At the dawn of a new year

By | Posted January 1, 2014

Posted in resolutions | 5 Comments »

I was talking to Paul the other day, and we both commented just how much 2013 sucked.  And really, it did.  My husband went back to mornings, Squirt got screwed over by the Marines, I lost my favorite uncle to cancer, close friends have had to deal with heartbreaking news and losses, another kid went to school, projects are never ending, weekends aren’t fun but instead filled with school work.  Overall, 2013 has been hard and at times miserable.  Just ask my husband.

Last year, I chose “hope” as my word for the year.  Right this second, life seems kind of hopeless for a friend, but I don’t think I’ve ever chosen a more appropriate word.

A little over a week ago, I received word that a friend of mine lost her son.  Christmas was six days away, and he had two very young children.  I have never wanted a text to be wrong more in my life.  But I spoke to her a few minutes later, and it was very fucking real.  Still real.  This woman is a wonderful mom and mimi, she posts about her grandchildren all. the. time.  The pride she has for her boys always shines through.  And now she is wondering what the hell happened.  But there she is moving along taking care of her grandkids and the rest of her family.  She doesn’t have a choice really.  The sad reality is that life moves on for everyone left behind when someone dies.  The days will probably get worse for her before she sees any light.  But I do hope that she sees light; in her grandchildren, her husband and other son and his family.  There is much to still be happy for in life despite all the loss we see in the world.  There is hope, that I know.

When I chose hope for my word last year, a friend’s son had just been diagnosed with Duchenne MD.  Look it up, and thank God you don’t have that diagnosis for your son.  Her son is three weeks older than Snax.  The news was hard to hear, and it’s frustrating waiting for news on a cure.  And that’s just me, the friend.  I can’t imagine how hard it is for my friend.  But again, there’s hope, the outpouring of love from their friends, the fundraisers, the new baby and the constant prayers until there is a cure.  All of that is hope.

Losing my uncle was really hard for my immediate family, (and I know others in my extended family).  My father and he talked daily, several times.  I can’t imagine how many times he has started to call him.  My brother and uncle were extremely close as well.   It’s sad and it’s a hard time to lose someone.  I hear my daughter praying for him daily.  And that brings me hope.  To hear that tiny voice utter prayers can melt any heart and know all is not lost.

During the month of November, really the only month we had to band together and pray for my uncle, I had two cousins asking what prayers to pray and what saint we needed to be talking to for my uncle.  And when I suggested an extended family rosary, I was so proud when people texted letting me know they actually took my idea to heart.  My sweet cousin sat on the phone with us praying aloud listening to the kids recite that beautiful prayer.  That is hope.

When Paul and I were talking, we weren’t trying to sound like whiners, insensitive people especially in light of what others have dealt with this year and very recently.  We both had hard years, knowing that people we love had it worse made it harder.  When I spoke with my friend the other day, she told me her husband wanted to know why she contacted me while he was making calls to family about the death.  She told him she just knew she could call me and tell me about it.  And that at the least she knew I would start praying immediately.  She knew the faith of our family would help.  Her words humbled me.  Everyone knows I love to complain, but she knew that despite my complaints I would pray nonstop.  And so will my kids.  So I like to think that maybe I gave a little hope to her.  And that I can continue to do that in these rough days ahead.

I look ahead to this new year, wishing away the pain for my friends, yet knowing that I can’t take or pray away their pain.  I can only offer love, faith and hope- the theological virtues.  Read about them here in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  And for next year while I am resolving to learn patience (that elusive virtue for me), I think it just might come easier to me if I focus on these three most important virtues.  If I have faith, I have hope and if I have both of those, I love more freely.  And really, love is the best gift I can give my family and friends.

I haven’t changed my mind, 2013 sucked, all my words can’t change that.  But there was joy, and I’m thankful for it each day.  All I have to do is look around my house…a husband who loves me, five children who love me and know their faith, parents who are always there for me and friends who I can count on always.  That’s a lot to be grateful for, I think!

Here’s to 2014, a year filled with a lot of family, a lot of reading, a lot of hugs and kisses, a lot of travel and those three virtues~faith, hope and love.

And maybe, a better year for my football team!  Hope, right?!

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Where I’ve Been

By | Posted December 30, 2013

Posted in Random | 2 Comments »

I’ve been reminded quite a bit recently that I’m a bad blogger.  I am, I know it.  It’s lots of things, but mainly time and lack of interest and the pesky problem I have with uploading pictures.

