Whew…all is calm

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life30 Comments


And so Christmas has come and gone.

Unlike last year, when I would have offered to put its gloves and hat on and send it on its way right after the gift opening, this year… I really wouldn’t have minded if it had stuck around a bit longer.

Maybe it was a purposefully slower pace. Or the fact that I did most of my shopping in September. Or the fact that my children’s wish list included things like: a multipack of Sharpies, a My Chemical Romance t-shirt, and a miniature model of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. Maybe it was because I knew I wasn’t going back to work until January 5th. Or maybe it was just simply the fact that I’m a very lucky and blessed human with so very much to be happy for.

Like Coleman’s eagerness to get up early on Christmas Eve day and start making cookies.


He made the first two batches completely by himself. I was seriously impressed.


And Aidan’s complete shock to get something she wasn’t expecting.


But something I think she’s pretty much going to love.


Do you remember your first camera? I do. Oh sure, it wasn’t no high tech digi camera. It looked a lot like this.

And then there was Cole’s reaction to getting just about anything this year.


I only took about 10 pictures on Christmas morning. You’re seeing 25 percent of them in this blog post. It just feels good to snap a few and forget about it.

My favorite gift? A pair of North Face gloves. Seriously. And NO one in this house is allowed to borrow them, Aidan.

And my favorite little moment was down at my inlaws, where we spend Christmas day most years. My retired Lutheran pastor father-in-law gave a very impassioned speech about hope and service in the new year before our Christmas dinner. Then, he gave each of his grandchildren an Obama story book. Dan snapped this shot of Aidan and Cole. And I’m sure these shots are going to become increasingly rare as time moves on.


No, I’m not making a political statement here. I’m sharing a shot of my kids, who still sit this closely together, and won’t for long, and who are two of the people I love most in this entire world of ours.

P.S. Mom an Dan, don’t worry. I’ll make sure they received a copy of this, too. You know, just keepin’ it fair and balanced.

I hope you all had a happy and memorable Christmas as well.

Cathy ZielskeWhew…all is calm

30 Comments on “Whew…all is calm”

  1. #2

    Cathy, so glad you had a wonderful time with your family for Christmas.

    Aidan will love that camera it is the one I use and it is Fabulous. I can’t wait to see some of her work.

    Happy New year!

  2. #3
    sue Treiber

    Sounds like you had a perfect day! My nine year old son made pretty much the same face at his gifts, BUT did not make us cookies. Slacker!
    Merry Christmas!

  3. #4

    Thank-you for such lovely family photos and sharing something of your Christmas. Hoping you enjoy a lovely and well-deserved (I took your class, so I think I am qualified to comment on this!) e-x-t-e-n-d-e-d time off till Jan 5!

  4. #5

    love the shot of the kids snuggled up together Cath! One to cherish for sure. Aidan will have such a blast with the camera!!

  5. #6

    Thanks for sharing your pictures. Looks like everyone had a great time. I remember my first camera, too. A Kodak 110. I had to buy the flashes separately–the kind that were tall and attached to the camera. Ten flashes per stick or something like that. Too funny.

  6. #10

    I had to laugh, Cathy, at the writing on Aidan’s hands. I’m glad that my teen isn’t the only one who does that. I seem to remember my mom warning me about ink poisoning…

  7. #11

    MY 13 year old draws on her hands too and even has the same fingerless gloves and guess what her favorite surprise was on christmas day – yep a digital camera !! Funny that they are the same the world over 🙂
    YOur christmas sounds lovely – I didn’t want ours to end either.

  8. #12
    ~ alli ~

    Aidan’s face in the background of the picture of Cole’s enthusiastic reaction says, “Oh brother.” I love it!

  9. #13

    Thank you for sharing your christmas pictures. 🙂 I took 2 pictures and that was it because I just wanted to sit and enjoy what could be the last year of Christmas “magic” 🙂 I do my shopping and wrapping in September too and so I am truely suprised when they open gifts because I forget what was wrapped in what box! LOL Have a happy new year! I enjoyed your DYL class and I am looking forward to more classes in the future. 🙂

  10. #14
    Phx Paula

    Either you had an amazingly cool hi-tech first camera, or maybe I got my Kodak X-15 Instamatic (with flash cubes) before you had yours. I think the Obama book is simply an added perk of the great picture of your kids. ;o)

  11. #15
    Cynthia B.

