Posted in Our Story

Finding The Meaning

We lost the second buyer for our house. At the airport, waiting to fly back to Denver, our realtor called and told us there was a termination of contract on our house.

What??? The buyer had been at our house for the past 3 days! His offer included that he would do all the things required to secure his VA loan. This would mean finishing a few items we’d dropped the ball on. We had begun to cover the soffits over the summer but were distracted by Annabeth’s love for water! We chose to spend our days filling up her pool and throwing dinner on the smoker. The buyer had been there the previous weekend with his girlfriend to finish that project. We came home to find that he’d painted the trim around the garage doors and finished painting the window trim on the house. He even took the time to paint the two supports we’d made to hold the window a/c units. He painted a wall in our bedroom, the bathroom, and put up a couple pieces of trim. He also put some corrugated metal on our basement hatch to cover up some damaged plastic that we’d also never gotten around to replacing. That’s not entirely true. T.J. did completely rebuild half of it. That’s how quite a few things were left when Annabeth was born. Our house was frozen in time. Same reason why our bathroom had never been painted. We remodeled the bathroom when I was pregnant because I could no longer fit in the 32″ corner shower we had. Our bathroom was a tiny 5′ x 7′ and we decided to extend it into the bedroom closet for a whopping 7′ x 7′ luxury bathroom with a tub. This also meant we’d need to replace the closet for our bedroom, which still stands dressed in it’s bare drywall. Sounds lazy but we’ve renovated every inch of this house in 2014 and we didn’t have enough steam for round 2.

Why had he decided to terminate the contract? He was asking for $6,000 from us to replace our outdated electrical panel. It was functioning properly. You are purchasing our property for well under market value. There’s your first upgrade to the house. For a house built in 1914, seems pretty damn solid if the only issue is an outdated but perfectly functioning electrical panel. This was quite unexpected. It was so odd because we had denied the request the week prior to leaving for Raleigh. He knew that we were not going to pay for the panel. Why spend 3 days fixing up a house you’re not going to buy?

Not to mention that we’d lost our first buyer in a similarly abrupt fashion. They were married and expecting their first baby. They loved our property and we felt an immediate connection to them. I’d met them when they first saw the house because Annabeth was being a stink and refusing to get dressed. The husband teased her while I wrangled shoes onto her feet. He mentioned how much they loved the tire swing in the backyard and asked if she would like for them to live in her house. Within a few days of accepting their contract, their realtor called to say they had experienced a personal tragedy and were filled with tears. Our hearts were broken. More for them than the loss of the contract. We sent up prayers for them and their unborn child. Dear God, we beg you to keep that baby safe.

We fought infertility for 5 years before conceiving Annabeth. Being able to pass on the home that holds our most precious memories to a loving new family would mean the world to us. We closed on this house on Christmas Eve 2013. It was a HUD home and needed some tough love. Ferrets had chewed the baseboards and messed on the flooring. The kitchen featured a brick red sponge painted backsplash tile and two different styles of poorly handmade cabinets. In the bathroom was a 24″ x 24″ shower held up by hot pink duct tape. We took out 2 short, narrow doorways and transformed them into arched openings. We replaced flooring, baseboards, light fixtures, paint, remodeled kitchen and the bathroom (twice). We planted trees and hung lights for evenings under the stars.

People have been asking why things aren’t going smoothly for us. Some will even ask, “Don’t you think this is a sign that you should just stay in Colorado?” Our belief is that our timing is not lining up with His. Not to say that we are not meant to move but we do need to stay focused. We want to see things through His eyes and not our own. We are susceptible to fear and doubt. This is not the time to let it consume you. The buyer for our home and the job for T.J. are simply not ready yet. Should we give up and remain stagnant because all of the pieces aren’t neatly falling into place? You see, our goal was never to have a smooth transition. Our goal is to find happiness for our family. We are well aware that we will face challenges along the way. We do not want just anyone to buy our home. We are praying for a special family to make our house their own by keeping it alive with their most blessed memories. We are not just searching for a job. We want a work home that will fulfill T.J. in his career.

Consider that things may be coming easily to you because you are not aiming high enough.

I’m not going to share the details of our decision to leave Colorado. Most of them are personal and just none of your business. I will say that we are on a journey to find our joy. We have been letting outside influences determine our happiness. No more. We remain at peace with this move. Even amid all the chaos of selling our house and figuring out the right fit in a job. We’ve learned through all of the work we put into this house that the most difficult way to accomplish a project usually provides the best results. We are taking time to search within and be guided by our desire to better ourselves. Not a simple request. We are proud of that.

