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I Want To Remember

I want to remember that Simon wore a long sleeved Angry Birds t-shirt, blue shorts and his "summer shoes" since the weather was still nice. He was super excited about the shirt.

I want to remember that Simon decided to keep using the same backpack he's had since kindergarten. A simple blue backpack from REI that's really a tad small for him but I know it's comfortable and familiar and it still fits what he needs to take back and forth.

I want to remember how excited Anna was to go to school. She bounded down the stairs way too early, before Simon had even left. She was ready to get in the car way too early after a breakfast of scrambled eggs, toast and milk.

I want to remember how awesome it is whenever my Mom visits, even more so on special days like this.

I want to remember how Anna's teacher whispered to her as she entered the classroom, "Anna you are going to be such a great helper this year."

I want to remember Simon bounding off the bus with a big smile on his face when he returned home. He was so happy that he got to eat cheese pizza for lunch.

I want to remember picking Anna up from school and getting to see her napping on her cot. Most of the time she's up and playing on the playground when I pick her up - it was a special treat to see her comfortable and peacefully asleep.

I want to remember how Simon told me at the dinner table that his most favorite part of the day was "switching groups" (like when they moved from painting to reading) and his least favorite part was that the bus was late in the morning.

I want to remember how Anna told me at the dinner table that her most favorite part of the day was "drawing" and that her least favorite was that she didn't get to paint.

I want to remember how Simon & Anna chose to watch a classic Shirley Temple movie "Bluebird" after dinner.

I want to remember that even when it feels tough sometimes there's so much love here and we end our days with hugs, kisses, prayers and I love you's.


The technique of using a repeated phrase such as "I want to remember..." as a journaling prompt is one of my favorite strategies for storytelling. No reason to re-invent the wheel when this one really helps me get my stories told.

Want more? Check out my 13 Everyday Life Journaling Prompts or learn more about my approach in my self-paced online workshop Storyology.

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70 thoughts

  1. Lindsey says…
    09/06/2012

    Oh, I love this. There's so much I want to remember, too. I will give this a try! Thank you.

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. Susan says…
    09/06/2012

    i absolutely love your 'repeated phrases' journaling. i just need to start writing the various prompts down: i want to remember, sometimes, i love, i see, you, etc.. thank you so much for the inspiration

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. Emma says…
    09/06/2012

    It always feels strange to me sitting here in Australia watching you guys over there setting out on your new beginnings just as we start to anticipate endings (still 3 months until we start our summer / Christmas holidays) It's so hard to imagine that readiness/refreshed feeling when I am so looking forward to winding down!!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Brooke says…
      09/06/2012

      I feel the same. A little sad that my big boy is about to finish Kindy and move on to school next year.

  4. Karin S says…
    09/06/2012

    Thanks to you I used this technique just a week ago on a journal and it turned out fantasic. Thank you for inspiring us! You have a very special gift!

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. Christine says…
    09/06/2012

    I love your journaling, Ali! Thank you so much for being such an inspiration!

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. Lisa W. says…
    09/06/2012

    Ahhhhhhhhh this IS the good stuff:)

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. McAmy says…
    09/06/2012

    we just had our first days of kindergarten and pre-K this week. i've been thinking about how to scrap them. now i know. thanks ali, as always, for sharing your stories!

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. Betty says…
    09/06/2012

    I will use this to help in my storytelling, thanks Ali, it's so beautiful to listen to when you read it. x

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. JenN says…
    09/06/2012

    Love it. And gave me more inspiration/motivation to do more personal journaling about my little girl :) Thanks!

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. Darla says…
    09/06/2012

    So lovely! Thank you for sharing.

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. j. says…
    09/06/2012

    We often played "roses and thorns", and oh how I wish I would have written down our children's words ..... I thought I would always remember, but now that they are 29 and 26.....the specifics have totally escaped me. Keep it up....you will be so happy that you "remembered" when they are those ages! Happy school year.

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. heidig says…
    09/06/2012

    Great journaling, great inspiration - great post!

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. Cathy L. says…
    09/06/2012

    Great idea to get me journaling. Thanks for the inspiration Ali!

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. Debbie says…
    09/06/2012

    Inspiring and Sweet!

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. jaimee h. says…
    09/06/2012

    again with the making me tear up in the morning. beautiful post!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. Jennifer Kellogg says…
    09/06/2012

    What a great idea! I always have trouble with telling my story. This will help. Could you list a few other prompts?

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. Paula says…
    09/06/2012

    I know you will remember all of this in your heart...so glad 1st day of school went smoothly for both Simon and Anna. Wishing them a great year!

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. Jonda says…
    09/06/2012

    What a very touching way to journal. I forget so much in the hustle of our daily lives. I want to remember the simple, joyful things, too! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. laura g. says…
    09/06/2012

    wonderful stuff! you are so blessed even though it is tough being a single parent, you get the best part!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. dawn says…
    09/06/2012

    LOVE THIS ALI!! WHAT A GREAT WAY TO SHARE ABOUT THEIR DAY!! So happy for all of you and that it went well. These journaling prompts you do are the best and I've incorporated them into my blog posts also.

    How sweet that your mom was there!! Enjoy the rest of the week.

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. katie says…
    09/06/2012

    I wish the first day of school has been so memorable for us. My son is, let's say, uncooperative when it comes to cameras. Maybe I should have taken more pictures when he was younger. Many days I happy to remember where my keys are.

    Reply 4 Replies
    1. Andrea says…
      09/06/2012

      I have five boys who were or are equally uncooperative for me once the camera appears. I always told/tell them that a "first day of school" picture is a must, and that they can either pose nicely by the front door, or I can bring my camera to the bus stop and take pictures there. That does the trick!

    2. Ali says…
      09/06/2012

      Notice how this is the only photo I shared? Get what you can get :).

    3. Cathy says…
      09/06/2012

      Thanks for the laugh this morning. I want to remember where my keys are too!

    4. katie says…
      09/07/2012

      Thanks Ali.

  22. Danelle says…
    09/06/2012

    love and miss you. Your kids are so very lucky for all the love around them.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Ali says…
      09/06/2012

      Love and miss you too Danelle.

  23. Alexandra says…
    09/06/2012

    "I want to remember" to journal like this!!
    so beautiful.
    thank you.

    Reply 0 Replies
  24. Carol Vivenzio says…
    09/06/2012

    This made me smile today and I needed that. I want to remember your photo and comments. Lovely piece. Thank you.

    Reply 0 Replies
  25. slmnontec says…
    09/06/2012

    Ali , when you have a story like this, do you just leave it on the blog or are you planning to make a layout for an album?

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Ali says…
      09/06/2012

      I will either make a layout or add the journaling to Project Life. I try to get it into something vs. just on here but sometimes time slips away.

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