Things are slowwwwwly starting to come together in my little universe. I think that acknowledging my feelings and mourning the end of my trip to Nicaragua has been a really important step for me, even if it has felt a little (a lot) whiny and overly dramatic at times, even to me. While I’ve mostly pushed ahead with normal life and continued to get my work done as usual, I had to give myself room to slide on a few things, like running and writing. I don’t think that slide is necessarily over just yet, but I can feel myself coming out of the funk just a little bit. It has happened in the most unexpected of ways.

But first, a quick Jamaica update! I spoke with Coach Parchment of Rhodes Hall High School in Hanover, Jamaica this week, and the team is back to practice! They are absolutely loving all of the shoes and clothes that were sent down there, and as you can see in the picture below – they’re using them! I’ve got another barrel that I’m sending down there in September, too. So I just wanted to say thank you to all of you who donated – it is making a huge difference!

Some of the guys in their new gear!

So anyway, last weekend while I was busy hosting my own pity party, there were lots of things I should have been doing. I should have been studying for the professional exam I have coming up, cleaned the house, gotten ahead on my freelance, or done any number of things. Instead? I did arts and crafts. I printed out pictures from this trip and some of the trips from this year and framed them. I made a shadow box from my trip to the Azores and Lisbon and bought supplies to make one for Nicaragua. I hung up some of the artwork the kids in Nicaragua made me. And I felt just a little bit better.

The very first piece of artwork I got

My long-brewing hatred for our 70’s stone fireplace for some reason also reared its ugly head last week, so I focused my sadness on that and found a solution: a reclaimed wood mantle that I bought off Craigslist and had installed. Then, I painted the walls around the fireplace, and shockingly, I actually really love how it looks now! Hideous 70s fireplace is looking a whole lot better these days.

The before…kind of sad and boring and brown. We can do better.
The after! Sorry you now know what my living room looks like. I hope that’s not weird for you.

We also finally finished installing our wooden stairs after ripping the awful beat-up carpet away. Seriously, we started this project in JANUARY and have just been too unmotivated to totally finish it until now. It’s harder than it looks but also just sort of tedious and time consuming, and generally, the last thing I want to do on a free weekend is install wooden stairs. That said, they are now finally complete and we LOVE them! I’d like to say it was time well spent, but honestly, these definitely should have been done like 7 months ago.

The before. Jesus, take the wheel! If you could see up close how beat up and dirty this carpet was, you too would be aghast.
The after! Hallelujah!

On the running front, I finally did run! I have been battling a really nasty cough and it makes it pretty tough to breathe, but my friend Bobbi came up to Greenville to run a 6-hour ultra and requested the honor of my presence there. It was hot, but running with her was great incentive to get me back out there. It was only 3 miles, but I felt better than I thought I would and had a lot of fun. I want to try and run a few more times this week for just some easy miles as long as I feel ok, but I’m definitely feeling more optimistic and more motivated.

Oh, and probably the biggest thing? I got a new tattoo. I haven’t gotten a new one in about 3 years, but something about this trip just felt like it merited one. As soon as I thought of the idea, I started feeling more at peace and almost immediately better. After talking to AJ (he’s not the biggest tattoo fan, but he is the most relentlessly supportive husband), I settled on a design and placement and went to go get it on Friday after work. To say I love it is an understatement.

I’m sure the tattoo guy thought this was very boring, but oh well.

Here is the actual conversation that took place between me and the tattoo artist.

Him: Have you been to Nicaragua?

Me: Yes, I just got back. This would be kinda weird if I hadn’t been there, right?

Him: …You’d be surprised.

Anyway, things are on the upswing here, however slight. Thank you for all your kind words and encouragement over the past few weeks – they mean more than I can ever properly express.

Have you ever undertaken a DIY project for which you were woefully unprepared?



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