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Handwritten Heritage

Handwritten Heritage

5 Reasons You Should Share Your Story

It’s often easy for women, mothers especially, to minimize the work that they do day in and day out in their lives. Because it can be monotonous and routine, we tend to skim over the dedication and love that it takes to do everything that keeps a family running. And so, as I talk about writing letters to your children filled with your story, some of you might be thinking that you have nothing of importance to say and definitely nothing that your children will want to hear. But I think that sharing your story is vitally important, not only to your life, but also your child’s. I want to share five reasons why you should share your story.

Share Your Story - Tales of a Peanut blog

1. You Are The Only You

I know you know this, but you are the only you that God created. No one else has lived your life, learned your lessons, or experienced what you have in exactly the same way. And all those things have shaped you into the person that you are today. The woman that her children cherish and admire. And, whether they’ll admit it or not, don’t think any other mother could ever live up to.

Your children will read self-help books and memoirs about people they don’t know. And they will learn from them and apply some of the things that they learn to their lives. But your story is the one that matters the most to them. It is the one that they want to hear. All the small pieces that you think don’t matter will matter to them. So let them read about your story in such a way that they can go back year after year and learn something new each time they read it.

2. You Need An Outlet

Taking time for yourself isn’t easy as a mama. We’re constantly pulled in a million different directions and all of a sudden it’s 10 pm and we haven’t so much as taken a shower much less done something to relax. And, contrary to the way most of us live our lives, checking Facebook and Instagram is not really relaxing.

Why don’t you let writing be that outlet for you? A place where you can process your thoughts and opinions. Where you can think about your life with a little bit of a detached viewpoint and pare it down to what’s really important. I know that sitting down with a fresh piece of beautiful stationery, my pen, and my thoughts is one of the most wonderful things to me. Try it and see if it’s a relief for you as well.

3. You Can Share Experiences That You Otherwise Couldn’t

You’re never going to be able to sit at Chic-Fil-A with your child playing on the play place and, at the same time, dig into the weeds of parenting with your child as an adult. By writing our stories, experiences, and advice down in real time, it will give you a way to get as close to that as you can.

Can you imagine your daughter’s excitement at reading a letter that you wrote the day you sent her off to kindergarten on the day that she sends her baby off to kindergarten? She’ll know that what you wrote isn’t tinted by hindsight or modified into what you wish you’d done but is the honest portrayal of what happened in that situation. You won’t be able to share those first hand experiences without writing them down.

4. You Will Provide Them With A Safety Net

Let’s be honest, kids can do some pretty stupid things. And, sometimes, it’s something that you don’t have to know about and so they don’t really want to tell you. They might be embarrassed or ashamed or any number of things and don’t want to talk to you in person about it. By providing them with your experiences and advice in letter form that they can open whenever the situation arises, you are giving them access to you without them having to come to you. That way you’ll at least get to voice your thoughts in some way to them even if you never speak them out loud.

5. You Will See Your Child In A Different Light

When I sit and write a letter to my child it takes some of the stress off of my day to day parenting. When I’m writing to her on her wedding day I remember that just because she talked back to me today doesn’t mean that she will end up in jail. Writing letters for the the future helps me put our everyday life in perspective and reminds me focus on the big stuff. It’s hard to stay too mad that they drew on the wall when you’re thinking about them graduating high school and leaving for college.

How Do You Share Your Story?

While I prefer to share my story with my own handwriting on beautiful stationery, sharing yours could take lots of different forms. Writing open letters on a blog. Recording yourself telling your story. Writing a memoir. Keeping a journal. Whatever way you want to share your story I encourage you to share it. We will all be better for sharing our stories and those who read them will be better as well. And let us know in the comments how you share so that maybe we can try your way out as well.

Handwritten Heritage, TalesOfAPeanut

The Story Behind Handwritten Heritage

The Story behind Handwritten Heritage - Tales of a Peanut

Last June I launched a product called Handwritten Heritage. It was born out of my own need in hopes that others would enjoy and appreciate it as much as I did. But I was so excited about it and in such a hurry to release it that I never explained the genesis of the idea. Today I want to take a second and tell you the story of the Handwritten Heritage line.

Tales of a Peanut Handwritten Heritage

A Lifetime Love Affair With Words

The story starts as many do with a young girl with her nose in the pages of a book. Many of my childhood memories involve reading with my parents and exploring new worlds myself through books. But not only did I love books, I also loved letters. I saved the majority of them no matter their content. Notes from my mom when I was at camp, notes passed in middle school, birthday cards — you name it’s likely that I still have it upstairs in my home.

