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56 Weeks and Body Art

Time is drawing nearer and nearer to R&R. I’m counting days, but trying to focus on making the days count more. One way that I really love to use my time wisely is by hanging out with my high school friends at Younglife. My husband and I became Younglife leaders shortly after moving here, and it very quickly became a huge part of our family. Every year, we take the high schoolers to weekend camp, and this weekend was my last time with this County. We will continue to be a part of Younglife wherever the Army takes us, but this Area will always be our first and the most special.

It’s an amazing thing to love on these teens, even when they go through their mood swings, and to be Jesus to them when they aren’t really sure who He is or what Christianity is all about. It can be so frustrating when they fight the perfect gift that God has to offer, but in teen ministry you have to tread lightly. It’s so easy to strike the wrong nerve and lose one of these kids completely by taking their lash outs personally. Most of the time, the struggles that teenagers face are internal. They usually aren’t necessarily caused by an outside force, but by the way they are learning to see the world. They’re in the process of discovering that they don’t have to see things as their parents do, and as Younglife leaders, we try to show them how to see the world through God’s eyes. It’s not easy, and it can be super uncomfortable, but then you have that one conversation, where the light bulb goes on, and you see it in their face. They get it, they want it, and it’s an awesome moment. Years of praying and crying for that one person become totally worth it.

This weekend was a prime example of what I’m always telling people to do when things get hard. That is to simply do something. Do something and do it all out! This deployment sucks, the lonely nights freaking suck, and not having my best friend here really freaking sucks, but my life is not on pause. I’m still useable by God, and I’d have to be an idiot to pass up the opportunity to be a part of His bigger picture for tears and lifetime movie network. Every once in a while chocolate cake and The Notebook are totally on my list, but it’s so much better to watch the love story pan out between Jesus and a high school girl, right before my eyes. I’ve always loved playing match maker!

Activity #56: Get Inked!

I’ve been thinking about my next tattoo for a few years now, and I finally decided that I was going to go ahead and do it. I met up with an artist who drew out a design for me, but then I ran into a slight difficulty. The tattoo I wanted was rather large, and would need 3 sessions, spread out over the course of 3-4 months. That timeline didn’t work out for me, so I negotiated that down to one 9-hour session. Feel free to call me Hardcore Cathi for the rest of my life, okay? Here it is! My newest art piece:

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I have to go force myself to pass it so I don’t give into the urge to scratch like mad! So, until next week, send your crazy to me since I’m going there anyway!

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54 Weeks and Lights, Camera, Laughter!

I remember sitting with my iPad on Monday night, chatting with my husband online about how R&R is so close yet so far. We are both so eager to see each other, and as the day inches near, we are getting more and more impatient. Then I realized how busy my week was about to get. This week was filled with milestones and goals that I remember thinking about a couple of months ago! I was up early every day and in bed late every night, but all of my goals were met, and Today was a wonderful Sabbath from all of the hard work!

Some people think that the toughest time in a deployment is in the beginning. While day 1 is really a sad day, it’s also the most motivational day. “Let’s do this!” “Let’s get this deployment started so it can end!” Then, there are the middle months. You get into a groove, and then BOOM! Holidays! Birthdays! Anniversaries! “Maybe those might be the hardest?” you ask. Nope. Those aren’t the hardest times either. Sure, they’re emotional from time-to-time, but they’re also so busy! Remember, busyness is the Military Wife’s best friend during a time of separation. So, holidays keep a woman plenty busy. These days, though…these days that are countable, these days that are found on the same page, these days that are spent making plans with our husbands in mind…these are the toughest days. This is when my patience grows thin. This is when I begin making grocery lists, and buying what’s on sale, because it’s “Dad’s favorite.” This is when I make babysitting plans for date night, pick out my outfit for when I pick him up at the airport, and decide to go ahead with the flu shot  -just in case- so that we don’t get sick while he’s home. This is when I hear the ticking of the clock. I never heard it, all of these months, until now. It ticks SO DANG LOUD! It echoes throughout the entire house, and taunts me as I walk up the stairs to go to bed! It’s that constant, second-by-second reminder that the time is slowly drawing closer, but it’s not here yet. That clock reminds me of the clock from Deployment Day, at the ceremony. The calendar used to be my enemy, and now it’s that stupid clock!

“SHUT UP, CLOCK!”

‘tick, tick, tick, tick–‘

“YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE THE RIGHT TIME!”

‘tick, tick, tick–‘

“HOW IS IT THAT YOU CAN MAKE NOISE, BUT NOT EVEN KEEP THE TIME?”

‘tick, tick—“

“WHAT? NO TOCK? YOU TICK BUT DON’T TOCK?”

‘no. I don’t tock. I don’t talk either. I’m just a clock. You’re the freak, Cathi.’

“Whooooa…I am a freak.”

 

Activity #54: Just a producer and crew…shooting some footage in my Kitchen, no biggie.

A couple of months ago, I started volunteering for an online Christian Military Wives Magazine. It’s been so much fun, and such a neat bonding experience with other military wives! Somehow, through that, I got hooked up with an opportunity to be on a certain show (not to be named just yet, because it may make it’s debut on here at a later date). Two other Military wives and I attended the open casting call and made it to the point of having a crew over to create an in-home casting video. If our group is selected, this video will be used when the show airs. I can never look at reality TV the same after this. My heart goes out to the camera person’s back and arms, and I am such a big fan of producers! What a job!

