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documenting the years, email style

i have to be honest here with you, friends. some days i struggle with comparison. it's the thief of joy and i know it and it's not a friend to me, it is more like an enemy who tries to come in and ruin everything beautiful and abundant about my life. while i am always learning how to take my thoughts captive and set my eyes and heart on things above, i have found freedom from this in many ways...but it is hard in this day and age to not look around. with pinterest and instagram and facebook, there are many outlets that can be stumbling blocks.

i share this not to complain about my shortcomings, but to encourage you. when i was first pregnant with keaton i had many people asking me what my "baby book" looked like, and after he was born people would say "that's one for the baby book!" at different milestones. i constantly saw on pinterest ideas of how to document your child's life- and all of them looked so beautiful and creative...and time consuming. don't get me wrong, i love my kiddos, but i also recognize my capacity and willingess to keep up with things like this. i didn't want to start what i couldn't finish. i would get on instagram and see these beautiful photos, perfectly filtered and beautiful, clean (clean! i mean, really! are my kiddos just totally dirty or is that normal?! ay!) and wondered if how i was documeting their years was going to "keep up" with others. then, at that moment, a thought came into my mind. "why the HECK does that even matter? do you think you'll remember who you followed on instagram in 20 years? 40? 60? no. you aren't doing this for others, you are doing this for yourself. for your kids." le sigh. big sigh of relief.

at that moment i logged into my email, created a new draft, and began typing out words to my son about what God had been teaching me about Him, about myself, about my son, about life. adding a couple photos from the previous couple days of things we had done, i took a deep sigh, signed it "your loving and ever-learning mommy" and pressed send. there the email flew, off into the interwebs and through whatever kind of superhighway it takes, and there it landed. in my son's email inbox. the one that is password protected and has a growing list of emails written to him from his father and i, documenting milestones, seemingly mundane days, or big days like birthdays. we have since created one for our daughter as well and we write to them on their birthdays and any other days we just feel like documenting forever.

this has been a really beautiful way to document the years with our kids. a private, intimate, beautiful way to leave them our words, our photos, and our hearts. something that i highly recommend. it's not a pinterest-craft-worthy baby book, but it is something even deeper...a connection that our children will have forever with our hearts and our prayers and our snapshots of moments in time. i pray that as we give our kiddos their passwords on their 18th birthdays that they read through these emails over time, steeping in the words of our love for them, our dreams and desires for them, God's love for them...that they would rest in the knowledge and heart-understanding that they are so deeply cared for, and that they have been some of our most biggest lessons in life, love, faith, and growth.

so, that's all i wanted to share today. a sweet suggestion for an intimate way to connect with your kids. allowing you to look within and look to your kids vs looking around. to connect with your heart and with your children, both now and in the future.

with that being said, you might not want to do what i did and write a note to your son on the last day he ever nursed. i kinda sorta think at 18 he'll skip over that one. but in later years come back to it, take it in, show it to his wife who is crying over the end of her nursing relationship and say, "you aren't alone."

off to write another email to my little girl who turned 2 yesterday! didn't have time in the midst of her celebrations to pen an email. hopefully she won't notice the day late timestamp!

with all of my love,


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