Wasn’t she just born?

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life68 Comments


I feel like this year might be full of quite a few posts that begin with ‘sigh’ where Aidan is concerned.

She’s not toddling around our house anymore. She’s not dumping finger paint on the dining room floor. She’s not belting out the Evita soundtrack while wearing a red nightie from her mother’s stash. She’s not a little kid anymore.

I am middled aged and she is on the verge of eighteen. Heavy frickin’ sigh.

But you know what? She’s an awesome 17-and-a-half-year-old. For all the things I wish I could go back and do differently as her mother, she has emerged with grace and wisdom. There are some things she just arrived here with. No matter how hard I tried, I didn’t mess that up.

Heavy freaking sigh.

We are fortunate to have friends who take photos. One of my dearest friends, Margie Scherschligt, photographed my daughter last month in downtown Minneapolis. I wanted to share a few of the shots.

My favorite thing is that she’s wearing one of her Dad’s second-hand shirts (missing a button, no less), her hair piled on top of her head in a messy bun, her own second-hand boots and just a touch of make up.

God, I love her style and her confidence. I really, really do.

Without further adieu, may I present Aidan Zielske, senior.









Love you, girl.

And thank you, Marige. I love you, too!




Cathy ZielskeWasn’t she just born?

68 Comments on “Wasn’t she just born?”

  1. #1

    She looks AMAZING and so happy and content! I can’t even pick a favorite, love them all. She is growing up so fast, getting more beautiful each day. You must have done something right for her to be this awesome and mature young lady. I sigh a lot too and having a 24 year old it never stops. Thanks for sharing her with us!

  2. #2

    When I saw the photo above the last photo I said ‘Wow!’. I love that black and white photo and that smile on her face. She is such a natural beauty! All the photos are beautiful but I really liked that one the most!

  3. #3
    Mia C. Crespo

    She’s a gorgeous… senior ^^
    Very moving post. My little daughter is only 2.5 yers old and all I can hope for, as a mother, is to be able to say some day, as you so beautifully put it “For all the things I wish I could go back and do differently as her mother, she has emerged with grace and wisdom. There are some things she just arrived here with. No matter how hard I tried, I didn’t mess that up.”
    Thanks for sharing and being that open about your feelings. Inspiring.

  4. #5
    lara jane

    She’s gorgeous. I can’t believe she’s on the brink of adulthood, she was just a wee lass when you started sharing her with us. She seems like an amazing kid — er, young woman — whether by her divine nature or her kick-ass parents’ nuturing, and she will conquer the world. It’s just crazy that it came on so fast.

    And now I’m going to crawl into bed with my 13-year-old and he’ll wake up wondering why I’m sobbing.

  5. #8
    Angela NJ

    Simply stunning! Thank you for sharing these incredible images; I might have dropped a small fortune if these were photos of my daughter. She’s lovely.
    Just the other day, my husband said “you know, she’s only here for 8 more years.” It made me want to put my fingers in my ears and sing la la la. I share your sigh in more ways than one (especially since we are the same age and I hope I have half as much wit as you when mine’s a senior).
    I’ve been reading your posts for a long time – you are one blessed mama – and they are lucky to have you, too. Wishing you and your family well during this big year!

  6. #12

    Beautiful inside and out. We are sometimes too hard on ourselves as parents. She seems like a wonderful young lady from your posts. I have to say that the black and white headshot, with the flower shirt, is simply stunning.

  7. #15

    A beautiful daughter and beautiful photos! I love that Aiden is Aiden – she’s who SHE wants to be. That’s awesome and amazing! The looks like she has confidence and that will take her far!

    And Margie is talented, too! Great eye with that lens.

  8. #18
    Lynn M

    Gorgeous shots of a very lovely girl. Hang in there, Mom. You’re in for a ride after high school. LOL!

  9. #19
    Mary R

    you did good Cathy – I can see how confident Aiden is! she is going places and will be amazing at what ever she chooses to do. These photos are gorgeous!

  10. #20
    Britiney @ Consider the Lilies

    Oh mercy. The black & white with he hair down took my breath away. She’s so amazing and you have every right to be a proud proud (verklempt) mama. My oldest is Cole’s age and my heart seizes every time I think about him venturing off into the world. But he’s the most amazing person and I can’t wait to see him take the world by the horns. And I know Aiden will do the same. Great job, CZ.

  11. #21
    Sugar Creek Farm

    This was me at this time last year… I can attest that there will be many heavy sighs! I feel you on wishing we could get a re-do on certain things. I always say my kids are turning out great in spite of me, not because of me. Beautiful girl, beautiful pictures!

  12. #22

    Beautiful. Simply beautiful. I’m in the same boat…my daughter is 18 and getting ready to make a life of her own. I know that’s the way of it and how it should be, but I can’t help but feeling that it all passed way too quickly and I’ll shortly be out of a job.

  13. #24
    dawny dee

    wow – just wow. such a perfect capture of a point in time. the world is hers. how real and wonderful.

  14. #25
    Kris Van Allen

    These are the best kind of senior photos!! Her whole wonderful personality shines through. My youngest, the only girl, also graduates this spring; I feel as though they’ve grown up together, and that if they could meet, Aidan and Grace would be gret friends. They have the same style, confidence, and outlook on the world.

