system is obviously a bit anti brown ink, I love being reminded of what was going on in my life one week or one year ago.

Here’s (another) the deal; I cannot be sure on even the most wonderful of days that I will remember the details of my life. And I want to remember, not only for me but also for my children and their children. Yesterday’s entry in my new journal went something to the tune of “Went to the car wash and forgot my wallet. A stranger picked up the bill. Loved  x-country skiing in the sun around Isles while kids played at Sal & Jim’s. Inhaled rich cocoa from Angelina that Nonni brought home from Paris. Crazy bellyache.”


I’d like to remember these random moments that consume my life, be it in one year or 40 years from now. My entry tonight might not be so upbeat and that’s fine. The act of writing forces me to pause and maybe even slows down time. And because the 5 Year Diary only holds space for a few thoughts I don’t have the pressure to fill up page upon page detailing the last few weeks in my life. Triple hurray for this new journaling system to start the year with more frequent reflections. The kindness of a stranger. Sunny skiing. Cocoa bellyache. Life on 1/3/13.