Tag: first dance song

Visual Journal Page 71: This is the First Day of My Life


It was our one year anniversary.

We spent the day together, enjoying donuts for breakfast, a hilarious golf outing, picnic at the park, and a nice dinner out. Nick and I love all the food Atlanta has to offer, and we often try new restaurants. For our one year we wanted to go somewhere more swanky than our average outing, with delicious, interesting food. After reading a handful of rave reviews, we decided on Top FLR.

Top FLR is a trendy place in an equally trendy neighborhood, Old Fourth Ward. It’s a tall, skinny building, with a white facade and simple, thin black letters spelling out the name. The exterior gives no hint at what is hidden behind the front door, I felt like I was walking into a secret place, hidden in plain view on a street corner.

The interior matched the exterior. The furniture was plain, yet modern. Most of the decor was black and white, with only a pop of color on each table; a turquoise vase which cradled a single, white chrysanthemum.  I already enjoyed the ambiance of the restaurant the minute we walked through the door. The lights were low, the music right up my alley, and the menu had a sophisticated simplicity to it, which perfectly fit with every other aspect of the restaurant.

I don’t remember what we ate or drank that night. I vaguely remember something with scallops, although that is typical of my fine dining outings. I don’t remember the details of our lives we discussed, I’m sure at some point we reminisced on the perfect day one year ago when we said “I do.” Despite losing details of the night over the last three years, I do remember the moment a familiar song came on.

Suddenly our conversation was interrupted as my ears perked up and I tried to place the first few notes of the new song filling the room. A nostalgic feeling tugged at my heart and brain as my ears absorbed the sound. It hit me before the first word was sung. It was our first dance song. Here we were celebrating our first year, wrapping up the night when our song came on. “First Day of My Life”, by Bright Eyes. It is a song I know well, but you won’t hear it on repeat on the radio, it has more of a niche, although still popular following. I was shocked to hear it was being played in that moment, I believe it was meant just for us.

It was the perfect end to a perfect day and a perfect year. This moment was meant to be, and we both paused and allowed it to sink in and find it’s way into our memories.

“First Day Of My Life”

by Bright Eyes

This is the first day of my life
I swear I was born right in the doorway
I went out in the rain suddenly everything changed
They’re spreading blankets on the beach

Yours is the first face that I saw
I think I was blind before I met you
Now I don’t know where I am 
I don’t know where I’ve been
But I know where I want to go

And so I thought I’d let you know
That these things take forever
I especially am slow
But I realize that I need you 
And I wondered if I could come home

Remember the time you drove all night
Just to meet me in the morning
And I thought it was strange you said everything changed
You felt as if you’d just woke up 
And you said “this is the first day of my life
I’m glad I didn’t die before I met you 
But now I don’t care I could go anywhere with you
And I’d probably be happy”

So if you want to be with me
With these things there’s no telling
We just have to wait and see
But I’d rather be working for a paycheck
Than waiting to win the lottery
Besides maybe this time is different
I mean I really think you like me

Check out my last visual journal post here, which covers the details of our first anniversary day.


  • Visual journal
  • Pencil
  • India ink
  • Gesso
  • Turquoise colored pencil
  • Black Sharpie
  • Silver Sharpie


For this visual journal page I really wanted to capture that moment. I decided to keep a very monochrome color palate, with the exception of the turquoise vase. I wanted it to have the same feel as the restaurant. Once I decided on the colors, I started on the page.

I used pencil to sketch out the table and chairs. I had a good visual memory of what everything looked like, but also looked up Top FLR online and scoped out their pictures before I got started. After the table, chairs, and vase were added I took India ink and painted the background completely black. I carefully painted around the table and chairs. India ink is a great medium to get dark blacks. However, it bleeds through everything. To avoid ruining my other pages I ripped out two pages, create my visual journal page outside of my book, then glued the pages back in.

After the background dried I used white gesso to paint in the table, chairs and flower. After the gesso dried I used a pencil to add shading to the bottom of the table and to the flower. I used black sharpie to outline the chairs and a turquoise colored pencil to fill in the vase.

