May 17, 2013


Using email to document life
Before Sam was even born, he had an email address.

I stole this idea from my bestest friend.  She's a smart (and funny) chick and an awesome mama.

Actually, at the time that I made Sam's email account, we hadn't fully decided on his name.  So, I made two accounts, one for each of our top two name choices. 

We used Sam's email account to send out the first emails about his arrival into the world.  We also used his email address as the RSVP contact on his first birthday invitations.

I love that his email archives date back to the very first few days of his life.  I love that he will forever have a record of that first email out to friends and their varied replies and well wishes.

But, the very best thing about Sam having his own email account is the ease with which I can send him little love notes, memories and photos.  It's like a virtual baby book without the pressures of making it "pretty" or organizing my thoughts into any sort of presentable layout.  Seeing as how I have yet to finish Sam's actual baby book, I consider this a blessing.

My own mama wrote me a variety of letters throughout my childhood and I absolutely treasure them.  It is fun to see  beyond the facts and figures of my baby book and into my mama's head and heart. 

I want Sam's email account to be a place for Brian and I to write these kinds of things to our Sam.

I am writing this post as a reminder to myself to put all of my good intentions into action.  Despite the plan and despite the ease of recording things in this way, I have not done as good of a job of it as I would have liked.  To keep myself on track as I move forward, I added some reminders into my google calendar.

I am also writing this post to encourage you to set up something similar.  There are a million ways that you could put this general idea to use. 

You could:
  • create an email account for yourself; it could serve as a personal journal.
  • create an email account for your kids, no matter their ages. 
  • create an account for you and your spouse; write back and forth to one another.  Or, write daily love notes to your spouse for a few months and then reveal the email account to them on a special occasion.  
  • create an account for your family; each family member could write in with their own thoughts about holidays, vacations, family traditions, etc. 
I think that creating a separate account (rather than just using your usual email address or creating a separate folder within your regular account) is a really important part of this idea.  It has encouraged me to think of the emails that I write as having a purpose, which motivates me to write notes that are a bit more in depth than what I might otherwise write.  It also means that nothing will get lost amongst the junk that inevitably shows up in your regular account.

I'm ending this post with a promise to head straight to the "compose" button in my own email account and send a special note to my little man. 

What else?  Do you have other ideas of how you could use a separate mail account to document your memories?  Are you already doing this? Or something similar?  Any suggestions or ideas to share?

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