Wednesday, December 9, 2009

2009~ The Year of Bad Hair, Desserts and Homeschooling

Disclaimer: This post is really effing long. It serves as a memory for me and I suppose, my parents. Some snoozy stuff, some interesting, you just have to read!

If I had to sum up 2009, it would be easy: my hair, dessert, and homeschooling Goose. I have thought about these three things more than anything else most of the year. If I'm not begging Lance to let me homeschool Goose, I'm calling him to pick up ICC for me or calling to complain about my hair that only now fits into a pony tail. (It only took 9 months to get here.)

ICC- The Best Cake EVER

While I would love to immediately go into the haircut that ruined my year, I have to start with the actual beginning of the year. The chocolate cake...the one with Bailey's, buttercream icing and toffee bits. While I already had somewhat of an addiction to desserts before this time, I didn't realize eating dessert at midnight on New Year's Eve would mean I would have to continue eating desserts nonstop all year.

It's okay to stay home if your wife bakes this cake!

I can safely say that through the first six months of the year, I averaged almost $22 per week in ICC, Italian Cream Cake. And that was only my share. My mom stayed with us for several weeks in the beginning of the year and she joined in the fun too. Even now, I eat desserts nonstop. I am just trying to be a little more moderate about it, as in only one piece of cake or cookie per week. Thank God, Lance is my partner in crime.

The haircut. Getting a haircut shouldn't be a big deal, especially for me. It's not like I change my hair often. I did want to look good though because we were going to the Superbowl. And not just any Superbowl, we would be watching my father-in-law coach. And with Lance's job and connections, I was sure we'd end up at some happening party. I had to look good, which included getting a quick trim. My normal hairdresser came out crying which should have been a sign. By the end of my haircut, I couldn't put my hair in a pony tail, and I was crying. I called three times trying to get her fired and had to pay someone else $80 to correct her mistakes. Not only did she give me short hair, something that doesn't work for me and makes me look fat, which I know I'm not, she cut it completely uneven. She took texturizing to a new level. The new hairdresser couldn't fix it all without going even shorter, which I couldn't allow. She straightened it for me and I didn't wash my hair for the next four days. People would tell me months later, "it's not so bad". When you hear that months after the cut, you know your hair sucks. Also...when your own father says, "don't cut your hair so short again", you know it sucks!!

Closeup view to illustrate just how shitty it was.

Lance just read through to see what I wrote about the year and thought the picture I chose to illustrate my hair was a poor choice. Basically, he doesn't think that picture is a true representation of how bad my hair really was. Nice that my hubby is so honest with me.

The Superbowl was amazing except for the fact that I was watching the Steelers instead of the Cowboys. I have yet to admit this to my in-laws because I think that would just be rude, but I HATE the Steelers. As in I cheered for the offensive line to do well and the rest of the team to suck it up. I can justify my actions knowing that the second my father-in-law goes somewhere new, the family won't care about the Steelers anymore. I will admit that towards the end of the game when it looked like the Steelers might lose because the offense wasn't playing well, I looked at my mother-in-law and felt so bad. Here was this woman who had been through everything with Larry and she looked so sad. But, they won and now they have more Superbowl wins than the Cowboys. I will say the ring is pretty cool in a super gaudy way.

The family was there to celebrate this amazing night for the Zierleins

We didn't make it Chicago this past Spring like we normally do because we did the Superbowl trip. Instead we waited a couple of months before traveling again. While Squirt was in Washington DC with his class, we went to Blue Ridge, Georgia. This was our second time to visit, and Lance and I love this place. You know how some people are beach people, others like lakes and boats? Those places are fine to us, but we absolutely love the mountains. We can't get enough of being in the mountains even though mountain driving sucks for anyone in the car with me. Thankfully, Blue Ridge, Ga mountains are pretty wimpy. We rented an awesome cabin except for the tiny fact that we didn't have Satellite, Internet or cell phone usage. Most people would think, "who can't deal without that for a few days". First, my husband can't deal with that. He wants to know what is going on even if he is on vacation. And second, and most important for this trip, the Rockets were in the playoffs. And he missed the games. He tried so hard to Macgyver a setup, but it just didn't work.

We fly into Atlanta for this trip so I was able to see my Goddaughter. That makes it twice in one year. I was there for her First Communion, which was amazing. Plus, she was able to meet Kobra. I have four Godchildren, and she was my first one, which makes her extra special to me.