    Thanks for sharing your pics! How lovely that it was a non-stressful Christmas for you! Your kids look like they had a blast, which really is what it’s all about, right?! I know my own kids won’t be sitting together for very long either (at least not on camera!) …so let’s enjoy the togetherness while we can. 🙂

  12. #16

    I’m glad you had a great relaxing Christmas Cathy! I just finished up your DYL class, and was feeling a bit down that it was over (although I am still on week 10 layouts…life got in the way). Then I got the greatest Xmas present ever! I got my Essential Scrapbook video in the mail today. I couldnt believe it when I opened it and it was a whole dvd on (drum roll) Cathy Zielske. Ahhhhhhhh. 🙂 I cant wait until after dinner when I take it to my scrapbook room, load it in my dvd player and watch it while I finish my week 10 layouts. Thanks for a great class Cathy.

  13. #17

    Great photos and glad to see you had a wonderful Christmas. Reminds me of my first Christmas-gifted camera. (Disc film–and I kept opening it to make sure the film was still there. Glad to say I’ve learned since then!)

    Now, back to real life. Enjoy the rest of your vacation!

  14. #18

    Looks like Aidan got a Canon 1100 Elph, I got one just before a trip to NY this month and it has a really fun feature called “color accent”. You select a color and everything in the photo is black and white except the color you selected-it’s big fun! Merry Christmas!

  15. #19

    I always wanted a picture of the “after” of Christmas, but my husband is seriously obsessed with throwing away paper,and breaking down boxes between each present.
    Our Christmas memories include our children pantomiming my husband twitching. Funny in it’s own right. 🙂 Happy 2009!

  16. #20
    Lynne Moore

    Love the writing on the hand. I’ll have to show my daughter, but that means she will start it up again. I just can’t say DON’T and squelch that artistic drive of hers…. I only say “not before a special event….,” etc.

    Absolutely love the after pix. Cool, cool.

  17. #21

    Happy New Year to you and yours… and just wanted to add a small note to say that even if you were making a “political statement”, that would be totally okay. Freedom of speech — sacred in this country. I am looking forward to a new year in which greater tolerance and understanding toward those who have views that may be different from our own are a bigger part of everyone’s mantra…


  18. #22

    Ooooh! We bought our daughter (14) the same camera and she is in *love* with it. We did MCR a couple of years ago. If they tour again, you must take her to a concert!

  19. #23

    Thanks for sharing. My daughter’s third birthday is January 20th… I bought her the same book as in your picture and had family members (repub and dems alike) write her letters about their thoughts on Obama becoming the President. I put the letters in a large envelope that I glued to the inside cover.

  20. #24
    Kelly in Canada

    Hi Cathy,
    My first camera was almost identical only it was all the way black. I thought it was (and I was) the coolest thing. Actually, it really was the coolest thing.

  21. #25
    Nancy Hyland

    looks like you had a wonderful holiday!! Although I didn’t vote for Obama, I love the fact that our kids are around to experience this very historical moment, and that this picture will be there for years to come when their grandchildren will think that it is silly that it took so long and that it is commonplace now to see people of all colors and nationalities in leadership positions of our country. cherish that photo

  22. #28

    omg, i totally bought my daughter those arm socks aiden has on. WE are so twins. i’ve never felt more close to you than i do right now.

    where did you get that round baking stone? my husband hates ours b/c it doesn’t have a “handle” to hold. i’d hate for him to burn himself unnecessarily. even just once.

  23. #29
    Nathalie (famille1999)

    Loved looking at your Christmas pictures! Happy New Year to you and your family! I hope that 2009 is a great one. Too funny your 1st camera is just like my first one was and we bought the girls the same digi for Christmas, though the oldest one got a pink one and the youngest got the blue one. 🙂

  24. #30
    Tyler Jones

    Hey this is just great! I really like all the pictures that you have included. The post has been presented in a very interesting way. Well done with it.

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