March 7, 2011


On the shelves of my sister's vacant room in my parent's house rest the journals of my mother's mother. Gratefully, my mom took these into her keeping when her mom passed away.
My grandma was dedicated to daily journal writing. It's funny to see the way her entries change over time. The older she gets, the more detailed her entries become: first names are no longer left alone- last names always accompany them, and even less significant things are included, down to what the menu at each meal that day consisted of. 
It's a blessing to have this reference back to my grandma. She was such an incredible woman and it is made even more evident when I read her journals. I love the entries she writes when her family is young and full of life. Her love for her husband and children is evident in everything she writes in spite of her honesty about daily challenges and frustrations. I especially appreciate the insight she gives about her husband- a grandpa I never got to meet.
"What could you do better for your children and your children's children than to record the story of your life, your triumphs over adversity, your recovery after a fall, your progress when it all seemed black, your rejoicing when you had finally achieved?" - Pres. Spencer W. Kimball
I know for some people journaling is nothing more than a pain in the behind. Recording feelings or thoughts, or the agenda of your day can seem mundane and insignificant. For some reason or another, I have felt just the opposite for most of my life. I started keeping my first journal when I was six. My mom, I'm sure, grew incredibly sick of me asking her how to spell this word or that, so eventually the sounding out of words was up to me. This is evident in any given journal entry from the year of 1994.
Photo of my first journal.
The years continued on and so did my journaling efforts, although now with a little less consistency. I have funny accounts of crushes, and recess games, Christmas gifts, and updates about dance. It's amazing to me though that the obscure and random days that I did decide to sit down and write about can be recalled so easily now. Even after years and years, memories become clear when I read the funny details that made that experience matter to me.
My desire to journal hit the ground running with full force the summer after my senior year of high school and hasn't rested since. My romantic heart can burst all over in my journal, filling page after page without constraint. I record everything- mostly thoughts and feelings, current decisions that are weighing on my mind, and goals that I'm striving to accomplish. Rarely to I list the events of my day, but I am trying to be better about that because, like I said, I love to go back and remember a complete day of activity as clearly as the day I lived it, and that's what journaling allows me to do.
"Get a notebook, a journal that will last through time, begin today to write in it your comings and goings, your deepest thoughts, your achievements and your failures, your associations and your triumphs, your impressions and your testimonies. The angels may quote from it for eternity."
-Spencer W. Kimball
I follow my grandma's example and write for my posterity. But mostly, I write for myself. My life feels more content and blessed when I'm writing. I feel in tune spiritually and with myself when my thoughts are being recorded. My creative side is allowed to soar as I fill pages with thoughts and feelings that are raw and beautiful to me.
The journals of my life.


  1. One of the greatest things we have done in parenting, is my husband and I have a journal that we keep at our bedside that we write to our children in. Lucy and Grant each have their own, and we are able to share their thoughts, testimonies, funny moments and milestones with them in these books. I love going back and reading the progresses that have been made, and I also love to see the tender entries that my husband writes to his beloved children. Seeing as you are an avid writer, I encourage you to do so for your posterity. We have loved it! (and you can even start writing to Ellie Layne now!)

  2. That is a fabulous idea. Thank you so much for sharing Danelle! xoxo- Ellery