07 February 2011

the converse shoe box.

Grateful for: a friend taking time to tell me he likes my blog. I love it when real life friends take time to tell me that they read it, and even more, like it.
Quote love: "A letter is always better than a phone call. People write things in letters they would never say in person. They permit themselves to write down feelings and observations using emotional syntax far more intimate and powerful than speech will allow."Alice Steinbach.

(pssst: do you see my new watermark?)

If you've sent me a letter in the past year, chances are I kept it. They're tucked away in a Converse shoe box underneath my bed. I don't open it nearly often enough; likely because I received most of them during a time I miss enough without a reminder.

The box is full. Its shape won't allow the letters to lay down flat, they have to stand up, some of them tall enough to push the lid permanently open. Even so, it's perfect.

The letters come from all over, from everyone.

There are the letters I received from a church in Florida. They were sponsoring the event I was attending in the UAE, and when I arrived to my room the first night, I found a whole stack of letters from college students. My favorite: "and yes, I did mean to write this upside down, haha."

I was a mess heading home from church the Sunday I left for the Middle East. Already crying because of goodbyes, my mom handed me a stack off letters from Sara, one of our youth group leaders. I spaced them out, saving them so they lasted the entire summer.

This one made me cry. It was Tuesday night, and I had just opened my suitcase in my home in the Middle East. It was sitting on top; I assume my mom smuggled it in there during the final stages of packing. When I saw it, I was exhausted and overwhelmed, and I missed my family. Reading the letter felt like some part of home.

There's the hugely encouraging letter from my best friend's dad, 

the thank-you notes from my pastor's wife, 

the welcome home cards I received in August, 

the letters of support and blessing before I left,

the huge stack from my best friend, (and no, my name isn't spelled Kaite :)

And my most recent favorite, my first letter from my new penpal.

There's so much inside that one little box. So much there saying people love me, care about me, are praying for me. Most of them have heavy memories associated with the Middle East this summer, and reading them brings back so many memories.

On a less nostalgic note, I just realized today that approximately eight people on campus know that I'm a highschooler....this could be fun while it lasts. :)

What's been up with you? Anything that makes you feel nostalgic or brings back memories?


  1. awesome idea, katie!

    i love looking through all of my old letters too.

  2. those picture are just so... I dunno, whimsical... whistful... wow. :) Oh yeah, and I freaked out when I saw mine in there! :D

    Funny thing, I have a draft waiting to be posted all about my letters. Though I keep my letters in the top drawer of my chest of drawers. I wish I had a box like that to keep them in! Really badly...


    Love you!


  3. Wow! Letters are really powerful and nostalgic.

  4. That's really neat that you have all those letters saved. I don't really have any, other than postcards...


  5. no way! i keep my letters in a converse box, too! :D soul sisters right thereeee.

    blessings always and forever,
    anna :)

  6. Lovely post! Letters are so much better than email and other electronic means. :)

    I also keep a shoe box full of letters, tucked under my bed. I kept almost all of my cards from my 16th birthday several years ago, because so many people wrote me "real" cards on that birthday, with sweet, encouraging notes inside. I also have a ton of letters from my friends after I left public school.


  7. That is a genius idea! I'm pretty sure I kept my Converse box... Now it will have a new job...holding my letters! :)


  8. Look at the variations in those letters! So cool. I really liked this post.
    I LOVE the new layout! Even the header that has no picture. It's really pretty.
    See you at soccer tomorrow?

  9. I also have a converse shoe box that I leave some stuff in! Okay, maybe not letters, but papers, and poems and things like that. I now want to write you a letter :)) Nice post.
    -Jocee <3

  10. letters are just about the most wonderful things invented.. and your pictures are LOVELY. and i am in love with your watermark. ;)

  11. M- it's the best way to spend an afternoon :)

    Bleah- well OF COURSE yours would be there :) Great minds, Bleah, great minds. I think the next box I'm gonna use is a TOMS box...at least, once I get a pair. Love you too! :)

    Libby- :) yes, they are.

    Starr- it's kinda a new thing. I didn't used to save them, but I thought it would be a good idea. :)

    Anna- that's amazing! :)

    Kristin- thank you :) I know, it means so much more. Ohhh, I hope people do that for mine :)

    Katie- post pictures when you fill it up, kay?

    Ali- it's crazy, huh? Thank you! Yeah, I guess I just wanted to simplify it. of course!

    Jocee- I have a few photos and poems in there too, I just didn't take photos. you should! email me and we can work it out! katiebk12@gmail.com :)))

    Jenna- they are! thank you :) I'm so glad! I tried to tie it in with the header so it flows nicely throughout the whole page.

  12. I enjoyed this post. and I love your new pages, I got mentioned!!!
    I have a box of letters but it's not an old converse shoe box, which I find crazy cool. I also have a box for letters only from the girl above, miss jenna, my honorary sis...it's yellow our shared favorite color and it's got probably over one hundred letters inside. she doesn't know about that box...I guess now she will. Yay, I'm sappy.

  13. Hi Katie,
    I love this post because I have saved my letters and other cards. I love having pen pals. It is such a joy when I go to the mailbox and notice there is a letter for me.
    Would you like to be penpals ? It would be so much fun :)


  14. LF- of course I mentioned you :)))
    that's so fun. :) I think now I may have to paint my box yellow now! It's my favorite...actually, I have a picture that I have to show you from one of the things on my bucket list.

    Hannah- I'm so glad you liked it. :) I would love to be penpals, but I kinda can't right now, and my mom's not too happy about the idea of giving my address to strangers. I hope you understand?

    Girl with a smile- that would be fun! :)

  15. Hello! New follower.

    I used to have like twenty pen-pals and I kept the majority of my letters. I wish my letters would fit in a shoe box. I need go through those.

    Great post - brought back some memories for me!

    - Lauren

    Ladaisi Blog

  16. I love getting letters, and sending them! Snail mail will always be a favourite :)

  17. That's so neat! I love letters! I have a shoe box with dozens of letters, too. {Not a converse box, though...a Rampage box}. :)

    Jessie Suzanne

  18. Hi, I couldn't find contact info anywhere on the site but I was wondering whether you'd be willing to let me use the first image in a post on Medium.com.


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