apologies to my blog. and shelley.
we have a winner!!

CLOSED!! alright, kids ... let's get this party started!!!

CLOSED!! thanks for all your input, guys!! the winner will be announced tomorrow (sunday), and the first journaling challenge will take place on wednesday!!


(yes, i realize i'm reusing the same photo from yesterday. but, really ... it works.)

the book is OUT!! i've heard from a couple of sources that it is actually shipping from places, so the time is here to get it into your hands for FREE!! well, a couple of lucky hands, anyway.

let's do this the fun way:

leave me a comment and tell me your thoughts on journaling. do you love it? hate it? struggle with it? embrace it? if you love it, tell me why! if you hate it, tell me why! let's discuss, because i'm going to use the info you guys give me to build the bi-weekly challenges that will start up NEXT WEEK! and you never know ... the challenges just MAY have prizes attached ...

so here we go! comment away (one per person, please), and i will randomly select the first lucky number on sunday!! contest closes at 11:59 p.m. EST saturday!

and truly, thank you for your support!


Diana (moonlightgrrl)

does the first comment ever win? well, whatever... whether i win or not, i WILL own a copy of your book!

journaling is a must for me. i think i may have one or 2 layouts without journaling, and i dont feel like ive completed a page if it doesnt have some journaling on it. i also feel that is the point of scrapbooking... to get the stories down for posterity. i just wish i could learn to be more focused with it at times.


In regard to journaling, I struggle. HUGELY. I dont know why, because on message boards and on blogs I certainly am never at a loss for words. Sorry. I think I overthink it too much and want to tell the whole story. I need to learn to summarize and still make it interesting.


I struggle with journaling... hard. I think its because I look at it as its a forever record and I have to make it perfect. Which, sadly, leads to just not doing it. I wish I could just remember that having Something is much better than having Nothing!


ohhh what a grand rak my dear!

Journaling used to be easy for me. Now not so much, I think just due to having PPD and a lot of stuff along with that. So, with me, its finding emotion for my words.


I love journaling and am always telling my friens to journal. BUT...I hate my handwriting. And sometimes I get stuck...or forget.

Angie Ward

Journaling is mostly just automatic for me. I tend to write on most every layout - some a little, some a lot. And I use my own handwriting. I have never printed out my journaling using the computer. Not averse to it... its just too easy to write it out while Im pulling tht layout together.

Amy Coose

What a great RAK!!! Journaling is something that I struggle with. I would LOVE something to help me in that area, and Im pretty sure this book would do just that! (:


Journalling is the hardest thing for me. I dont love my handwriting...and I sometimes feel like what I write is really contrived and just meant to be scrapbook-y rather than from the heart. I always have to do a few drafts of my journalling before Im ready to put it on a page...not very spontaneous. sigh.

emily pitts

i love journaling, i cohost a challenge blog about it. i love it because there are SO MANY different ways to tell your story! and i would love to win a copy of your book!

Erin B

I love journaling, but I find that I dont journal on every layout. I tend to alternate between lots of journaling or just a couple sentences. I think a lot depends on the photo or the story Im telling. I still struggle with journaling sometimes too, especially when it comes to stories that are personal or hard to tell. Im just not always sure how much I want to put out there I guess.


congrats!!! how exciting!

i personally love journaling...ive always been a writer, so its a very important part of my pages. i like to write my journaling out on scratch paper because i find that my ideas continue to flow better. then i can pick and choose what i want to include on my layout, but ive let me ideas run free first!


Congratulations on your book, Michele!! Im a bit split on journalling -- I totally value it, and most of the time I dont make a page unless I have a real story to tell with it, but I also have a stack of blank layouts because I mistrust my ability to tell the story well. You wouldnt know Im a writer by trade by that stack.... sigh. So thats why I need your book!! :)


Kim G in MN

Looks like an awesome book- Ill be checking it out very soon!! As far as journaling- I have a love/hate relationship. I like to journal, but my handwriting is horrible, and yet I think at least some of it should be handwritten. I also have a very hard time deciding if I should use first person, or what? Im also not good at getting my thoughts down on paper- proof is this post!
Must be an awesome feeling having the book actually published and in front of you!! Congratulations!!