Actually, I would probably blog a lot more if I could actually load pictures without cussing and wanting to toss my laptop because they aren’t loading.  Do you realize just how freaking cute Sunshine is?  I take a ton of pictures I’d love to share, if only to my family, but lately the uploading times out and I get pissed and head out for a glass of wine.

Then there’s the time factor: I have no time to sit and blog, and I”m not a quick blogger, mainly due to the picture issue, but writing isn’t really my thing so it doesn’t flow as freely as it might for others.  December is busy for everyone, and like a fool, I took on room parent for two classes.  Thankfully, my co-room mother is even more OCD than I am so I wasn’t doing everything by myself, but we both ended up doing the parties mostly alone and staying at school to hand out crafts without any help at all from other parents.  I literally spent three straight days at school.  With Sunshine at my side.  Not fun.

People always wonder what moms do all day long when their kids are at school, basically they want to know how you can justify not working once they are gone all day.  Really, I don’t have an answer, and I still have a daughter at home, but I can say I have no extra time this year without Snax.

Lastly, blogging…it hasn’t held much interest for me this year.  I’m sure it happens to all bloggers but it became a chore.  When I have free time, I want to sit and read, or clean or chat or bake or walk.  Anything but blog.  Maybe I don’t have much to say these days…or it’s negative, not sure.

Regardless, my goal for the year is to try and get back to blogging if only to keep some memories for my kids.  And probably to vent a little.  Maybe post some cute pictures of the kids.

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Wishing you…

By | Posted December 29, 2013

Posted in Christmas | No Comments »


A Merry Christmas from the Zierleins

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Daybook~ In November

By | Posted November 18, 2013

Posted in Daybook, pictures | 4 Comments »


For today:: November 18, 2013

Outside my window:: it’s hot and humid again.  It’s November in Houston.

I am wearing:: shorts and a t-shirt.

I am listening to:: nothing.  Sunshine is napping, and I’m enjoying some quiet time.


These two:: are hilarious.  She copies everything he does and is still not used to him leaving for school.  This morning, per usual, Snax refused to get dressed hiding on my comforter.  Sunshine decided she didn’t want to get dressed either.

I am praying for:: my uncle.  Pretty much nonstop.  The sweetest thing ever: Sunshine goes around telling people that “Uncle David is sick and you need to pray for him.”  I love that girl of mine, and I love how she is fighting for her uncle the only way she knows how to fight: through prayer.


We are grateful:: Every year during November we set up some sort of thankful tree.  Each night, everyone contributes something they are thankful for and we record it on our leaves.  Sunshine is pretty sweet: she is mostly grateful for Mary, St Bernadette and St. Gerard as well as her mimi, grandpa, Uncle Hector and Amparo.  It’s nice listening to the kids and evaluating my life and being thankful.

Learning all the time:: today was perfect.  Sunshine and I built stuff out of blocks, read stories from the Bible and about the saints, went over our letters and played a game.  All in 45 minutes, a perfect amount of time to play and learn.

From one moment::

DSC_1631To the next:: DSC_1639

Yes, he lost his front tooth!  He was constantly wiggling his tooth so I told him I wanted one last picture before he lost his tooth and became a new boy.  Three hours later, he had pulled it out!

To be fit and happy:: have I mentioned that my spin instructor is cutting her schedule so that she will only teach spin on Mondays and core on Tuesdays?  I can’t explain how much this upsets me.  Really, this only affects me on Wednesdays, but I need that day of cardio.  Desperately.


I am reading:: Every book Goose reads for his reading projects and The Husband’s Secret.  Well, I am starting the book as soon as this post is finished.

Around the house:: I am so not ready to start bringing out any decorations.  I’m glad I go slowly when decorating for Christmas, this year we are really going to embrace that whole “prepare” aspect of Advent.


Making lists:: of Christmas gifts.  Slowly but surely, I’m getting there.  There are two children that are killing me though…no ideas.

On the menu:: salmon with roasted green beans and cauliflower, Orzo with sausage and peppers, drum sticks with potatoes and more green beans, spaghetti and salad, pizza rolls and spinach.  And lots of sweets.


One of my favorite things:: baking with my children.  And they all love it!!!  They fight over who gets to help.

A few plans for the week:: shopping for Christmas and clothes for me, lunch with a friend, baking with Sunshine and a movie date with Squirt to see Catching Fire Friday.