As I got older I learned about the concept of love languages and even before I took the quiz I knew that my love language had to be words. After I took the quiz it reaffirmed that words are how I give and receive love. After I became a parent I wanted to show my love to my children in the way that meant the most to me — through words. I decided that even if words weren’t their primary love language they could still appreciate the letters. And so I began to search for the best way to go about this project of love.

The Goldilocks of Projects

The idea of writing letters to my children was, of course, not a new idea, but I wasn’t sure how I was going to implement it. I had an online mentor who I had seen sharing handwritten notes from her mother in a journal (the hashtag of the pictures is #meesenotes). After seeing the journal entries that she was posting online I decided I’d start a journal for each of my kids.

I wrote one introductory letter in each journal but then I froze.

When was I going to give them this journal?

When they turned 16? When they got married? When they had their first child? I didn’t want to give them a journal at 16 that had marriage and parenting advice. And I had too much to say about the years before their marriage to wait until that day! So the journal didn’t feel right because I couldn’t figure out what to include in it.

I then saw a suggestion to create an email address and send them emails. So I started email accounts for each child. Figuring out what to write turned into the problem with this method. I ended up just sending pictures to the accounts which wasn’t really what I was wanting to do. I also didn’t like how impersonal email can be. Back before emoji’s you couldn’t even convey tone. I wanted these letters to be personal and for them to be able to tell what I was thinking and feeling when I wrote it.

My House Was A Mess

After all that back and forth I decided to just forget about it for a while. The journals sat on the shelf in my office and mocked me every time I noticed them. Then last spring, my in-laws were coming over the keep the kids while I went out. I was running around like crazy trying to pick up the house. And a thought occurred to me.

Did their house look like this when they had two young boys?

I figured it most likely did but I didn’t know for sure. They (and my parents) had always assured me that the state of my house was “fine” and “no problem”. But never had any of them said, “Our house looked just like this when y’all were little!”

So I asked them. This was kind of awkward because I was afraid that they might say, “Of course not!” But when asked they said, “Of course!” Despite all the time that we spent together and the many times that I’d stressed about this, I had never thought to ask this question. And they had never thought to volunteer that information. The load that lifted from my shoulders knowing that they weren’t just saying that it was ok but actually remembered days like this was immense.

[Sidenote: My in-laws are amazing and I in no way am trying to say that I felt judged before. It was all in my own head and my own issues. Just want to clarify for everyone.]

Later that week I was thinking about the whole situation again. I realized that those are the kinds of things that I wanted to write about to my kids. And if I wrote them as individual letters I could give bits and pieces as the need arose. I wouldn’t have to hold back on my advice because I didn’t want them to read it too early.

How nice would it have been to have had a stack of letters and one said on the envelope, “Open When Your House Is A Mess”? It would have taken that pressure off of my shoulders from the first pinprick of doubt rather than letting the guilt grow.

Tales of a Peanut Early Parenthood

That’s How Something New Is Born

In the weeks following my initial idea I spoke with many friends to flesh out the idea and see if this was something that would appeal to others. They responded with a resounding yes. They all said that they would love to write letters but didn’t know what to write about. And so, like me, their confusion and indecision led them to just not do anything.

From that I came up with the idea of prompted sets built around a single theme. The first set of prompts that I wrote was the Early Parenthood set since that is the season of life that I’m in right now. It is full of topics that I would love to have a letter about right now.

Open When You Can’t Watch One More Children’s TV Show

Open When You Find Out You’re Expecting

Open When You’ve Been Up All Night With A Crying Child

And, of course,

Open When Your House Is A Mess

I have had friends say that they love the idea of the letters but they just can’t think about it because it makes them think about their own mortality. But the reality is that my mother lives half a mile away from me and, unless they’re out of town, I see her at least twice a week. She is there and available and only a text or short walk away but yet I would still love to have each of these letters from her.

Maybe it’s because our family is not overly effusive with our feelings that I love the idea of having everything in written form. Or maybe the fact that after three kids my memory isn’t what it used to be so I could get some great advice one day and have forgotten it the next.

But I think, to me, it’s about having that wisdom on my own terms that’s so appealing. I could look at it or not and it’s up to me. If I didn’t like the way the letter was going I could put it down whereas if I was standing face to face having the discussion I couldn’t leave. Even if I didn’t read the letters, it would be comforting to know that they were there if I needed them.

And now I write

I’ve sat down many, many times over the past nine months to write letters to my children. I’m not thinking as I sit down that they’ll read them in the future if something happens to me and I’m not here anymore. I’m thinking about the look on his face when I leave him at college with a stack of letters. Or the tears she will shed when she opens a set at her bridal shower.

I sit down and pick a letter, read the prompt, and then write. I don’t stress over it being perfect. If I make a mistake I cross it out and continue. I write from my heart and I pray that God will filter whatever I write through his heart to their eyes as they read it.

