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14 posts from September 2011

September 07, 2011

The post wherein you may require a tissue


This kid is breaking my heart.

Not because she's done anything other than be 100 percent fabulous and amazing on a daily basis. She's completely golden. The only time my heart starts to break is when I begin to imagine the day that she'll be bunking with college roommates, as opposed to me, Dan and Cole.

She started the 10th grade last week. The 10th frickin' grade! I decided to create a layout about this monumental shift in the elements along the same design lines as what I shared last week. This was supposed to be a layout that remarked about the maturity and the changes I've been seeing in my daughter; how she is taking so very many measured steps toward her burgeoning inependence.

But true to my self-absorbed form, it ended up being a little bit about me as well.

But the little bit about me is the part that wonders, and wonders often, have I been a good enough parent?

So with that, I share this page with you. If you have children around the same age or are premenstrual, you might like to have a Kleenex on hand.


JOURNALNG READS: So here we are, Aidan. It’s 2011, you’re 15 years old and starting your sophomore year of high school. Sophomore year of high school! Holy mother of pearl, where has the time gone?

I ask this question, not to simply be a mom cliché, but because this year is really hitting me squarely between the eyes: in two years, you’ll be off to college and you won’t be one of my three roommates anymore. (At least not until holiday breaks come around!) And as exciting as that might seem to you, the idea of college and being out there on your own, this countdown is a bit different on the mom side of things.

I’m writing this as a letter to you and I don’t want to fill it with regrets and what ifs. But it’s hard to not look back and wonder: did I do enough? did you know how proud I was of you? did I show you in some way every single day of your amazing, singular life how blessed and lucky I was and am to share this life with you?

All those years of being a frazzled mom are still clear in my memory. The mom who was far less easy going than the one you know today. The mom who was crabbier than most because I was always jonesing for time to get out to the garage and steal time for a smoke. The mom who didn’t understand than being louder than everyone else didn’t actually mean a victory.

That mom is part of our shared history, yet you seem to have emerged with more grace and wisdom that seems possible for one so young.

So here we are, Aidan. You are this remarkable creature of light and passion and gifts. So much is changing and yet you seem more assured in who you are every day. I remember asking you a while back about why you weren’t out there experimenting with things like drinking, or other things that girls at your age probably shouldn’t be doing, and you simply replied, “I’m not seeking, Mom. I know who I am.”

I think you’ve known who you were from such an early age. It just took some of the adults in your life—i.e. me—a while to catch on. And believe me, sister, you have no bigger fan on the court side of your life than me. (Okay, so maybe your Dad would give me a definite run for the money on that one!)

I love you, Sophomore Girl. Not a minute of this era will I take for granted. I am so thankful to be able to know who you are, every day. So very thankful indeed.


DIGITAL SUPPLIES: Layered Template No. 92 (Cathy Zielske) • Striped Mix: Sunshine Paper Pack (Katie Pertiet) both coming this weekend to the Designer Digitals store • Honey Script font

This template, and everything else in my collection, will be on sale as part of the Designer Digitals 3rd Quarter Sale, beginning this Thursday at 7 a.m. EST, and running through next Wednesday. Save 30% storewide except for gift certificates and licenses

September 06, 2011

Speaking of running…


I was asked to be a guest blogger in a series over at the Another Mother Runner blog. The question they've posed to a diverse group of women runners: Why Do You Run?

You can read my answer by clicking here.

And if there are any readers today visiting from the Another Mother Runner blog, you can read most of my fitness related posts by clicking here.

Or, you can just click here to see me answer a question about where my creativity comes from.

Or, if that's not working, click here to see a video of my son lip-synching and busting some sweet moves to Weird Al's "White and Nerdy."


Another Mother Runner is the online home of runners and authors Sarah Bowen Shea and Dimity McDowell. Their first book, Run Like a Mother, is one of the pieces that inspired me to get my run on. They are presently crafting its sequel, Train Like a Mother, due out in March 2012.

Join Sarah and Dimity and their 11,000+plus running fans on their always informative and lively Facebook page.

Run Like a Mother JPG


September 05, 2011

The happiest of Labor Days


Happy Labor Day, blog readers!

For many of us stateside, this day means back-yard barbecues and the last minute readying of school lunches, supplies, and clothes in preparation for the first day back at school.

But this Labor Day also happens to feature Game 5 of the Saint Paul Saints' divisional playoffs against the Winnipeg Goldeyes. While not appearing in the photo with my own Saints' swag, I assure you I have been cheering them right along with the three other Zielskes during this past weekend's two games.

Personally, I'm skipping today's game. I can't take the pressure. Plus, the sunburn on the back of my neck from yesterday's game is begging me not to. That, and the amount of housework awaiting me on account of spending 8-plus hours at Midway Stadium on Friday and Sunday is demanding I finally pay it some attention. Labor Day indeed.

Hope your Labor Day is a pleasant one.


September 01, 2011

Move More Eat WELL September 2011


I know. Right now you're simultaneously hypnotized and blinded by the whiteness of my outer thigh, but let me be the first to say, "Neutrogena Ultimate Sport Sunblock Spray SPF 100+, you're welcome."

