Reason #1,285

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life94 Comments

"Where do you keep all those letters I sent you?"

The other night, Dan decided to try and track down some vintage shots of himself, circa any decade other than the present one, to use on his Facebook profile. I told him to check in my little black suitcase, tucked way in the back of our closet, underneath scores of clothes that don't fit, and boxes and boxes of photo negatives. He never found the shots he was hoping to find, but he did sit for a while with that old, ratty suitcase, and the evidence of our courtship phase: letters, and lots of 'em.

When we first met back in 1988, he lived in Minnesota and I lived in Texas. Much of our courtship took place courtesy of the U.S. Postal System. Being a tad sentimental, I saved everything he ever sent me. From a box of crayons, to a miniature Gumby doll, to a handful of tiny plastic babiesβ€”everything he ever sent while trying to woo me is in that suitcase. (And really, nothing says, "I love you," like a handful of tiny plastic babies.)

I actually haven't pulled that suitcase out in a few years, and as I'm sitting in our bed, watching yet another episode of Friday Night Lights on Hulu (my most favorite new website ever!), he kept interrupting me with things like, "Oh man, I don't even remember sending this!" or, "I put together some really excellent paper and stamp combinations."

He finally drew my cougar-like attention away from Big Tim Riggins by tossing an anniversary card he'd made (one of many in a fine, 17-year tradition of home made cards) up onto the bed for me to look at.

"Remember this?"

And to tell you the truth, I didn't remember it. And I got to relive it all over again.

I present, my 4th anniversary card, as created by Dan Zielske.









It reminded me, yet again, that stuff might happen in my life, like losing a job, or getting chubby, or having a skin cancer scare, but it still doesn't take away from the fact that at the end of the day, I'm a lucky, lucky girl.

I know there are times when my head isn't always level, and I'm not always gazing through the lens of love. But 9.75 times out of ten? This guy's a keeper and I'm thinking that every little thing'll work out just fine.


Cathy ZielskeReason #1,285

94 Comments on “Reason #1,285”

  1. #1

    Now we know who the real scrapper in the family is! Thanks for sharing your treasures, love the grade school photo.

  2. #4

    I know you already know he’s a keeper, Cathy, but you truly are a lucky girl! To have evidence of his love and your courtship in the form of letters and homemade cards? Wow! I know every minute of every day that Jack loves me but oh, how a love letter would warm my heart…

  3. #6
    Shanon Gibson

    You are lucky! That card is cute and it made me smile. Thanks for sharing and totally making the rest of jealous because our husbands don’t even buy cards let alone make them!

  4. #8

    A keeper indeed. Out of kindness, I can’t show my husband this post – maybe when I’m ticked at his not-a-romantic-bone-in-his-body-moment behaviour. I won’t have to wait long! Cougar-like? Hysterical. All Canadian boys are hot, didn’t your mother tell you?

  5. #11

    Was all that one card? Was it made into a little mini book?? Whatever, I’m SO IMPRESSED.

    Cathy, PLEASE tell me he still has all the letters you wrote to him! It’s killin me thinking he could’ve thrown them away.

    Me and my husband have started dating in 1986 ( I was 15). I was at college from 88-90 and we still have all those letters. I love them.

    He’s not terribly sentimental so if left to him he might not have kept them all these years. Some men are like that – hopefully not Dan though!

  6. #17

    That is a kick-ass card. πŸ™‚ My husband and I have all of our pre-computer and dating correspondence, too. It is fun to look back through those letters and remember what was happening at the time. We still write letters when he’s away (he’s military) and nothing makes me happier than getting a love note.

  7. #21

    Your husband’s card is so sweet, funny and beautiful. Things like that make you realize how lucky you are in spite of the massive speed bumps in the road of life. After some serious “hiccups” in the past year I try to look for and appreciate the moments that happen everyday that tell me how lucky I am. Not necessarily “scrapable” moments – unfortunately. But what a lovely “Lucky” mini book that would make.

  8. #22
    ronni H

    Cathy, you’re both are very lucky to have each other. He’s right, you have a love that others will talk of, and it will last throughout the ages.
    And BTW, you’re kids look just like he did! Wow!