I started Super Saints after reading a blog about a club similar to this. To illustrate how important I believe this is for my children is to explain one thing: I HATE other kids in my house. (Sometimes I'm not a fan of adults in the house either.) I'm not a huge fan of playgroups because you rotate houses and that means kids end up at my place at some point. It's not that my kids don't make a mess or break toys, it's just they are my kids. They know my rules and are very aware of the consequences of breaking them. They don't take food all over the house, including sippy cups. I've said before, I'm a neat freak and except for my best friend, I don't know many people like me. (Which doesn't mean they are slobs, just not me.) However, I knew that if this club was going to happen, I would have to learn some form of patience and tolerance. And I did, sort of. I mean, I never confronted the mother whose son broke Goose's favorite toy by banging it against the tree house outside. While she was watching!

I talked to several friends, and in June we started Super Saints. This club has been amazing for both the children and moms. While the kids are learning about the Saints so are the mothers. And it is incredible how even the two year olds pick something up about the Saints. We meet weekly and have had to cancel twice due to illness. Both times, the boys were so upset. They look forward to this each week. The kids are striving to become Saints, and so am I.

Before we took our Summer vacation, I decided I had to get another haircut. All it did was piss me off again. Since so much of my hair was still uneven, my hair was cut super short again. Not as much as before, but enough to make me call my former hairdresser's employer again in an attempt to get her fired. That is the perfect example of me, I hold a grudge. FOREVER.

June also marked our wedding anniversary. I can't say anything other than there is nobody I would rather be married to than Lance. He is IT for me. All the things I wanted everyone else to be, he is and more. I thank God every day for him and for his love and patience.

Paul and Brian came home for Christmas and requested seafood. Anything for our favorite people in the world. So off we went to Reef. Lance noticed someone in the kitchen wearing an old school Astros cap. A few Twitters and a couple of months later, he was meeting up with Reef's chef and owner, Bryan Caswell. These two hit it off, and now host a food show called Southbound Food. It's been awesome diving into the foodie world. Lance has met amazing chefs and gets to interview Top Chef rejects every week. The only problem now is deciding where I am going to throw LZ's birthday party. (It has to be perfect.)

We took our vacation to South Carolina this year. We met up with an old friend and her family. We were slightly nervous about vacationing with another couple. We like our privacy, and really, we just like to be able to yell at our kids without looking bad. Thankfully, our boys were mostly perfect. They got along with my friend's kids great. We celebrated three birthdays while there. My friend made the most incredible cake. It was better looking than a professional and tasted far superior to most of the desserts I've ever had. And I know my desserts. I have to say the highlight of this trip was Garmin. That thing rocks. I'm sure I complained when Lance purchased it "on sale". I take back everything I ever said about buying a useless gift. That things does everything except drive the car for you.

The Cake

Garmin, I love you!
We celebrated 1560's two year anniversary in August with a huge blowout. I'm so proud of this privately owned station. I love listening to my baby when I am taking the kids to school. Sometimes, it's very strange to me that I'm married to a man I used to listen to talk shit about my Longhorns. This same man who will be with me in Pasadena.

To talk about Goose's school is a hard topic. It's no secret that I wanted to homeschool Goose, and Lance decided that he should attend "real" school. I've had so many people wonder why Lance got the final say, and all I can say without going into more is that he is the head of this household. Someone had to make a decision that wasn't based on emotion, and he did it. And to some degree I am proud that he didn't cave in to me. Of course, I hate Goose being gone, but I never want Lance to second guess himself just because I am miserable and in turn making him miserable. I am sure there have been times that he wished he had made a different decision just so I wouldn't bitch so much, but he didn't. He might regret calling me a living nightmare, but who remembers that?

Goose's First Day of Kindergarten

Since Goose was born, I had wanted to homeschool him. I don't even know why. I knew I would never send him to preschool because time with him would be so short if he actually went to school, and I have never regretted that decision. Starting last January, I began spending two hours a day/four days a week schooling Goose. We did so much together and were successful, which is why I thought I could actually homeschool him for a few years. Goose's reading was really good, and he still loves it. We did science experiments, learned the globe, did math facts, writing, Spanish, and tons of reading. I picked my curriculum for this year and was set to go. But something told me to test him for a gifted program. At first, I figured he wouldn't get in and we wouldn't have a decision to make. All parents think their kids are smart, right? But he got in the program and we had to decide what to do. By the time school started I was in tears. Every night since April, I begged Lance to let me homeschool Goose. I kept thinking he might change his mind. He didn't.