The bane of my existence::

DSC_1642That face says it all!  If I ever end up without a husband it will be because of school projects.  Nothing gets us bickering faster than having to “help” our kids with school projects, especially dioramas.  Yesterday, Lance made the mistake of saying he couldn’t take the yelling that comes with me helping so I told him to take over.  They were still working at 8:30 last night with me refusing to help after his ugly words to me.  Meanwhile, I have to ask, did Baby Hulk get anything out of this project?

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This Week

By | Posted November 14, 2013

Posted in Family Life, Random | No Comments »

:: I’m co-room parent for K and first this year which means I’m involved with the party planning.  The teachers have a small celebration at Thanksgiving in K which I’ve missed the past times I’ve had a child in Kinder because nobody wanted to go to school that day. I think this might be the year I see what this little feast is all about since Snax is not one to skip school.

I was talking about the arrangements with another mom, and she informed me someone was bringing goodie bags for the Thanksgiving feast.  Why?  Because that mom’s child was upset that she didn’t get a goodie bag at the Halloween party, and the mom didn’t want her upset again.  Never mind the fact that she went trick or treating at school and got a ton of candy, good candy.  Never mind that the kid was going trick or treating that evening and also had a party at school that day as well.  All I could think was: what a brat.

It’s Thanksgiving and we have to worry about goodie bags?  Because nothing says grateful like having to hand out a bag of junk to appease a child.

:: Baby Hulk got in trouble the other day for running around during music class.  When I asked him why he was running in music, he told me he was playing Duck, Duck, Goose.  Yes, Duck, Duck, Goose.  Who does that in music class?  Besides my son.

:: It’s November, and all that means to me is time to start picking out Christmas gifts.  For my kids and everyone who is buying gifts for them.  And I gotta say, it makes me want to run and hide.  There is nothing I like less than choosing a million gifts.  Plus, I have one child in particular that plays with something once and then is done.  So it makes me feel as if any gift we purchase is a total waste of money.  And then it makes me mad at this child for wasting my money or other’s money.

I will be following our gift giving guide of something to read, something to wear, something you need and something you want.  Sure, there will be a stack of books per usual, a few shirts or whatever the clothes item may be, but the other two…probably one gift a piece.  Santa will be directed to bring two gifts per kid.

I can do this.  Repeat, I can do this.  All before Thanksgiving.  I can, right?

:: I’m faithful to my team.  So despite having tickets to the Rockets game Saturday, I found myself in my usual station watching the game.  Alone in my bedroom.  It was ugly football, stressful and lots of words flew out of my mouth.  Goose joined me during the 4th quarter.  And honestly, his presence made things even more stressful.  I had to start plugging my ears just to watch the game.  His enthusiasm, his worry, his attitude about his team…it makes me proud.

And we won.  And I have to admit, I was so excited watching overtime and the players were so excited.  After the game, I couldn’t complain about the team or coaching.  I was just happy seeing the look on the players’ faces.

:: Have I mentioned that Goose has a reading project every single month?  3 down, 5 more to go.  They actually aren’t too bad, the books are enjoyable to him, and he finishes them pretty timely.  He just waits until the Saturday or even Sunday before it’s due to start.  They are due on Tuesdays, but in my mind, Monday night is to practice presenting.

For this last project, Goose read Dovey Coe, an easy read and a book he really liked.  He liked it so much, he read it in one day.  Two and a half weeks ago.  Saturday he told me he wanted to make a diorama.  Saturday.  I looked at him and asked where the plan was and the supplies that clearly his father had purchased.  Blank stare.  I told him next month, I don’t buy supplies the day before a project is due.  This month, he could write a song.

And write a freaking song he did.  He was amazing.  I would have NEVER, NEVER, NEVER have written and performed a song in front of my class.  I still get stage fright talking in front of a crowd.  He was so good, and I am so proud of him.

:: And why not let the others join the fun.  Baby Hulk has a project due Monday.  A diorama.  I can’t think of something I hate more than dioramas right this second.  I will not raise my voice during the completion of this project.  Repeat after me.

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Fall Daybook

By | Posted November 8, 2013

Posted in Daybook, pictures | 2 Comments »


For today:: November 8, 2013

I am wearing:: longhorn pajama pants and a blue shirt.

I am listening to:: Sunshine chit chat.  Nonstop.


