Unfinished business

As I submerged my head into the water and let it cover my face, I closed my eyes tight and blew all the breath out of my lungs. Gently easing myself back out of that peaceful place, I took a breath and wiped my eyes…. Almost without missing a heartbeat, my mind was racing again;

There are so many things to accomplish.

As a sigh gently escapes, my heart hurts. Here I am again; how many tabs can my brain keep open without it finally crashing…. Searching for a focus point, all I can see is my unfinished bathroom.

So, funny story about my bathroom…. My wonderful father-in-law began the process of remodeling the bathroom when he first moved on with us. He removed the pink and rose trellised paper, only to find he had scored and removed ONLY the paper. This left scored, sand colored, construction paper-esq, sticky glue paper – as I so lovingly have called it. He ended up becoming very ill, and passing, before we could even think about finishing the project. Last year – approximately two years after the beginning of this “remodel” – I decided it was time to get rid of that nasty glue paper and get ready to paint!

I researched for weeks……

DIY wallpaper removal became my hunt on Pinterest. Then, I would research the methods on trusty Google. I finally decided on a process, picked a day (much to the dismay of my hubby), and began spraying and scraping. I will say the method was efficient. I was convinced, this was gonna be a cinch. Two hours into it and I was tired; I had fallen off of the counter holding a shelf, I was overwhelmed by vinegar fumes, and I began begging my two boys for help. Reluctantly, my 17 and 11 year olds came in and began to spray and scrape with me. Now, I’m not saying my bathroom is immense by any means, but it’s good sized…..and there was a TON of wallpaper. Eventually the three of us made amazing progress, and I let everyone rest. As I was taking that much needed break, I began to realize I had uncovered some pretty wretched looking dry wall.

There was putty, there were scrapes in the wall from where “someone” “accidentally” gashed the scraper into the dry wall, and there were seams. Lots of seams. Not to mention…..it was green.

I almost cried. . . Maybe I actually did.

This couldn’t be real. I sat defeated as my hubby walked in from work. He smiled and said “yeah, it looks….great. Looks like that solution worked well. How do you feel since you fell of the sink?”

I knew then that I was through for the day.

And that was it. It has been a year. There is still glue paper on the top part of one half of a wall. There is some above the shower as well. I look at it everyday and shake my head.

This day? It made me cry. So. Much. Unfinished. Business.

It’s just like my life. . .

Every time I think I have made progress on something, a new layer is peeled off and what is underneath is uglier that what I began with! I have stripped myself of many things as of late. The reason? I felt ugly in them. Someone or something had happened to make me feel ugly in them. So I stripped them out of my life. Only this time, there was no research. I just violently pushed them out of my life. There was no plan for what came next, there didn’t have to be. I just needed to get that ugly layer off and out…..

****Snap**** BACK TO REALITY****

Someone recently told me I need to “reinvent myself”.

I also need to finish taking some of this nasty glue paper down…..

Reinvent. My breathing has returned to normal, and there is calm for just a moment. I just need to take off what’s left of the nastiness, sand some rough spots, and get a fresh coat of paint…….

Will it be easy? Will I actually “be” a finished product?

Who knows. For now, I’m just an unfinished room……full of unfinished business…..


This morning I am taking just a little time for myself…..before the liveliness of life begins….

We are in the beginning stages of football season. This is the time when my family is engrossed in plays, strategies, and trying to find matching socks. (We don’t use socks in the summer, thank you very much!) Although we have had spring and summer work outs, camps, and many practices, it is now game time. The ante has been upped, and we are all in! We will have late night dinners from fast food restaurants, lunches where nothing but football is discussed, and we will eat breakfast in the car. Every analogy I use will be football related. My wardrobe is strictly red, black, and gray. I will dress in layers to accommodate the late summer/early fall weather. There will be at least two bags packed in my car at all times, with clothes, equipment, and just in case items…..

My house will not be decorated in fall florals. I will not be seen weeding my poor flower garden, or making a burn pile. As a matter of fact, my grass might get pretty darn high…

maybe I could use that as a decoration!

Oooohhhh! Scary abandoned house…..

In all seriousness, every bit of this is truth. The hubs and I work full time jobs. We are blessed that he has a schedule that allows him to get everyone to practice, and that my schedule allows me to get everyone to the games! We are busy…..we will forget to call you back, we will forget we have plans with you, and we will inundate your social media feeds with our kiddos.

As I relax and am writing this, I am laughing at myself. We are not alone. Many parents are in the boat with us! They understand the struggle, the mentality, and the joys that come with this marvelous season …..

Then there are those who don’t.

I have been asked, numerous times, why we do this. So here is the “Jenni, the extended version” answer:

When Zeb was sick with meningitis, we didn’t know if he’d ever play again. The joy that he has now, just by putting on that jersey, melts my heart. As he stands on the sidelines, or runs out for a play, he is being watched by tiny future football players….. They wave at him, give him thumbs ups, and ask for pictures with him at the end of the game. He doesn’t give up. When we spoke about it last night he said “If I give up, what am I teaching the boys?” At 17, he has wisdom some men can’t comprehend. I’m not saying football, alone, is what taught him that. However, growing up playing every year, facing challenges, over coming obstacles, and being part of a brotherhood, has taught him to know he is more than the stats on a piece of paper. . .

Judah? At the age of 5 his helmet was bigger than he was. He was full of tenacity, and longed to be like his big brother. Now? At the age of 11, he is taller than me and is still full of that same tenacity. He gains wisdom from his brother, who tells him on a daily basis “I want you to be better than me.” The bonding between brothers brings me to tears, and as Zeb helps coach Judah’s team, they become a force to be reckoned with. Conversations regarding attitude, gratitude, and diligence fill our home. They are brothers, they are friends, they are a team. . .

So, I – we – do this for the moments. The moments of anger and tears where we – as parents – teach our boys how to process what they feel. The moments of joy and celebration where we savor every smile, every hug, every congratulatory word. Moments that are here and gone, just like our breath.

Judge me if you’d like…..frown when I show up late or seem a little frazzled…..roll your eyes as I, once again, show you highlights of my weekend….

I don’t care. . .

Because, you see, this mommas heart walks out onto the field every Friday and Saturday night. I’m a football mom, loud and proud! This season will be over just as quickly as it started, and I’ll never get back those moments. As my senior takes the field every Friday night, I will breathe in the air, listen to the crowd, and yell until my voice goes out. Then, I’ll wake up on Saturday, and as my baby takes the field…..I’ll do it again…….