For all of September, all I did was yell and fuss about how much I hated the school. They took too long to test him, his writing was going downhill, they weren't in reading groups yet and on and on...Now, I am satisfied with the school. Do I want him there? No. I want him home because I know I can teach him better than anyone. I can give him one on one attention, which he will only receive if he is in trouble. But he is doing well, and I really like his teacher. She challenges the kids and is amazed at how smart they are. These kids are practically diagramming sentences. I am trying hard to remain positive for my baby and my spouse. Sometimes it works, and then there are those times that I'm that living nightmare, depressed because her baby his gone.

Squirt started High School this year. He looked completely scared the first day of school and only broke a smile when I almost killed the kids driving to school. So far, he has done pretty well. By the time finals rolled around, I think he realized that this was much different than middle school and he has to really study hard. Most of all, I'm glad that he seems to really like his school. He loves JROTC. He is so proud to wear his uniform. It doesn't bother him if someone makes fun of the uniform either. This is a huge deal because he isn't the same when people make fun of his glasses.

This year our fall trip to Chicago was a bit different. We celebrated Paul's 40th! Despite being really sick, the trip was a blast. I love Paul more than anyone except maybe my husband and kids. He has been there through everything. When I got married, my dad told Lance to embrace this friendship and he has. I am so blessed that Lance considers Paul his good friend and talks to him as much as I do. I made Paul a photo book for his birthday and to look back at all we've shared was so special. I wish I could share it on this site. If I thought my hair was bad this year, all I needed to do was look at some of those old pictures.

Who doesn't watch Mad Men? We knew Baby Hulk was going to be Don Draper for months. And he was perfect. Someone made fun of me the other day for dressing my son as Don Draper, but I don't feel bad. There aren't many years that we can get away with this, and I'm doing it as long as possible. Thankfully, Kobra is up next. And who knows...there could be another baby on the way. We'll see if the Horns win. Okay, I'm kidding. Really. I think.

We went to Pittsburgh this year for Thanksgiving. We had the best time with Lance's mom and really enjoyed the city. (I just did a huge post about this trip and posted pics here, here and here, so I'm not going into it again.)

So here we are in December and getting ready for Christmas. And what happened? It snowed in Houston for the second year in a row! Goose is five. In his lifetime, he's seen snow three times. Isn't that incredible?

I love this time of year. Getting ready for Christmas and New Years, bowl games and food, thinking about the past year and making a list of goals for the new year. I have looked back over our family goals for the year and for the most part, we have accomplished what we set out to do. I am ready for 2010.

Funniest thing in 2009...Going to a wedding on the wrong date.

Looking back at the year, I can't say it's been as bad as I thought. Sure, I've been miserable and pretty depressed for a lot of it, but there is much happiness to be found. Despite disagreeing with my husband on something major, we have only grown closer. Time and again, he teaches me to forgive and look for the positive in things. I am eternally grateful to him and the family he has given me. My children are my life. The things they do are nothing short of amazing to me. They are smart kids, which sometimes worries me. I know the things I did, I can't imagine what they will do one day. I have some great friends, two of which have helped me more than they can imagine this past fall. I've been so hurt by several people for not being there for me, but my best friends have shown me time and again that they will do anything for me. So, really I am lucky. I would say blessed, but for some reason that always sounds so fake coming from me. (And I'm the churchy one, and it still sounds fake!)

One more thing...F--- You, Sandra. You effed up my hair for a year and in turn helped ruin most of it. I don't think I would have been this unhappy with cool hair.

Here's hoping for better hair, less desserts and a new sense of calm.


  1. Awesome blog Nicole!! I just happened upon your blog bc Lance posted a little tweet about it the other day....funny stuff, and it also shows how great you guys are--juggling life, four children, a marriage, spirituality, and good cake!!! Congrats on a successful year, and Cheers to another one in 2010!!!

  2. Nik, for crying out loud. I'm just shaking my head over your haircut woes. Although I have been married long enough and having 2 daughters I certainly know how a hair cut can effect the female psyche. Remember when you got your hair cut short in law school and I told you that you looked Korean!! I'm laughing my ass off thinking about it. Lance is correct though, the photo you posted above looks pretty good. rdc

  3. Glad you like the blog, Nils. I think I am finally opening up a bit...really, just letting everyone know how much I cuss. Happy New Year!

    Bob, so nice that you remember the bad haircut. I told Lance the story last night and his response, "is that the haircut I hated?" I don't know any guy that ever liked that haircut! nik

  4. I love your blog, and this year-end post was great! there anything that can make you feel worse than a bad haircut? Back in the day I ended up with hair above my ears in some rendition of a tomboy/page boy cut three weeks before I started college. The tears lasted a while!

  5. OK, this post was hysterical. BUT, I actually think the haircut looks cute. And how did I go so long without seeing you in person that I never saw it short?!?!?!