Jenny K.

I love journaling and think it is essential in telling your story, but I do struggle with it, because I concentrate too much on whether they are the perfect words. Should I use different words to say the same thing? How does it sound to someone else reading it? Is it too long, too short? You get my point. It is the perfectionist in me struggling with creativity and whether or not something is just right. I know I need to let that go, and it is a work in progress.


I love to journel and use pictures that I have cut out of magazines as well. My life is so busy if I dont take the time to put down some of my thoughts I may forget. Also, it helps me to work some things through. I like to keep track of events and things that are important so that I wont forget. My mother told me when I starting taking my own photos, when I had my own kids, to make the dates on photos, because even though you think you wont forget the time, date or age of an event, 10,15 or 20 years or more later you may have trouble recalling...so it is a way to always know exactly when, where who and how old we all were.


Now that my son is here and hes become the focus of my scrapbooks, Im much better at journaling.


I have actually switched things up as far as my journaling is concerned. I have been blessed with my first grandchild. I am writing free hand on white card stock and adding pictures here and there. I am not sure if it will be a mini book or something bigger. I want him to know what is happening in our country and how it effects me, his parents, and the world in general. It is an exciting time. I want to tell him about me, about his dad growing up, and how is a miracle to us.

Lindsay G

I LOVE to journal but struggle with it. I always have such emotion attached to the photos I take and I feel as if my journaling does not yet match the true feelngs I have. I want my journaling to reflect TO my children how very much I love them and am amazed at them each day. As I look back on what I have written on their pages, I do not read the emotions I feel. KWIM?


I totally struggle with journaling. A lot of times it seems like Im saying the same thing over and over. Yet I think that heartfelt journaling can really take that ordinary LO to extraordinary.

Angela W

I struggle with journaling. I dont like my handwriting~yet. I am trying to work on it though. Then figuring out exactly what to say. I believe with some help I will make it!

Stormy Easton

I love to have journaling on my pages but I struggle to put my thoughts and feeling into words. Some people are just good writers, I, unfortunately, am not.


I journal on almost every page. I enjoy it, but I do leave it until my page is finished, and sometimes that means I run out of room. I have a lot of heartfelt pages with extensive journaling, but Im also comfortable just using a few sentences if thats all I feel it needs. I scrap a lot, so my kids will have lots of pages to read in the future :)


I struggle with journaling because its hard for me to put into words what I want to say without sounding corny. Whenever I put down what I want to say my kids think its too mushy. Now I do more hidden journaling. I get to write down the sentiment, but its not for all to see. Some of the mushy journaling embarrasses my boys!:) Its a struggle to have balance.

Shannon Keenan

I think journaling is really important - handwriting or typing - but I agree with some of the others. I have trouble getting out my thoughts and being happy with the outcome.

Thanks for your blog!! :)


I dont really like to journal! I love looking back through past pages or albums and reading my (forced!) journaling, but I dont like to do it when I am scrapping! I need your book to inspire me!!!

Bibi R.

I have a love/hate relationship with journaling. I like to journal, but not on every page and sometimes I feel like I have to. I do like going back and reading my journaling and saying, Oh yeah, I remember that. So, even though I may not always want to, I d think its important.

Thanks for the chance to win this awesome RAK!!!

carol :)

Look at you with your new book! Im so happy for you! I nearly always struggle with what to say on a page. I just feel like what I want to say comes across as insincere or incomplete.

Tina Winkle

I want to be better at making my journaling meaningful to me. Sometimes I get frustrated and just put a date stamp. I dont have a problem with my handwriting or thoughts but I have a problem putting it on a page and being okay with it.


I love journaling and I read everyones journaling as much as I can, but I think that its the hardest part for me for sure!!!


Congrats again on your book, Michele.