Once the foreground was complete I added the finishing touches to the background, the lyrics from our first dance song. I wanted the words to completely fill the background, so I sketched them out with pencil until I got the font size just right. I then traced over the pencil with a silver sharpie, which pops really well on dark backgrounds.


Create a visual journal page about a meaningful song. Some how incorporate the lyrics into the design of the page.

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Visual Journal Page 64: I Mean I Think You Really Like Me

This journal page is tied with only one other page as my favorite in my book. I absolutely love it. Perhaps I love it because it took hours to make, or because it’s my favorite wedding photograph, or maybe it’s because it reminds me of my wedding day.

The entire day was amazing. I slept like a rock the night before, and I woke up refreshed and ready to go. There was never a moment I questioned what we were about to do. The only cold feet I got was thinking about all those people looking at me, waiting for me to screw up the most important words I would ever say, my wedding vows.

I spent the day with my bridesmaids and family members. My parents prepared an amazing spread of brunch foods, with my favorite brunch beverage, mimosas. I was pampered all day long. I had my hair and makeup done, people brought me food and drinks, and before I knew it we were on our way to the venue.

I climbed into my giant dress, had pictures taken, and was whisked away to the bridal room to wait for my cue. Suddenly, I was standing at the door with my Dad, about to walk down the aisle. I couldn’t have asked for a better moment. Before I knew it I was making my way to the altar, I grabbed my fiancé’s hand, and prepared myself to make him my husband.

I would’ve been fine. I wouldn’t have cried, I think I could’ve made it without a single tear. However, as soon as I looked at Nick his lip began quivering like nobody’s business, and I lost it. I dolphin squeaked, stuttered, and hiccupped through my vows, but I didn’t mess them up. We were husband and wife.

Things moved quickly. One minute we were saying I do, the next minute we were taking more pictures. We did a few group shots, and moved onto our husband and wife pictures. We sat on the front porch swing, ignored everything for a moment, and enjoyed each other’s company.

I have no idea what I was looking at. Maybe someone was walking across the street, maybe the breeze was blowing the trees, but I love that I was looking away, and I love that Nick is looking at me. This is the perfect moment. The moment when we had a chance to sit down, spend a minute together as husband and wife.

This picture is framed in my house as well as held in my visual journal. I know this will be something I cherish forever, look back at, reflect on, and share with our future human babies. It is one of my favorites because that moment is one of my favorites.


  • Visual journal
  • Rubber cement
  • Scissors
  • India ink
  • Book pages
  • Printed photograph
  • Calligraphy pen


 This may look like a simple page, but it was complicated. I knew I wanted a page that incorporated this photograph, and I wanted to remember various aspects of our wedding, but not take away from the picture.  I finally decided to incorporate our wedding date and a few lyrics from our first dance song.

I loved the way the brown colored book pages looked in my invitation page, so I decided to do the same in this page. I ripped the pages up and glued them down to fill up the background. I thought about making a tape or mod podge transfer of this image, but in the end I decided to leave it as is. I positioned it so that we are on the right page, but the picture overlaps to the left page, and I glued it down.

I kept the picture as is, which meant it looked like I just slapped it down, and was done with it. I wanted to break it out of the rectangle shape, so I decided to add scribbles around it. Sharpie was too thick and not black enough to blend in with the rich blacks in the picture. My final option was India ink. I used a calligraphy pen to get thin lines, and I scribbled away. I did have issues with the ink, and went through a few picture mess-ups. It kept bleeding into the edge, and interfering with the image. I kept dripping the ink as I moved across the picture. Even with this final image, I still had a few drops on it, but I let it go, and left it slightly imperfect. I made the scribbles very dense around the image, and slowly spread them out.

I also used the calligraphy pen to write out the song lyrics. I wrote them on a separate sheet of paper, ripped them out, and then glued them down. Because the pen sometimes dripped too much, or created inconsistent lines, I had to write it over and over. Because I did it on a separate sheet of paper it allowed me to select the best looking pieces. I placed the lyrics around the page, and ended with the final line of the song and our wedding date in the corner.


         Create a page that uses your favorite picture. It does not have to be a picture of you; it can be anyone or anything, as long as it’s your all time favorite. Think about how you can keep focus on the image while still incorporating other materials into the page. Try to break the image out of the rectangular photograph shape.