Note Taking

Are you a journaler? Do you feel the need to snap pictures of things so you never forget them? When you’re listening to music, do you ever write down lines of the song that really speak to you? At night, do you feverishly re-tell the events of the day?

I bet you would be surprised to learn that I am, in fact, a memory scribbler, a quote jotter, a “don’t move let me take your picture” taker. No? That’s not a shocking revelation? What gave it away? Was it this three year running public journal that I share with the world? Dang. I knew that would be my unraveling.

Throughout college, I carried a small little notebook (probably the size of your palm) around in my purse. The absolute worst thing was to laugh all night at some ridiculous joke and come morning, no one can remember it. So, my little journal filled this void. I’m not kidding you, I would take that out ANY time someone would say clever little one-liners and jot it down real quick. I’m fairly certain that I looked incredibly insane – at a bar.. writing something inΒ a notebook. You know me though, I didn’t really care what it looked like I was doing — and getting to read them all the next morning was seriously priceless.

If I didn’t have my notebook, I would write them on little scraps of paper, receipts, napkins… whatever I could find. I still find little notes in purses, pockets and jackets. It’s pretty entertaining, really.

This one was exactly four years ago when we were getting ready to celebrate my 21st birthday.

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I don’t do this as much now as when I was younger — mainly because, well, I’m way more boring now! Somehow I find that going to work every day is a little less “quote worthy” than living in a house full of girls in a college town. Strange, isn’t it? Yet — the tradition isn’t gone completely. On every vacation, you better believe I’m there to capture the funny moments! Like this one…

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I’m not the only one that does it either! Alex started a whole section of his “Notes” app on his phone for stupid silly things that I’ve said. Isn’t he sweet? πŸ™‚

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A few years ago when Alex went on his first deployment (while we were together that is, he’d already been on a couple pre-us) — I started a journal where I would write to him every night. We only got to talk maybe once a week and during that short time, it would be so difficult to try to remember every last detail of everything that I wanted to tell him. I often found myself angry when we got off the phone because I forgot to tell him this or that. The journal also helped me feel like I was able to say goodnight to him. I know that’s kind of silly, but when you’re used to saying goodnight or calling when you leave work every day, it’s hard to break that habit. And honestly, feels weird and kind of lonely when you don’t have anyone to share those little details with.

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I meant to give the journal to Alex when he got back so he could get up to date with all of my happenings. Yet, when he finally got home — I was kind of embarrassed by it. I don’t know if I didn’t think it would be “enough” or I didn’t want him to focus on the times I was sad when he was gone or what the problem was — but I never ended up giving it to him.

As Alex packed up to leave town this past weekend, I suddenly remembered the journal and fished it out of my nightstand (this was pre-me cleaning it out). I read a few entries out loud and we couldn’t stop laughing at some of the silly things that I said.

It’s been a blast to re-read them over the last few days. I’ve marveled over how much has changed in just a couple short years. Some entries were mundane and just really noted what I had done that day… like this excerpt from one —

9/6/2010

…I got a lot of chores done today. What a way to spend Labor Day. But hey! At least I wasn’t at work! I did some more cleaning, took Smelly on a coule of walks (I didn’t even remember calling Hunter – Smelly.. hilarious), ran some errands, decorated for fall, addressed some Save the Dates, watched Maryland beat Navy & made Cinnamon Honey Butter. That’s a lot of stuff!

(the next paragraph is boring… we’ll skip that. It just talks about being half way through my journal)

I love you so much. I can’t wait to kiss you & hold you & lay with you & see your handsome face! I love you so much! Sleep well! Love, squeeze squeeze

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This next one I particularly found amusing. Apparently, I wrote it pretending to be Hunter (remember — Bailey wasn’t even born yet, so I wasn’t favoring one dog over the other πŸ˜‰ ).

9/16/2010

Dear Daddy,

This note is being written by “your boy.” Dad, are you home yet? Momma keeps telling me that you’re coming home soon, but I haven’t seen you yet. Every day I hope that today is going to be the day.