I too struggle with journaling. I think its because my kids turned my brain to mommy-mush. I can barely put together a cohesive sentence, let alone commit it to paper. :)

Karen Bierdeman

I used to think I was great at journaling until I went back and re-read some of my layouts. I had omitted so many interesting tidbits, and hadnt really told the story! I was still stuck in the who-what-where-when mode. I am getting better at asking myself, What is the real story I want to convey..what do I want to share/remember? Your book looks amazing.


gina (gg loves Matthew)

Congrats on your book!!! what an accomplishment!

I love journaling....it freezes the moments that over time we may forget. It says that there was more than just a picture being taken. It leaves behind a trail of our walk through life, one with names, dates, places and emotions. To those who receive these handed down treasures, it says we were here, we lived and we want you to know about it!

gina (gg loves Matthew)


I think journaling is important, but I struggle with it because I want to say the perfect thing... Sometimes I cant match words with the feeling I was having at the time!


Congrats on your book! That is so cool.

I love journaling but find myself stuck in a rut often. I know my kids love to read and reread my journaling but sometimes it is hard to be original. I look forward to your insights.

Susan W

I almost always journal on every page but I sometimes struggle with it. I want to dig deeper and journal more than just the facts in a way that really conveys what I am thinking and feeling. Your book sounds exactly like what I need!

Dixie Lee

I have a love-hate relationship with journaling. So often I feel as if my journaling should be entertaining to others. That puts pressure one me.

I also find that the who what where when and why gets very boring.

so I often wait until I am inspired...which means I procrastinate and then I have lost the little details that mean so much.


I struggle with journaling, I really want to write more on my layouts but hate my handwriting and can only think of so many ways to hide my writing.


I almost always journal on my pages, for me its an integral part of the process. Sometimes it might just be a word or two, other times its much longer, but I need words on there to complete the story!


I journal on all my layouts, but thats not to say that I love what I journal. Some are definitely better than others. I try to capture the feelings along with the story, but sometimes, I put a few brief statements and call it good. Cant wait to have a copy of my very own, whether its from winning or purchasing!

Christie (from the DTT days...gasp!)


I journal most of the time and love going back and reading .Its like reliving it over .History in the making .I often wonder what people will think after I am gone when they read my journals


journalling is a big struggle for me. I know what should be included - the 5 ws- but it all sounds funny when I read it back. I have tried improving on it but it just hasnt worked.

Kristin R

I love to journal! Its the rest of the LO that gives me trouble.


I love to journal. Unfortunately, I dont have a lot of time so my journaling on my pages ends up being really short and sweet. :)


I love to journal, it is the main part of most of my pages. I love remembering what happened, and thinking back on that time in my life. I also think it will be fun for my future children to look back on times in my life when they werent around. :)

Paula Randolph

I usually struggle with journeling. The only time I really journeled is in an album I recently did about a two week road trip, I actually journaled about each day of the trip. It was a first for me because Im not a good writer and can never think of much to say about a layout other than the who, when, and where. I think your book just might be something that could help when I have what is called writers block...which I have non stop.


I actually want to say that I couldnt think of a better person to write a book about journaling! I am indifferent to it really - unless I have a real story to tell - which isnt always.


I usually love journaling, but sometimes I dont feel its necessary, yet I feel compelled to do it anyway and it sounds dumb. I really enjoy books about journaling, they are always inspiring.

fran heupel

I like to journal in my scrapbooks but sometimes struggle with what I would like to say. I would love to win a copy of your book to help me along with the process and learn to enjoy it more.
Thanks for this opportunity!
Fran Heupel

Christina Heeren

I love to include journaling on my pages and think it is an important part of telling the story of my family. For some pages its easier to find the words than for others so the amount of journaling definately various from page to page. The one thing I hate when journaling is my handwriting. I prefer to use the computer to journal, but I do include my handwriting on pages, too.

Jan farnworth

journaling is fun and hard for me. Sometimes i get really creative and search for a really neat poem or song that goes with the story i am trying to tell with my pictures. Sometimes i go t wordle and i make a creative word block, sometimes i just find a nice stamp that adds to the page element. Heck sometimes i just skip it all togher. Journaling to me is what you make it weather it be just the facts or the whole story or just a little part of the story and your pictures tell the rest. Your book looks intresting i will keep my eye out for it.

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