Right now I have seven different packs out and already have prompts written but not printed for at least ten more. There are packs for everything from adoption to business to relationship advice for a son. I pray that these packs make it easier and less stressful for moms to make time to write letters to their children. And also encourages them to think about advice for situations that they might not have previously. Some packs are more reflective, the pregnancy and birth pack for example, while many are for the future. And there are no instructions, so you can handle them whatever way you want.

For me, this setup works. It’s easy, not stressful, and there is nothing telling me that I have to write them all before their next birthday or write them at all. I can pick and choose prompts to write or not write and just create these gifts for my children as organically as possible. I don’t let myself feel guilty if I don’t write a letter one week or make sure that I have an equal number for each child. I just believe that in whatever form these letters take, my children will cherish them. And, my hope is, their children for generations to come will also.

After all, texts come and go but letters are forever.

Handwritten Heritage

#WriteShootLove – A Contest!

#WriteShootLove Carrie Geddie Photography - Tales of a Peanut

You heard some about the marvelous Carrie Geddie last week in the Mentor Monday series but today I want to introduce her a little more and let you know about a contest that we’re teaming up for.

Carrie is a film photographer in Raleigh, North Carolina who is passionate, and I mean passionate, about preserving family memories. Her story is a heart wrenching one in that she lost her Mom to colon cancer 15 years ago. As she has spent the last fifteen years without her Mom, she has gone over the family photo albums countless times and has only found THREE photos of just her and her mom from when she was little. As I’m sure you would, she cherishes those photos and is passionate about helping families document more of those everyday moments so that the memories will live on long after the subjects in the photo do.

We instantly hit it off when we were introduced by a mutual friend in no small part to our mutual desire to capture those memories for families. Her tool of choice is her camera while my tool of choice is my pen. Both are mighty and together they help us all create memories in a unique way so that we can preserve those memories for generations.

This week, in memory of Carrie’s mom and in honor of the mother-child relationships the world over, we are teaming up to encourage capturing those memories forever.

Here is everything you need to know about the #WriteShootLove contest:

There will be TWO grand prize winners!

Both winners will receive the Milestone Handwritten Heritage pack as well as another full Handwritten Heritage pack of their choosing.

One winner will receive a 20 minute mini session with Carrie Geddie in Wake County, North Carolina, 10-15 digital files for prints up to 5×7, a $50 print credit! The total value of this package is over $400!

Enter by…

(1) Following @talesofapeanut and @carriegeddie on instagram

(2) Post a photo on instagram of someone you want to have photos with or write letters to. This can also be a photo of someone that you wish you had pictures with or letters from. Tell us WHY you want photos and letters with this person. Dig deep folks, we want you to share all the deep stuff!

(3) Include in your post whether you’re entering for the mini-session or not, tag @talesofapeanut and @carriegeddie, and include the hashtag #writeshootlove!

Entries must be received by midnight on September 4. We will announce the winner on September 8.

Rules, disclaimers, all the legal stuff:

No purchase necessary to win. Void where prohibited by law. Entries will be collected via instagram posts with the #writeshootlove hashtag. Instagram profiles of entrants must be public during the giveaway period of August 31 – September 8, 2015. Entrants must be over 18 years of age and residents of the USA. Entrants authorize Carrie Geddie Photography and Tales of a Peanut to repost their entry on instagram. No other information collected or entered will be used in any way. Contest will run from 12 PM CST on August 31, 2015 through midnight CST on September 4, 2015. This contest is run by Carrie Geddie Photography and Tales of a Peanut exclusively. This contest is not sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with instagram or any other platforms or businesses other than Carrie Geddie Photography and Tales of a Peanut. One winner will receive a 20 to 30 minute photography session with Carrie Geddie Photography, 10-15 digital files for printing up to 5×7 sized images, a $50 print credit, a Milestone Handwritten Heritage pack, and a second full Handwritten Heritage pack of their choosing. This package has a retail value of $430. The photography session must take place in Wake County, North Carolina prior to September 30, 2015. One winner will receive the Milestone Handwritten Heritage pack and a second full Handwritten Heritage pack of their choosing. This package has a retail value of $80. Photo session winner will be asked to write 3 Handwritten Heritage letters prior to the session and sign a release for photos to be used in relation to Carrie Geddie Photography and Tales of a Peanut. Winners will be selected by Carrie Geddie Photography and Tales of a Peanut based on content that is in line with the values and missions of Carrie Geddie Photography and Tales of a Peanut. Winners will be announced on September 8, 2015 and will be notified via Instagram direct message on September 8, 2015. If a winner does not reply within 24 hours of notification, an alternate winner will be chosen. A list of winners can be obtained by emailing after September 8, 2015. In entering this contest, participants release and indemnify Carrie Geddie Photography and Tales of a Peanut from all liability.