It's the start of Month 21 of the Move More Eat Less chronicles, and we're kicking this one off with a bit of a change.

And what's the change? I'm changing the name. Welcome to the first installment of Move More, Eat Well.

Now before you panic and say, "But Cathy, my layouts and my journal have the old wording on them!" Let me get this out of the way: I've got new logos for you. One layered PSD file that can be dragged into your existing templates, one JPEG and one 125 pixel wide blog banner. Capeche?


(To download the zipped package, click on the link directly below)

Download MMEW_Logos

With that formality out of the way, let's talk love, chub and life, shall we?

For the past 20 months, almost without fail, I have tried to Move More and Eat Less on a daily basis.  I would say that by and large, I've had a lot of success in my efforts. I've lost a sizable chunk of weight. I've learned to enjoy anything that causes me to sweat. I've eaten things that have made my body say, "Thank you!"

But guess what? I'm still not skinny.

Maybe my monthly scrapbook page will help shed some light on this phenomena:


SUPPLIES: Move More Eat Less 8.5 x 11 template (Cathy Zielske)Just Linens No. 1 Paper Pack (Michelle Martin) • a scan of kraft cardstock • Avenir font

JOURNALING READS: I’ve been working out nearly every day and being mindful of what I eat for 20 full months, and guess what? I’m still not skinny. Now I say this not to be cheeky, but as a concrete, real-world observation. I have a big belly that I try and suck in for every single “after” shot; my inner thighs still require a liberal application of Body Glide when I head out for a run; my chin still multiplies if I’m not paying attention to the angle. So what am I really saying here?

I have Moved More and Eaten Less. Initially, Eating Less gave me the kick start I needed to drop the lion’s share of excess weight I was carrying around. Those 20 Weight Watcher’s daily points did what they were supposed to do: move the number on the dial of that scale. But as I found beginning this past winter, 20 points a day is not a lifestyle that I can easily sustain. Finding the lowest point foods didn’t necessarily translate to the healthiest of choices. And it certainly didn’t eliminate my cravings for crap. Where I am at now is a place of potential change and possible acceptance. The goal for so long, regardless of all my outward talk of being healthy, has been to kick some ass in my size 8 Lucky Jeans. I think I may finally be at a place where I can objectively look at that elusive goal of being skinny and say, “WTF?” I can continue to explore what Eating Well looks like, and how Moving More can be more than just four weekly runs and two days of cross training.  I’m not giving up the fight, but I also need to accept that this process has no finish. I need to start operating more from a place of ebb, flow, sustainability and above all, reality.

So there's that.

But the idea that has been resonating with me during the past few months is the understanding that while Eating Less does in fact result in a change in the old chub count column, it is not necessarily the end-all, be-all solution. True, when you are overweight, you do need to change the quantity of food you're eating to start seeing numbers go down. I know this. I did this.

But then late last Fall, my numbers started going up. It took me about eight months after that to catch on: living on 20 Weight Watchers points a day is not a sustainable lifestyle for me.

So I finally canceled my Weight Watchers Online membership about 6 weeks ago. Now, I'm trying to focus on eating balanced meals of whole foods. I'm trying to eliminate all overly processed items. I'm trying to avoid anything with the words "partially hydrogenated" or other things that I can't pronounce. I'm trying to make the best choices for my body; foods that will contribute to healing, immune system boosting, and generalized wellness. In short, I'm trying to Eat Well.


Let me be clear: I am a fan of Weight Watchers, and I know that it brings a lot of success to a lot of people. I'm all about keeping track and following a plan. But for now, I feel I've run my personal course with the plan and need to try something different.

And how does Eating Well differ from Eating Less? Let's just say my focus is on as much nutrition as I can get for the buck, rather than how many calories I can squeeze into a single point.

You guys know that I'll try anything once. Remember Meatless March?

For now, I'm trying to reset the balance of food in my life. I'm trying to not wig out that my Lucky Brand Jeans might have to get passed down to Aidan because they may not see my backside any time soon. I'm trying to be a healthy person with a realistic attitude about my life, my fitness and my weight.

In short, it's a serious work in progress.


How's everyone doing out there with their individual efforts? Success? Failures? Even steven? Let's get the discussion goin', ladies and gentlemen.



Want to learn more about Move More Eat Less 2011? Click here to learn more about the concept.

I've also started a flickr group for Move More Eat Less. Feel free to start sharing your pages. You will find the group by clicking here.


INSPIRATIONAL LISTENING: I'm officially hooked on the Dishing Up Nutrition podcast, produced by the wonderful team at Nutritional Weight and Wellness. In fact, this show is a key reason why I'm changing my approach to Eating Well. These podcasts are free and you can subscribe through iTunes. Take a minute to browse some of the show topics and see if something jumps out at you. I know some of you have told me this show is really making a difference in how you view your overall dietary efforts. One warning: some of the ladies sound really Minnesotan. It's sort of charming, really.