    Love every minute of it, girl.

  15. #26

    The best thing about Aidan (I mean besides her creativity, sweet face, twinking eyes, and awesome smile) is the fact that she just exudes confidence and seems so comfy in her own skin. THAT is true beauty! 🙂

  16. #27

    Ah! a little bittersweet! ……….brings back the memories of my boys entering there last year of high school. It still doesn’t seem real. Now grown (22 and 25) but still growing and learning and finding their own way. Parenthood is a different adventure every step of the way!
    Your girl is just beautiful!

  17. #28
    Sue O

    I too love the photos, but especially the black and white with her hair down. Just gorgeous! You need to give yourself more credit…you and Dan have given her all the tools she needs to be this confident young woman. I know from experience that it’s way too easy to see the mistakes we think we made, but a lot of therapy has taught me that I did a lot of things right.

  18. #29
    Lauren Hershey

    In the black and white one, by the way, I can really still see a remnant of little Aidan from the covers of Clean and Simple so long ago (and not so long ago)…

  19. #30
    Kari Bh.

    Lovely! I think it’s great that she had some done with her hair down too. To capture another side of her look & personality.

  20. #32

    Loving Aidan’s dare I say slightly androgynous super cool grundge vibe. Don’t get me wrong — she is very feminine! But I like women who downplay it. Maybe because we live in this hyper-sexualized age. I dunno.
    Anyway. I still love looking thru your first book, Cathy. It’s incredible how fast kids grow up. My son will be seven soon. Where did the time go!

  21. #34
    Michelle Meisenbach

    LOVE THEM ALL!!! but the B/W with her hair down is breathtaking. You done good, mom! 🙂

  22. #37
    Janice M

    Great photos!

    I had these same feeling when my daughter (also my oldest)was a senior. That was 10 years ago and the feeling hasn’t changed. In fact at times it gets worse, like today. You see today is my baby girl’s 3rd wedding anniversary. I look at those photos and say; “Weren’t you just born?” I know how you feel. All I can say is cry when you need to, hug her when you need and when she needs it. This is the year it all starts to change, but in the words of Martha Stewart – “It’s a good thing.” Hugs Cathy, from one Mom to another.

  23. #38

    Forget college … she can just go straight to the NYC and start her modeling career! The camera loves Aidan. Great photos.

  24. #39
    Leanne in CA

    She’s beautiful!! Love the confidence and sweetness she shows. It’s been great watching her grow up. Have a fabulous senior year Aidan. Thanks for sharing the photos with us Cathy.

  25. #42
    Denise Rotell

    Weren’t we just calling her “one-three” 2 seconds ago?? So beautiful & so grown up. It goes so fast!

  26. #43

    She is so beautiful! I have 3 girls and one is 13….and I am constantly anxious about it and the years to come. Mostly because of how I was as a teenager. And I don’t mean that I was moody and difficult (but I was), but I mean how insecure I was and all the things I missed out on because of it. But your daughter is so pretty and she looks CONFIDENT and fun….if my daughter turns out half as cool and self-assured as Aiden seems, I will be so proud (and relieved).

  27. #44

    I don’t know why you think you should have done anything different. . . . .
    She seems amazing, just the way she is.

  28. #45

    wow. she’s looks like the one you want to have on your side, a confidant, a dear friend, a cool stylist! genuine…what a blessing!

  29. #46

    She is so beautiful Cathy and the photo’s are stunning! You must be so, so proud – and rightly so!

  30. #49
    debbie McIntyre

    Love the photo shoot and it’s hard to believe it’s Senior year! The first and last black ad white photos are simply gorgeous! What a beautiful beautiful girl. Know you’re proud, and it’s an emotional year with big choices ahead and lots of walks down memory lane. Thanks for sharing the photo shoot with us.

  31. #50

    Beautiful and I am sure she is the way she is because of the awesome person who molded her since she was a tiny seed and now blooming beautifully! Congratulations!

  32. #51

    When I saw the first photo I thought “she’s so pretty”, but then I scrolled down and thought “WOW, SHE’S GORGEOUS”! I love her skin, that fresh pretty face, her confidence shows through. I love the photos of your daughter! How proud of her you must be.

  33. #53
    Kim L

    As the Mom of a 20 and 17 year old, I’m right there with the “sigh”.
    Your daughter is beautiful!

  34. #54
    Abby P.

    Gorgeous pictures — they completely show that she’s comfortable in her own skin. You done good!

  35. #56

    What great pictures. So love, and am not surprised, that she chose to wear her favorite clothes and be herself in the pictures. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  36. #59
    madeline St onge

    She is gorgeous Cathy. She looks like a fun girl too, I think you and Dan done good bringing her up to where she is today

  37. #60

    She is absolutely gorgeous, Cathy. I love the mischievous grin. Daughters are a special gift. x

  38. #62

    She is a lovely young woman, not only in the looks department but you’ve shared her abilities and personality traits – so we feel like we kind of know her.
    – you should be very proud.

  39. #63
    Kristi Sikora-Blankenship

    She is just amazing. Watching kids grow up makes me sad. I have loved mine at every age…. but I sort of would have kept them little forever and ever….. she is stunning.

  40. #67

    She is just beautiful….like you can just tell she is gorgeous all over the inside too. 🙂 You should be proud Mama!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *