A Confession

I have a stack of letters and cards tucked away and saved for a rainy day. In this sweet little box I’ve got just about every kind of correspondence you can imagine- birthday cards, just because cards, random notes, and holiday well wishes.

I have years worth of emails archived in my account. I take a trip down memory lane once in awhile and travel back several years to see what my former self was up to. I did this recently, before my blogcation and my emergency trip to Florida (more on both soon, after my brain decompresses). Here is what I learned- I was a really uptight first time mother. I was obsessed with wooden toys, attachment parenting, and trying to mold Malone into the perfect baby that I thought he should be. I still like wooden toys and if I had to claim a parenting camp, I suppose attachment is where I’d fit. It is amazing what a difference on the job training makes in the motherhood department.


I’ve been keeping almost all of the post that arrives for both Lola and Malone. It’s mostly from their grandparents. Maybe it will mean something to them, maybe it won’t. But I can’t bear to throw away something that is signed love, Grammie (Nana, Mama Grand, or Grandma).

I think part of the reason I’m so obsessed with correspondence is because my mother died suddenly and without warning. I have a few letters and birthday cards from her. Her handwriting should be a font. It’s bubbly but not too cutesy. Strong, but not sharp and mean.

I’ve started keeping a one line a day journal for the kids, so they can have a little piece of my heart to hold with them long after I’m gone. I think the things we hold on to say a lot about who we are.

I am a correspondence hoarder.

This post was inspired by the novel The Divorce Papers by Susan Rieger. Young lawyer Sophie unwillingly takes her first divorce case with an entertaining and volatile client in this novel told through emails, letters and documents. Join From Left to Write on March 18 we discuss The Divorce Papers.

As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.


  1. 1

    Nancy says

    I used to keep correspondence but in the past few years, I’ve become ruthless and I recycle almost everything. I keep a few special things but keeping all the holiday cards and stuff was just getting out of control!

    • 2

      Thien-Kim says

      I’m the same as you Nancy. I used to hoard every card, postcard, and letter. Now I’ve recycled the majority of them except for some love notes my husband sent me during college.
      Thien-Kim recently posted..7 Books About Inspiring Women Rulers From HistoryMy Profile

      • 3

        NJ says

        My husband sent me love emails, but I don’t think I’ve gotten a straight out love letter (outside of a card) from him. Maybe I should print those out!

    • 4

      NJ says

      I think that might be in my future too, at some point. What I really need to do is get each kid their own box and keep the best of the best!

  2. 5

    Alison says

    I was a hoarder of sorts for cards and letters from my childhood. A few years ago, I spring cleaned and threw away a lot of it, but kept the ones that are dearest to me.

    Unfortunately, in this day and age of technology correspondence, I have few handwritten notes/ letters, but what I do receive, I do want to keep for a long time.
    Alison recently posted..Benign NeglectMy Profile

    • 6

      NJ says

      Oh… that makes me want to send you some snail mail post!

      I worry sometimes that my kids will have nothing written in my hand since so much of my life is online. Maybe they won’t even care?

  3. 7

    WriterMom Angela says

    I love the idea of keeping a journal for your kids so they have your handwriting! I have a bunch of recipes that are in my grandmother (who I am blessed to still have in this world at 93 years old) and I treat them like they’re a treasure because to me that’s what they are! They are pieces of paper she touched, and wrote on, and they’re her amazing recipes. I love them!
    WriterMom Angela recently posted..Your Friend Started a Blog-How You Can HelpMy Profile

    • 8

      NJ says

      I love the idea of a handwritten cookbook! My MIL has one from her mother (the one we just went down to say goodbye too in Florida). I’m going to see if I can get it copied.

      While we were in Florida, I came across a post it note she had written with a grocery list on it. It was destined for the trash, but I rescued it instead. It means everything and nothing all at the same time.

  4. 9

    Melissa says

    I am a correspondance hoarder, myself. One of my most treasured slips of paper is a note from my sixth grade boyfriend asking me to go a date to the roller rink. I wish I had a crafty idea of something I could do with all these papers…but I’m afraid they’re in boxes and bags collecting dust and posing a fire hazard.

    • 10

      NJ says

      I don’t have anything that far back, but I do have a ton of stuff from high school. I bet pinterest has a crafty idea for your stuff!

  5. 11

    Chandra Hadfield says

    NJ, I love this because I do the same thing! I started journals for each of my boys when they were born, and I’ve held on to snail mail things that are 20+ years old. What a heartfelt post you wrote here. Really loved it!

    Chandra Hadfield recently posted..Making Room For OneMy Profile

  6. 13

    Alicia S says

    How beautiful! I never thought about hoarding correspondence, even though I do. That is wonderful!
    Alicia S recently posted..The Sadness of Divorce and Losing FriendsMy Profile

  7. 15

    allie says

    I do the same things, for the same reason. I’ve been keeping a journal for the boys since before they were born. I don’t even write a line a day, now that they’re almost 5, but I write significant (sometimes not so much) in there so they have a piece of me as well. The very few things my mom wrote, I cherish and wish so badly she had done more but, obviously, she thought she would be around for a much longer time.
    allie recently posted..The Rest DayMy Profile

  8. 16

    STacy (The Novel Life) says

    my dad passed away four years ago but when he was alive he would send me letters from around the world. I don’t have all of them anymore but the ones I do have are so cherished. It’s fascinating to me to see how similar our handwriting and slant is although I didn’t live with him or see him much of my life. I love that you’re doing this for your children ~ it is definitely something to be cherished!
    STacy (The Novel Life) recently posted..Divorce Rate In Decline? What?!?My Profile

  9. 17

    Foxy Wine Pocket says

    I’m a correspondence hoarder too. But since I’ve had kids, it’s all just tossed into a big box. Not very organized, but still valuable to me. I love this: “I’ve started keeping a one line a day journal for the kids, so they can have a little piece of my heart to hold with them long after I’m gone.” Beautiful.
    Foxy Wine Pocket recently posted..Before You Buy This House, You Should Know I May Have Defiled ItMy Profile

  10. 18

    Sarah @ Beauty School Dropout says

    I am the opposite — I throw out most cards and letters even when they’re kind of sentimental. I do have a box full of letters my husband and I wrote back and forth to each other when we lived apart while we were engaged.
    Sarah @ Beauty School Dropout recently posted..A Happier, Healthier MeMy Profile

  11. 19

    Sonya says

    I think it’s great that you save emails, cards, and letters. I’m not very organized so I always find cards tucked away in radom places and it is always nice to read them.


  1. […] NJ from A Cookie Before Dinner has a confession to make after reading The Divorce Papers. […]

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