I am grateful for:: the chance to see my uncle this past weekend.  A week where I don’t have much to do except a field trip.

Outside my window:: the weather is amazing.  I love when it is chilly outside, I hope it stays like this for longer than a few days.

A moment:: Goose had a slight fever so I picked him up from school early.  Once he was settled in, he asked me to read to him.  It was a wonderful moment we shared.

I am praying for:: my uncle who has just been diagnosed with cancer, a cure to Duchenne MD, my aunt, a new dream for my son and patience.  And grace.


Around the house:: gearing up for a huge fall cleaning.  I’d like to say I am ready for it, but I’m just not there.

Towards rhythm and beauty:: this is such a hard one for me.  Last week almost killed me, and now I’m so run down I have a damn cold.  There were days I would leave the school only to turn right back around and head back to yet another classroom.  I lost my camera on Halloween only to find it 24 hours later.  I was frazzled, my head hurt and it got me down.  And my poor daughter only napped one day.  It’s not acceptable.  This week we change…until the rush of getting presents starts.  NEED A RHYTHM.  NOW.


On the menu:: nothing too special.  Fish, shrimp, chicken, sausage and pizza rolls.  I’m about as excited by this menu as my kids are about the salmon we’re having tonight.

On the hunt:: for a recipe making twix bars.  I love twix, but stopped eating candy after watching the horrible video on child labor.  With Halloween candy all over my house, I am dying for a twix.  I actually saw a recipe that called for grinding up rice in a processor. I’m thinking something a bit simpler than that.


Learning the faith:: Baby Hulk is prepping for two sacraments this year: reconciliation and First Holy Communion.  I am so excited.  We’ve started a notebook for our studies.  I’ve got a plan and it’s good.  I just need more time in the day.  We have some good books to help us this year, and he is pretty excited about next May.  Along the way, Snax is learning too.

A few of my favorite things:: this particular uncle has always been a favorite, and my kids love him too.  And so hearing them pray for him, well, it’s pretty great.


Plans for the week:: the school week is done, and I’m happy to say I did nothing except the Renaissance Festival with Goose and Sunshine.  I didn’t look for any other ways to fill our days.  For the weekend…someone has a project and has yet to start.  Have I mentioned just how much I hate school projects?


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Happy Baptism Day

By | Posted October 23, 2013

Posted in Baby Hulk, Baptism | 1 Comment »

Yesterday was BH’s baptismal anniversary.  He planned the menu and had special prayers offered.  And got to light his candle.  That made him happy.

BH, what a special day your baptism was for our family.  I hope you always use the grace that was showered on you that day.


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And yet another milestone

By | Posted October 21, 2013

Posted in Baby Z | 4 Comments »

So I no longer have to carry a diaper bag.

My daughter uses an actual toilet now.

And I’m happy and excited for her.  What a big girl!!!

And yet, what a big girl.

I hate it.

I love kids.  Especially my kids.  But I love, love, love the early stages.

I have easy babies, they sleep within three months, eat really well, I pump milk like a freaking dairy farm and I just love the sweet, soft cuddles of a baby.

Sure, I love the cuddles of my toddler girl, I love hearing her talk all. the. time.  I love seeing the world through her eyes.

But I miss that baby stage, and unless God has other plans for us, we’re not having more children because we’re very careful these days.  Every month I ask, this month?  And he says no.

I wonder at what point will I stop being jealous of seeing a blogger announce her pregnancy?  Because that is really the only emotion I have as each Catholic blogger I follow announces another baby.  Big freaking sigh.

In the meantime, here’s to carrying a purse again.  Does this mean a new purse is in order for Christmas?!!!  I hope so because I already have one picked out.

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Through Her Eyes

By | Posted October 20, 2013

Posted in Baby Z, Family Life, Happiness | No Comments »


There is something wonderful about seeing the world through their eyes.


Even something as simple as decorations.


I got out the Halloween decorations the other night, and the kids were so excited.  Baby Hulk was on me all night since I had promised to take them down as soon as I finished mopping the floor.

With each item that came down from the attic the kids were rushing around just full of happiness.  Sunshine was in the shower while this was taking place so she came out to a huge surprise.  And was just as happy as her brothers.


I even let the kids put the decorations where they wanted which is HUGE for me.

When I look through their eyes, it reminds to see the joy in the ordinary, in the life that I am so blessed to have.