Family, Handwritten Heritage, WriteYourLove

#WriteYourLove Challenge – Day 4

Handwritten Heritage Instagram Challenge Tales of a Peanut

Well, we’re halfway through with the #writeyourlove challenge and I’m really enjoying getting to know everyone participating and seeing them write to their families and friends. I was on my way back from vacation yesterday and so didn’t get a blog post up about my prompt, but yesterday’s prompt was who was receiving your letters. I am writing some to a number of different people, but I’m writing the most letters to these three who have my heart.

WriteYourLove - Tales of a Peanut

Today’s prompt is to show your handwriting. It is so neat to me that everyone’s handwriting looks different. It is so unique to all of us and, therefore, we should treasure it. But, if you’re anything like me, you might not like your handwriting very much. But when I look at it from my children’s perspective, or my friends, I know that I treasure everything with my Mom’s handwriting on it and think it’s beautiful, even if she might not agree! So here’s my handwriting on a letter that I wrote to James about the songs that we sing together at bedtime.

Handwriting - WriteYourLove - Tales of a Peanut


So tell me, what do you think of your handwriting? Love it? Hate it? What about your loved ones — does their handwriting give you warm fuzzies? Tell me about it!


Handwritten Heritage, TalesOfAPeanut, WriteYourLove

#WriteYourLove Challenge – Day 2

Handwritten Heritage Instagram Challenge Tales of a Peanut

Day two of the #writeyourlove challenge is about your favorite writing pens. I don’t know about you but I have different pens that I like to use based on what I’m writing on. For my Handwritten Heritage letters that I’m working on this week I prefer to use a Le Pen pen. It’s smooth and thick ink flow make it perfect to write on the luxury paper with.
Handwritten Heritage Le Pen - Tales of a Peanut

But when I’m writing on other types of paper I prefer different pens. These are my three favorites: ek tools for sketching designs, Le Pen for writing letters, and PaperMate InkJoy for writing everyday lists and notes to teachers. (no affiliate links, just pens that I love!)

Handwritten Heritage Favorite Pens - Tales of a Peanut

There are others sharing their favorite pens as well over on Instagram today. Go follow the #writeyourlove hashtag to see other pens that people love to write with!

Tales of a Peanut Divider

I encourage everyone to join in with us on Instagram this week! You can participate any, some, or all days on instagram simply by tagging your picture with the #writeyourlove hashtag. But if you want to receive some daily encouragement in your inbox and be entered for a swag bag of Tales of a Peanut products after completing the challenge, you can sign up here. And you can join in any day during the week! You can post all of your pictures on one day, multiple days, or one picture a day — it’s up to you!

I want to follow along with your challenge and encourage you! So leave me a comment with your instagram handle and what you’ll be writing with! I’ll randomly select one of the comments to send a set of Le Pen pens so you can keep writing your love even after the challenge ends!

Handwritten Heritage, WriteYourLove

#WriteYourLove Challenge – Day 1

Handwritten Heritage Instagram Challenge Tales of a Peanut


It’s Day One in the #WriteYourLove challenge and today we’re sharing our blank letters that we’ll be writing on this week. The goal for the week is to write your love through written letters to your children, your spouse, your family, or your friends. You can use any type of paper or stationery for this but I will be using Handwritten Heritage stationery.

Handwritten Heritage Instagram Challenge - Blank Paper - Tales of a Peanut

My goal this week is to write some letters to my children on the prompted Handwritten Heritage pages as well as write some letters to a friend or two and my husband on my monogrammed Handwritten Heritage stationery and the blank pages. If you’re new to Handwritten Heritage, the goal is to write letters that will last a lifetime. In this day and age, handwriting a letter is becoming increasingly rare. But a physical letter expressing your love for someone can be read over and over again no matter what the future holds for the person who wrote it. This challenge is to encourage you to write your love for those closest to you so that they can hold those sentiments in their hands for years to come.

I encourage everyone to join in with us on Instagram this week! You can participate any, some, or all days on instagram simply by tagging your picture with the #writeyourlove hashtag. But if you want to receive some daily encouragement in your inbox and be entered for a swag bag of Tales of a Peanut products after completing the challenge, you can sign up here. And you can join in any day during the week! You can post all of your pictures on one day, multiple days, or one picture a day — it’s up to you!

I want to follow along with your challenge and encourage you! So leave me a comment with your instagram handle and what you’ll be writing on! I’ll randomly select one of the comments to send an assorted set of cards so you can keep writing your love even after the challenge ends!