  9. #23

    What a great card! And it is true, jobs come and go, weight fluctuates, but the Love of someone special is what matters most! Thanks for the “ahhh” moment today!

  10. #25

    Way to go, Cathy. I am always amazed that I picked out my partner for life when I was so young and naive, and I ended up with a keeper too!

  11. #26

    No wonder you fell in love with Dan. How could you not? That was a well thought out card. You truly are lucky girl! Now I think I’ll go dig out all the cards and letters my husband sent me. Thanks for making me smile today.

  12. #30

    Awesome card!

    Re: the twitter post and url…thanks, now I’m “sucked” into Being Human as well! It was like driving by an accident and not being able to look away – I couldn’t resist.

  13. #31

    He’s a crafty man, that Dan Zielske! Very impressed – my DH buys a card on his way home, if he thinks of it, and usually that might be a week or so after the date. Lucky you, Cathy. πŸ™‚

  14. #33

    Awww…so sweet. My hubby has many skills but communicating via cards is not one of them. I will never forget the first birthday card he gave me where he signed his first AND last name…ha ha…like I had a mess of “Tom’s” sending me birthday wishes! You’re a lucky girl!

  15. #34
    leigh ann

    gosh he’s a pretty funny dude–it all makes sense now–You guys are perfect for each other!–what a keeper–next time your wrists are bothering you he should sub in on your blog….I for one am really bummed about simple–It was my favorite mag and will be missed!!!!

  16. #38
    Sherri P eh

    you are one lucky girl cathy zielske! and i think dan probably thinks he’s a lucky guy too! the fact that you both know it makes it perfect!!

  17. #39
    chris jenkins

    how freakin’ creative is that? very cool and unique – not the same ol’ same ol’ like from hallmark – very heartfelt and sweet. you got a keeper for sure!

  18. #43

    Oh that made me cry! That’s true love… something so rare these days. Glad you found each other. We need more Cathy & Dans in the world. πŸ™‚

  19. #46

    Dan is the Man!!! It is great that you “found” this again….someday your kids will find these things and know how much their parents loved each other!

    have a great weekend.

  20. #47

    Cathy, it is no wonder the two of you have such creative, talented kids! You are both really something special!!!!

  21. #48
    Helen High

    There is truly nothing more fantastic than a memory. It’s so important to keep things because they can take you to places you thought you would always remember.
    My husband and I will be married five years this summer. We were married five years to the day we met. . .I still have the slip of paper he gave me with his phone number.

    Love is really in the little things. . .

  22. #49

    Oh I loved reading this. That is one creative and awesome guy you have there. Looks to me like you both are very lucky πŸ˜‰

  23. #51

    “several months” and you were displaying fireworks?


    Cutest card ever. Reminds me of the cards my dad used to make for my mom. She never “got” them. They are divorced. Good for you for “getting it.” And getting it.

  24. #55
    Rachel C

    How sweet is that? What a great story….My husband is not a good card guy. He once gave me an anniversary card that said on the front, “To the happy couple on your anniversary.” I’m thinking it was a grab and go purchase. Needless to say not the happiest of anniversaries. Good times!

  25. #56
    liz a.

    wow! that is so cool…..i can’t even imagine my husband doing something like that….bless his pointed head! haahah! i am so glad to hear of husbands that treat their wives nicely, i am glad for you! yay!

  26. #59
    Christine Campbell

    I think I’ve said it before but it needs to be said again after that post,
    He is SO your lobster!!

  27. #60
    Katrina Grabowski

    I just want to know about those spectacular moves that made him know you were the one. I need to use those on my sweetie. Thanks for putting life back into perspective.

  28. #61

    Cathy – not only am I impressed that Dan made you a card for your anniversary, but all those years ago your guy had an eye for unique color combinations and his tearing techniques are killer! Definitely a keeper πŸ™‚

  29. #62

    You go Dan Zielske! What a cute card . . .and that you’ve got 16 more handmade beauties. That’s awesome.

    It’s funny what you find looking for stuff for facebook, isn’t it? I found the 2 bound journals my husband and i exchanged when we weren’t together (we’d write in them until the next time we saw each other, then would switch them) when I was looking for pictures from my earlier life.

