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?


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!

2 thoughts on “53 Weeks and When Life Hands You Lemons, Grab a Staple Gun!

  1. Love for your family, tons of energy and creativity………… Cathryn Chandler, you are somethin’ else!! So, speaking as the mom of your best friend, I am grateful beyond words that you are there. You are there to do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done – and more! Always more. Why? Because it’s who you are, what you do – and because you love. I love you!

    • Love you too! It’s easy when I am surrounded by a cheerleading squad of supporters from different states, and even some from different countries. When I can’t hear the roar of the crowd, rooting me on, I’m encouraged by the still, small voice of The Lord. He’s really carried me.

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