Posted in Our Story

Skip The Dryer

We must have needed another cycle. This time it was the rinse and spin.

Repeatedly.

We cloth diapered our daughter for 2 years. The washing machine ran more than a furnace in a blizzard, one where you don’t lose power. You run one load of diapers at least twice. In between cycles, you reach in and fluff to loosen each piece. There are so many little things you do to make certain that every square inch is stripped of all the gunk. You monitor the wash cycle to make sure they are not only being cleaned but also that the water itself does not leave behind mineral deposits.

You can look at it one of two ways; that it’s annoying as hell or you get satisfaction from accomplishing what you set out to do. No matter the challenges or repetition. I never consistently felt one way or the other and I even flipped sides during the same load of diapers!

We came home from Georgia filled with enthusiasm. The days passed and communication from the job became sparse. They claimed T.J. was their unicorn (that’s a quote) but their actions drew another picture. It was not an easy decision. T.J. turned down the job. He contacted a recruiter and began a new search.

Thus begun the rinse and spin cycles. His phone never stopped ringing. Interviews, emails, texts, assessments, and long conversations with the recruiter. Almost every interview led to a job offer. One weekend we were researching Tucson after accepting a verbal offer for an Assistant Manager position that would turn into Service Manager once he was trained. By Wednesday, we heard from the recruiter that they had offered the position to an internal candidate from New York. The recruiter was frustrated to say the least. We were disappointed too. That cycle came to an end. We didn’t even get the chance to take a turn in the dryer…

Next up, Raleigh. This opportunity actually presented itself back in November. The recruiter was trying hard to find a job for T.J. while we were pursuing the one in Atlanta (which was found on our own during the same time we found the recruiter). The offer had been made to fly all three of us out to shake hands and accept the position. Thankfully, the owner was still offering a position. Not the same one. This offer was for a lead technician. The previous offer was for a foreman. That’s why we politely declined it originally. The offer in Atlanta was for a production manager at the top Dodge Ram dealership in the southeast. We flew out to Raleigh-Durham at the beginning of January to finalize and accept the job. The owner was amazing. The company was a dream come true. We found a house that we knew would nourish our dreams. Then we got the call. The day after we got back to Denver, they did not feel T.J. was a good fit at this time. Please keep in touch, he told us. He’s sure our paths will cross again.

What a blow. We were beyond discouraged at this point. Fluff and repeat.

Annabeth modeling the reward of countless laundry cycles.

Posted in Our Story

And so it begins…

Hi.

Simple, right? Don’t get used to it because this is where the chaos begins.

Where to begin?

I was born in Colorado, raised in Texas and Louisiana. Nope.

I fell in love with my husband a few months after being disgusted by our first encounter. Not it either.

My name is Nikki Cox. I am married to a bearded man who is never without a smudge of grease. We have a 2 year old daughter.

Each and every moment presents a chance to begin something new.

Let’s start here, our current new beginning. Presently, my husband and I are in the cycles of moving from Colorado to the southeast. We were expecting a nice, clean process:

  • Get a job
    • With a promotion
    • Atlanta- the one location we picked
    • Moving expenses paid for
  • Sell House
    • Find a buyer that is married and pregnant or has a small child
    • Get an offer over our asking price
    • See sparks in their eyes as they fall in love with our home
  • Move to Atlanta
    • Spend the day exploring homes and feel an immediate warmth when we first lay our eyes on THE house
    • We spend our weekends living like tourists
    • T.J. comes home after work and doesn’t have to go to bed 2 hours later!

Needless to say, it’s turned into a cycle and not that rhythmic process we’d imagined. A cycle that reminds me of a washing machine. We spun in our first cycle with a job south of Atlanta. We visited Georgia in early November and things were falling into place. The greatest part of that was T.J.’s reaction to a whole load of first time experiences. I watched the wonder in his eyes and the tension melt away. That is not like him. At all. He’s a ball of stress and dreads anything new, new places and new people most of all. We had more fun during that trip than we’ve had in years. I caught him peeking through the curtains during our first night on Tybee Island to see the sun rise. I suggested he go down to the water and he spent an hour watching the ships come in. The ocean called Annabeth by name. T.J. enjoyed a leisurely detour on our way back to Atlanta. That sentence doesn’t even make sense. T.J. enjoyed a leisurely detour on our way back to Atlanta. He enjoyed something? He took a leisurely detour and enjoyed it? He is in Georgia?

That was our first cycle. We were thrown in and went through the heavy duty cycle.