Anyway, I spent Thursday night cleaning like mad, and decided to steam mop my floors Friday morning, before the crew arrived. Just a word of advice: if you ever have a crew at your house like this, don’t steam mop your floors. Huge waste of time! Ron, the audio guy, hooked us up with mics. Alan, the camera guy, powdered our noses all pretty. Then, Kelly, the producer, got to working her magic! Mostly everything was shot in my kitchen, which is where I spend the majority of my time, so it felt so natural for me. I had the best baby sitter in the world, Lehren, to keep the kids AND the dog upstairs while the filming was going on. The boys got to be in a few shots, as well, and Idan was so excited to “get in the TV”.

I thought it knew it all with pressing the red button on my phone to record...
I thought it knew it all with pressing the red button on my phone to record…
I love having a kitchen full of hungry people!
Here’s the Scene! Right at the kitchen sink, where I do most of my chatting. 😉

I thought I would be nervous, but having some amazing girlfriends on either side made it feel like any regular day in my kitchen. This was such a unique experience, but the neatest part, for me, was sharing marriage advice and life stories with a woman from the other side of the country, in my own home. It’s so neat how God can bring people together to touch each other’s lives in such a special way. I hope you enjoy the vanilla, Kelly, and I hope to see you again someday! 🙂

Rachel, Me, Kelly, Linda
Rachel, Me, Kelly, Linda

 

Until next week, send your crazy to me, since I’m going there anyway!

 

 

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53 Weeks and When Life Hands You Lemons, Grab a Staple Gun!

I almost started blogging through Christmas break, and usually I feel like a completely open book, but there are some things that are just too personal to share. Most people that know me are probably laughing at that statement right now. I have no problem telling the world that I have one ovary, suffer from random hot flashes, and my last period was June 21, 2011. I’ll hike up my pant leg to show off how long it’s been since I last shaved my legs or share my secrets for fighting against gas when you are a garlic lover, like me. I share things so freely usually, but Christmas time…it was just too personal. It wasn’t just my story. It was my husband’s and my children’s. I didn’t have the right to share it, but I treasured the thoughts, feelings, and lessons learned, and I will think about them every Christmas for the rest of my life.

As for today, the 6th of January, it has officially been 1 year since the start of this journey of separation. This blog was my experiment to try and make 2012 a year of achievements, stepping out of my comfort zone, trying new things, and making good memories. It was my personal pact, with myself, to make lemons out of lemonade. I didn’t want 2012 to forever be the year of another deployment. I set out to make it the year that I ________. And I did it! I started a job and quit it, stalked a random stranger after leaving flowers on her car, ate from a jar of mayonnaise in a mall food court, went white water rafting, stood on the side of the road wearing an Afro, shot an AK-47, got my motorcycle license, competed in a mud run, tried all sorts of home remedies, and invited the world to experience the ride with me.

The ride isn’t over yet, but we’ve reached another milestone. Honestly, with all of the mini-goals coming and going, the year actually hasn’t been all that bad. I would’ve loved to have had my best friend here to taste my award-winning chili from week one. It would’ve been grand if he could have helped me out after my wisdom teeth were pulled during week five. He would’ve been an excellent addition to the Halloween prank around week forty-four, and I would’ve loved to have gone tubing with him down the river in the mountains during week number twenty-six. I wish my husband could’ve spent 2012 with me, but I would probably not have tried the cinnamon challenge if he was sitting in the other room, watching The Office. Chances are, I would have been snuggled up right by his side, laughing at Jim and Pam’s pranks instead of coming up with my own. Everything happens for a reason, and although I’m missing my husband right now, I’m okay with how 2012 went.

Chick Fil’a Lemonade Recipe:
1 1/2 c lemon juice (or 5 lemons from a juicer, 8-10 lemons hand-squeezed)
5 1/2 c water
1 cup sugar (or 1c stevia/splenda for the diet lemonade) You’re Welcome.

ACTIVITY #53: Reupholstering the kitchen chairs

When my husband and I decided to buy a high top table with bar stools while Cole was still in a high chair, we weren’t thinking about the future of our children. We weren’t thinking of applesauce, chocolate milk, and spaghetti spills. We also weren’t thinking of beige, suede upholstery as being a particularly bad idea at all. We just thought they looked really nice and matched our other furniture nicely. When the spills first began, I used to run for the spray ‘n wash and a rag. Then I’d just wait until night time, spray them before bed, and wipe them down in the morning. Over the past 4 years, I’ve basically said screw it. I refused to become a slave to the suede! I began by excusing the chairs, and then I decided I wasn’t going to be that kind of person. I embraced the stains, and my really good friends accepted the chairs just as they were. But even unburdened acceptance has its limits. My mother-in-law came to visit after Christmas, and when 2 creative minds and 4 willing hands get together, there’s no stopping it. We made an evening trip to Jo-Ann’s, and came back with a staple gun and some fabric. The chairs didn’t stand a chance against us.

Deanna measured the diameter of the seat.
Deanna measured the diameter of the seat.
I was very helpful in holding the fabric still....I was so needed.
I was very helpful in holding the fabric still….I was so needed.
Stapling the fabric to the back
Stapling the fabric to the back
Watch out, World, Cathi owns a staple gun!
Watch out, World, Cathi owns a staple gun!
Who needs a hammer when you have a wrench?
Who needs a hammer when you have a wrench?
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Voila! Don’t be judging the stains, okay? Don’t hate.
Be afraid.
Be afraid.

One year down, and a few more crazy shenanigans to go! Thanks for being on the ride with me, everyone! Until next week, send your crazy to me, since I’m going there anyway!