Momma doesn’t play the same way you do. She doesn’t always get down on the floor and throw me around. She doesn’t throw as far as you do and she rarely takes me on my morning runs. I mean yeah, I guess she walks me and everything but she just doesn’t understand how much you and I bond on our runs.

Sometimes when I am outside with Momma, I see your truck! I get so excited! I start to bite my leash and throw it around celebrating your return. But it’s not you in your truck. Did you give your truck away? I really hope not. I love my truck. Momma says that other people have trucks that look and sounds like yours. I don’t understand that though. Bring my truck back with you when you come, will ya?

Even though Momma lets me sleep on the bed, I’d rather you be here and have to sleep on the floor again. Speaking of that, would you mind if I slept on the bed when you come home too? Momma says that I have to ask you. Maybe just for one night?

One thing that I’m really looking forward to is getting all your food scraps! Momma’s lame and only sometimes gives them to me. All in all, if I could take myself out and feed myself I wouldn’t need her. Don’t worry though, Dad. I know how much you love her so I’m taking good care of her. Come home soon, Daddy! I miss you! Love, Mr. Hunter Bo Ziffer

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I like how Hunter called me out on multiple occasions. What a great dog!

One thing Alex gave me for my birthday this year was a new journal, which I started writing in last night. Maybe in a couple years I can share some of those entries with you as well πŸ™‚ My new journal pages are much larger than the old one — see them compared to each other here…

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Can’t wait to fill that bad boy up with new memories πŸ™‚

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Anyone else an avid journaler? Does anyone know any guys you like to keep a journal? I couldn’t think of any! I’m sure it would be fun to read about the days events from a man’s perspective. Have you shared any journal entries with anyone? What about crazy people like me that take a notepad into a bar?

Getting into the December Mood

You guys are the best. Literally, the absolute best. I’ve had so many family members, friends, and complete strangers reach out to me and offer words of comfort and support. Some of the emails and messages that I’ve received over the last couple of weeks have brought tears to my eyes. And not sad tears either! I’ve been completely blown away! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Complete strangers reached out to me just to let me know that they were thinking of me and I wasn’t alone. I’ve said this before, but you guys really do hold a special place in my heart.

Today I don’t wanna chat about my feelings or any of that stuff. I just wanna share some pictures, because… well, why not?

I recently joined the Mac family and have been spending lots of time editing my pictures using new, fancy, and super fast software. I’m in love! What used to take me twenty minutes, now takes me less than two. It’s absolutely wonderful. I still need to learn the ins and outs of my new toy, so if you have any Mac tips for a previous Windows user — feel free to pass them along!

Anyway, let’s get to the photos.

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We’ve also been lucky enough to have one of our best friends, Joe, come down from New York to stay with us for a bit over the last month. Let’s just say that Alex has been in absolute heaven. They’re inseparable. It’s been fun to watch them. And kinda cute.

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Those two even worked on our Christmas lights together!

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And now the outside of our house looks like this!

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While the guys were outside hangin’ the lights, I rid the house of all our autumn decorations, cleaned, and started decorating for Christmas!

This is embarrassing, but guess how man strands of autumn garland we have…

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Answer: 26. That’s not too many, right? I might have a problem.

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Bye, bye autumn. See ya again next year.

This guy helped me out. As you can tell. He was so enthusiast!

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I’ve also been playing around with the manual focus on my camera.

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Here’s a better picture of our tree

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Alright… I think you’re pretty much caught up. Here’s a couple pictures of the puppies. Just in case you forgot that we have doggies. πŸ™‚

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Have a wonderful Sunday!

P.S — is anyone still reading? If so, we’ve got some fun news to share. We recently received an exciting email from HGTV asking if we wanted our bathroom remodel to be on TV! Yay! I’m in the process of getting everything ready for submittal, but as soon as I know more information I’ll be sure to let you know!