  30. #67
    Tonja Trump

    That is sooo sweet and awesome!! Imagine what he can do with some real supplies!! I vote to let him create some layouts one day!

  31. #68

    How thoughtful and creative! Yes, you two are made for each other. The photos and the writing, how sweet and funny. I am one of the many who will greatly miss Simple Scrapbooks. It really was a favorite of mine. I really enjoy reading your blog and I greatly enjoyed taking your Design Your Life class! You are awesome. Thanks for sharing the bits & pieces of your life with us. And always cherish the daily treasures in your life.

  32. #69

    So Dan obviously taught you a thing or two about paper tearing!!!

    Our family has a tradition of making birthday cards which I love so much. My dear husband suprised me this past birthday with a card that had a photo of me at 17 dressed up as wonder woman (it was the 80’s, we did wild and crazy things back then LOL) with “at 46, your still my wonder woman” on the front. Aaahhhhh… (and just so you know, it’s been a VERY long time since I could rock out the wonder woman suit. Ha!)

  33. #71
    Nancy C. from Wilmington, NC

    Oh Cathy, this was wonderful! I loved it along with every one of the previous posters. I think it is truly ironic that you married the paper crafter, but now that’s where you’ve earned your fame and fortune. If you have a box of those, he’s been sending you subliminal messages for years…You must make beautiful things with paper. You must make beautiful things with paper. You must make beautiful things with paper.

  34. #72
    Denise R

    Cathy, you are too funny…Big Tim Riggins! Why aren’t you my next door neighbor?
    Seriously, what a great husband! And such a good match in the humor department!

  35. #73

    What a guy! And Cole looks JUST like him! Blessed is what you are and here’s to more blessings coming your way!

  36. #75

    Wow! I agree that Dan is a keeper. Thanks for reminding me that I have a keeper, too. I don’t see homemade cards — in fact, when he remembers to buy the card, he usually forgets he bought it and then doesn’t give it to me. But everyday he expresses his love with those little things he does. I need to go write about how much I appreciate that.

  37. #78

    Speechless — not a familiar feeling to me, but just the same, that is what I am!!! How cute, romantic, awsome and totally “puts him in the for keeps box for eternety”!!!! Love that you shared this (except it puts my mans attemts at romance to shame LOL). Have a great day, will you!?!!


  38. #82

    That was a truly awesome card! My husband always insists that if he were “allowed” to come on one of our crops, he would scrapbook circles around us! Dan is proof that men can do it just as well as women! Way to go, Dan! Yes, lucky you, Cathy.

  39. #83
    Jennifer Larson

    Awesome. Romantic and funny. And if that picture is Dan, then Cole is going to look just like him.

  40. #84

    Ohhh, I was going to say “I’m swooning!” but Nicky beat me to it! Oh well, I’m swooning! There.

    Love the ’70’s shirt Dan!

    =) Diane

  41. #86
    Sue B>..

    Ok all this talk of love and you haven’t even mentioned if you are watching the Rock of Love Bus show? Spill it!!

  42. #88

    The man gets you… plain and simple – he gets you and from the look of this card (circa 1995 – love that!) it looks like he’s always “gotten” you. Very sweet!

  43. #89

    You are truly blessed! I have a box full of letters from my courtship with my husband (we lived in different cities 2 hours apart for the first 3 years of our relationship) but all of that stopped as soon as we got married…if I’m really lucky I’ll get a store-bought anniversary card, but nothing of this standard! Thanks for sharing.

  44. #90

    1. Dan was scrappin’ homemade cards before scrappin’ was cool. A minialbum no less:-)

    2. How does Cole feel knowing what he’ll look like in a few years?

    3. Read this joke and thought of you:

    A font walks into a bar and asks the bartender for a drink. The bartender says ‘no, we don’t serve your type!’

  45. #93

    So cool that Dan made this. Treasure it forever. Question … he mentions “moves near Grapevine Lake” — just wondering, where is Grapevine Lake? Please send me an email with the answer. Thank you!

  46. #94
    Laura Lee

    Wow…Look at Dan look like Cole…Wow!!
    Cool card, ya’ll are lucky to have each other! πŸ™‚

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