My wife and I are High School sweethearts - the kind that used to pass notes to each other and talk on the phone every night for hours. She has this amazing way of folding notes into little squares that almost look like presents. She would give me a note at school almost every day.
We have kept these notes over our 20+ years together as a reminder of the fun, laughter, and excitement of our early time together.
After college, we lived together in Chicago, where I was starting my career, and she was in Medical School and Residency pursuing her dream - she’s a smarty pants.
We would often not see each other much during the week. And our weekends were often taken up with intense study or work as we tried to advance our careers.
It wasn’t an easy road. We often joke that we both missed our twenties.
The First Quote
The one constant in our relationship has been laughter. Laughter has this way of cutting through any B.S in your life. Did you know that it’s mentally impossible to be mad and laugh at the same time? Seriously, try it sometime.
Back to the story . . .
Once in a while, we would get a chance to just be together to relax. We would usually watch a movie (or binge 19 episodes of the hit show 24 in one day). As we were able to connect in these moments, we’d inevitably start making the other person laugh.
One day I decided to start writing down all the funny-to-us things that we would say in these moments.
I’m not sure why I ever did it - maybe it’s our history of writing notes since we were 16 or the fact that I’m obsessed with movie quotes.
We put our first entry in a notebook on January 22, 2006, when my beautiful then-to-be wife blurted out, “I like to suck cheese balls,” while enjoying the puffed snack on a Sunday evening.
After we wiped the tears from our eyes, I said, “I’m writing that down!” and The Quotebook was born. We’ve kept it up ever since - only entering the most hilarious, or at least hilarious to us, moments.
We keep the Quotebook, just like the notes we used to pass in high school, as a time capsule of sorts that instantly transports us back to some of the happiest, most spontaneous moments in our lives.
Quotebook + Kids = Mind Grenade
Our entries in the Quotebook have accelerated since we’ve added three children to the mix. Our youngest, now 4, is naturally the most quoted person in our family. His first entry was at age 21 months about his, ahem, appendage.
Now, our family has built a process around making sure we remember the little things and celebrate together. The Quotebook is a major part of this ritual. One of our family’s favorite activities, every once in a while, is to pull out The Quotebook and read from it before bed. 2 things inevitably happen every time we pull out the book:
- We laugh a lot!
- We always go to bed in a good mood!
They love to ask us to read quotes between my wife and me from before they were born. While I can’t repeat some of those quotes to them yet, each passing day, I’m reminded that there will be a time when they will be that age, and they will understand.
With the passing time, I always try to remind the kids to capture life’s moments because even if they don’t end up being that funny down the road, they’ll always connect you to that time and place they happened, and that has great meaning.
About the artwork
On Christmas Day 2018, my middle son developed our family motto by saying:
“I’m part everything, so I can do anything” - Grayson, age 4
We wrote it down - it’s right there in The Quotebook. I think he’s right.
We are all part everything, and so, we are all connected. The artwork in the book is done with a never-ending line to represent this.
No matter where you are in your journey, you can do anything when you take the time to connect with what is around you. Laughter is one strong connection. My family hopes that the Quotebook gives you the gifts of laughter and connection. We hope it plays a small part in your ability to savor the little memorable moments in your life, to return to those moments again and again, and then pass the feeling on.
To your story,
Mike, Steph, Cole, Grayson & GrahamNovember 27, 2020