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At the end of a week

By | Posted October 19, 2013

Posted in Random | No Comments »

Do people still buy school pictures?  The other day the kids had to take class pictures, and I did the unthinkable for a control freak like me: I told them to wear whatever they wanted.  My goal this year is to control the urge to buy the actual pictures.  In this day of digital cameras, why on earth would I want a school picture with the same lame background used when I was in school?  Yes, I’ve purchased every picture thus far.  Well, that’s not true, I stopped buying high school photos when Squirt started taking mug shots for his photos.

But really, when I have a whole slew of photos of my kids living their lives and memories that come from those photos, why would I waste the money?  The only memory I get from school pictures is “I hate that place, in particular this school.”

Of course, if Snax’s picture is cute, I just may buy his since it’s his first class picture, but other than that, I am not spending the money.  I think.  I will have control.  Because here’s the deal, I don’t even like seeing these photos up in other people’s houses (read my parents and in-laws) because I think to myself there are such better pictures than the ugly class pictures.  So back to the question: do people really pay for those pictures anymore?  And what made me do it in the first place?!

I am in desperate need of a date night.  Lance and Squirt are going to the UFC tonight so I assumed we’d go out last night.  Except Squirt wanted to go out with his friends.  So we didn’t go out.  The past few weeks have been really, really long.  I am starting to feel like the only date nights we get are when we leave town.

Squirt actually went to a club last night.  When I was cleaning up after dinner, he asked if I used to go clubbing when I was his age.  Which just made me laugh.  Of course, I did.  I didn’t go until I was out of high school, but yes we all went.  I loved those days.  I think he’d die if he saw the pictures of those days.  And I’d like to add that I made it home by 12:30.  Even out of high school.  And I had to drive all the way back to Kingwood from 6400 on Richmond.  So really, I have no tolerance when he whines about curfew.

Snax is getting better at completing his work at school.  This week he came home with a stack of papers, and only one sheet had an incomplete.  When I ask him why he doesn’t finish he doesn’t really have an answer.  He knows how to do the work, but for whatever reason, just doesn’t finish.  Maybe he’s tired, maybe he gets bored.  Who knows, it just annoys me that he just doesn’t finish.  But like I said, he’s getting better at finishing.  The other day he came home with a spelling test.  100!!  Just like his brothers.  And I might add that we never reviewed his words.  I didn’t even know he was going to take a test.  It’s displayed on the fridge right now!

So I am doing this book study at my church.  We’re reading The Temperament God Gave You.  I have been very interested in this book for years.  And when the chance came to do a book study, I thought I had to do it.  It would force me to actually read the book and talking with other people might help me understand my own temperament more as well as those around me.  EXCEPT.  I fucking hate group book studies.  Hate them.  In fact, when testing myself over temperament, one of the questions asked about meetings and my response was: I hate them.  Because they are freaking useless. Useless.  There has not been one meeting from PTO to Bible book study that I didn’t start rolling my eyes and think how stupid this was and what a waste of my time this was and how I just wanted to shout, “okay, wtf, make a decision!”  Case in point, this past Friday, we were almost done and I had already reached my limit with these wonderful, nice, holy women, when someone brought up the fact that the Women’s Club was having their fashion show during what was supposed to be our next get together.  For the next 12 minutes we debated whether or not to cancel the meeting so people could maybe attend.  Just maybe attend.  I literally wanted to shoot myself.  Because I have no patience for that.  Nobody would actually step up and say they wanted to attend this fashion show.  I, of course, made it clear that I would not attend.

Which brings me to my point.  My temperament: hmmmm…the downside…not so nice.  To sum it up if I don’t keep myself in balance: I am judgmental with myself and others, (which I didn’t quite agree with about myself until my friend pointed out that I constantly criticize my eating and weight which yes, but isn’t that a girl thing?), am a perfectionist, my nit picking will drive others mad and I can become a cross to those around me.  I am so not kidding about the last line.  Thankfully, I keep myself in check so that I’m not a cross to those around me.  I hope.

My real point, of all the temperament combos of primary and secondary, only mine had such a negative statement regarding their temperament pitfalls.  But like I said, I so keep myself in check.

There’s been this cat hanging out in front of our place for the past few days.  It’s cute if you like cats.  Me?  It’s on my nerves.  It’s loud, it tries to come in the front door, it drives Lola crazy and it won’t go away!  Snax tried to scare it away with his dragons.  Seriously, I couldn’t love this kid more.



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