Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

September 6, 2012

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.


  • 1.
    Lindsey said…

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

  • 2.
    Susan said…

    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

  • 3.
    Emma said…

    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!!

    • ….
      Brooke said…

      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 said…

    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!

  • 5.
    Christine said…

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

  • 6.
    Lisa W. said…

    Ahhhhhhhhh this IS the good stuff:)

  • 7.
    McAmy said…

    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!

  • 8.
    Betty said…

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

  • 9.
    JenN said…

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

  • 10.
    Darla said…

    So lovely! Thank you for sharing.

  • 11.
    j. said…

    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.

  • 12.
    heidig said…

    Great journaling, great inspiration – great post!

  • 13.
    Cathy L. said…

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

  • 14.
    Debbie said…

    Inspiring and Sweet!

  • 15.
    jaimee h. said…

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

  • 16.
    Jennifer Kellogg said…

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

  • 17.
    Paula said…

    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!

  • 18.
    Jonda said…

    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!

  • 19.
    laura g. said…

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

  • 20.
    dawn said…

    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.

  • 21.
    katie said…

    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.

    • ….
      Andrea said…

      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!

    • ….
      Ali said…

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

    • ….
      Cathy said…

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

    • ….
      katie said…

      Thanks Ali.

  • 22.
    Danelle said…

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

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Love and miss you too Danelle.

  • 23.
    Alexandra said…

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

  • 24.
    Carol Vivenzio said…

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

  • 25.
    slmnontec said…

    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?

    • ….
      Ali said…

      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.

  • 26.
    Patti L said…

    I like the prompt strategy as well…I find it works the best to get things flowing. I wonder if you have a list of prompts somewhere on your blog? I will look…

  • 27.
    Kristin A. said…

    Truly a great journaling technique. Thank you for sharing your “want to remember” moments with us. Ending with “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” is so very beautiful. So many of us readers can relate to that very sentiment.

  • 28.
    Jenni Hufford said…

    looks like it was a great first day! hooray!!! so happy for you all. and PS your entry sidewalk is beautiful.

  • 29.
    Kathy said…

    I love all those sweet memories…..makes your heart flutter doesn’t it. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

  • 30.
    Mandy said…

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful journaling!

  • 31.
    Carrie said…

    I love this post so much, my friend.

  • 32.
    Helen said…

    Brilliant post, Ali. So inspirational, in fact, that I wrote my own, based on the idea, just now! Thank you so much. You are a constant inspiration.

  • 33.
    moncoff said…

    I LOVE this. Beautiful memories and not only a great way to prompt journaling but a great way to see all the joys in life when things get rough. Inspiring as always.

  • 34.
    Danielle said…

    Ali, I just wanted to say how fantastic the photo is with Simon and the bus in the background. It definately shows the story of him going to school and I love how he is still trying to put on his backpack.

    And I also wanted to say that you are so right to want to remember these little snippets of their day because I know it has been said way too many times before, but it really does fly by. I just photographed my daughter backing out of the drive for college just a couple of weeks ago. It was both a moment of heartbreak and great pride. I say enjoy the ride while you can!

  • 35.
    Peppermint said…

    We have quite the arsenal of Angry Birds t-shirts here, too. Love the repeated journaling prompt, I need to do that more often.

  • 36.
    krugthethinker said…

    This is so sweet, and such a great idea for journaling. There is a lot of power in repetition, and it makes for a beautiful story. Happy first day of school!

  • 37.
    Amy P. said…

    Wonderful post! Will have to try the prompts! Thanks!

  • 38.
    Jen said…

    Love, love, love this!! I think I will try this for my kiddos first day of Senior Kindergarten tomorrow :-) Thanks as always Ali!!!

  • 39.
    Pam said…

    What a great journaling prompt … that’s exactly what we all want to do … “remember”. Thanks for reminding us that it can be just that simple!

  • 40.
    Kristine V said…

    I love your style, Ali—thanks for sharing and for always providing such simple, brilliant inspiration.

  • 41.
    Kathy C. said…

    This post just makes me smile!!! ;) I want to remember to do this myself and continue cherishing ALL the moments of our kiddos as they just grow-up way too quick!

    Happy Thursday Ali! :)

  • 42.
    young c said…

    Great post and prompts to remember the first day of school. Thanks for sharing!

  • 43.
    Vada said…

    I just want to say, I love the “I want to Remember”
    I do not have small children anymore. But I do have 6 grandchildren that I cannot wait to do this when they all come to visit. Thank you for the inspiration.

  • 44.
    Brooke said…

    I love that this approach is a great way to remember those things that we don’t have photos for. I’ve been taking less photos lately but there is always so many precious memories.

  • 45.
    ale said…

    sweet words, ali. love reading them.

  • 46.
    sara s. said…

    Thank you for helping me remember to pay attention to the great little things throughout my day.
    This Mom job is SO much work!

  • 47.
    patty said…

    spot on! (using something that “work”)…thanks for the reminder!

  • 48.
    Teresa said…

    What a great way to “remember”. Will be trying this. I am bad with journaling. I have it in my head but it doesn’t seem to come out on paper the same way. And I can never remember what I think I will.

  • 49.
    Ann Marie said…

    I love this! At first I was kind of sad that I wasn’t able to get the amount of photos I wanted on the first day of school due to the earlier (hence more rushed) schedule this year. But now I see that I don’t need 25 first day of school photos of every little thing to tell our story. Thank you, once again, for your awesome inspiration! You rock Ali!

  • 50.
    Pam Abbott said…

    Love this. You are such an awesome mome with awesome kids!

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