Posted in Our Story

Speed Cycle

Decisions have been made and I’m sure you’ve been hanging onto the edge of your seat for days awaiting our announcement. I’ll just come out and say it:

Charleston, South Carolina will be our next adventure!

T.J. went to Shreveport and Monroe last Tuesday thru Thursday to visit with potential jobs. It felt like I was holding my breath every moment he was gone. I even went to bed at 9pm the first night he was away. Completely out of character for me. I look forward to my 9pm glass of wine like Annabeth anticipates a poop-in-the-potty treat. The final verdict: the companies/jobs and people were amazing but the locations were not what we are looking for. Throughout this process, we have shifted directions numerous times. Our priorities have shuffled with each turn, bringing new ones to light. That aspect alone has made this journey exhausting. At the same time, the chance to fine tune the vision for our future has been enlightening. It came down to quality of life taking first place.

T.J. came home Thursday at noon and by the time the sun went down, we were celebrating our plans to move to Charleston. We decided to really challenge ourselves and planned a birthday party for Annabeth in 3 days. Yes, we are insane. The little party was a success in our eyes. We came home and went through Annabeth’s haul (of gifts and memories made). All we could talk about was how grateful we are to have only the highest quality loved ones. The gifts she received reflected the careful thought put into each selection. If we have one regret, it is that we weren’t more inviting to those we love here in Colorado.

Valentine’s Day 2019 will double as moving day for us. The moving truck is scheduled to pick up our boxes in the morning. Boxes of the cardboard and tool variety. We have given away our furniture and every single item we’ve been needlessly holding onto. Some pieces were set on the curb and others distributed to our family and friends. We still have a few things to get rid of but the house is emptying quickly. I guess that happens a little more easily when your house is a cozy 794 square feet. I refuse to let go of my cast iron and Instant Pot. T.J. would sooner shave his beard than leave his tools behind. I’ve never once seen his face without hair. We’re trying to find balance between retaining our identities and ushering in a season of exploration.

We’re stuffing a few suitcases in my Hyundai Tucson with a dog, a toddler, and two insane adults. The first leg of our journey will be 16 hours to Memphis, departing at 8pm Thursday night. We’ll be storming into an old friend’s home, someone I haven’t seen in half my lifetime. Poor thing has no idea what she’s welcomed into her house… The remaining 10 hours will be split over Saturday and Sunday. We’ll arrive in Charleston two days before Annabeth’s third birthday.

This is the speed cycle. I pray we get a turn in the dryer once we’re settled in Charleston but it is not likely. I think I need to set my sights on the joy we are seeking. I’m getting the hint that cleansing is exactly what we’re asking for. Maybe the dryer is exactly where we’ve been the past few years. Bring on the detergent!

Blurry photo. We were busy making precious memories.

Posted in Our Story

Washer’s on the fritz

On Wednesday of last week, our options were Nashville and north Louisiana. Wednesday of the week before was when we were told that the opportunity in Raleigh did not feel T.J. was a good fit for them at this time. That was the day after we lost the second contract on our house. Closing for that contract was set for the 31st of January. What once broke our hearts now keeps us from being homeless. Remember, even if we don’t get to see the benefit that results from what we believe is a tragedy, there is another perspective. My mother encouraged us to trust our gut and if she was feeling uneasy about us going out, she’d ask us to stay home. I hated it growing up but I love the outlook she passed on to me. She would check to see if there had been a car accident along the way or a storm came through. She believed that her instincts were keeping us safe from unforeseen harm. I learned two important lessons from her: 1) Trust yourself and your unexplainable impulse to react one way or the other. 2) Let your imagination run wild with all of the possible positive outcomes of your unfortunate circumstance.

In one week, T.J. had 3 offers through a recruiter. Shreveport, Monroe, and Nashville. Both of us were not very excited about these locations. So Wednesday of last week, we went out on our own and applied to several dealerships in Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Within minutes of sending out his resume, people were calling him. He spent 6 hours on the phone answering questions. I was at home replying to emails from potential employers who’d seen his application and reached out immediately. This was not unusual. It seems to come in waves. Again with the washing machine cycles. Tons of interest, offers, pick one, falls through midway, and we’re spit back out for another go at it. Now, don’t forget, we’ve been at this for months. It was August of last year when a recruiter from a Kenworth dealership ran across T.J.’s resume and wanted to see if he would be interested in filling a need for Service Manager at their Cheyenne location. I can still hear his voice laughing it off, “I told him that I am not leaving Colorado.” Umm, WHY NOT?!?! That was the beginning…

We had a frank discussion about our lifestyle and future in Colorado. We came to the conclusion that a move out of state was in order. We pursued the offer in Cheyenne but an internal candidate from Iowa came forward unexpectedly. We moved on with the job search, slowly at first. By November, we were flying to Atlanta. Then we picked up pace.

Now here we are. One moment, prospective jobs are drying up and all interest in our house has ceased. But every second is a chance for the winds of change to blow in. At this moment, we have three offers on our house in the works and a solid job offer in Charleston moving on to the next phase of hiring with T.J. On Tuesday, he will fly to Shreveport via Dallas to formally be offered a position there. The company in Monroe appears to be extremely interested in T.J. and has requested he drive to them instead of fly back home then turn around and get back on a plane to Louisiana. We agree. Less time on a plane or in an airport is always a good thing. 2 hours in a car is better than several hours in a plane plus layovers. Then there’s Nashville, the most recent player in the game. T.J. took that interview on Thursday thinking it was for a foreman position. It was a shock to hear that they were interviewing him for a Service Manager role. They loved him but had three more applicants to interview. The interviewer asked how long he’s been searching for a job and T.J. responded, “Since the end of summer.”

“We hope your search ends here.”

History tells us that our journey does not end here. You may look at this chaos and wonder why we continue to subject ourselves to the ups and downs. The way we see it, these pieces are building our purpose and taking us one step further in self-discovery. Cheyenne opened our hearts and minds to change. Atlanta taught us to dial in on what we need from a location and position. Raleigh brought genuine heartbreak. Each and every single experience throughout this journey has illuminated our path, repaired a crack in the road, or uncovered a split or turn along the way. We are weary and hoping there’s a bench up ahead soon. Truth be told, our faith remains.

Open your heart and prepare your mind for the upcoming stretches. Apply for that promotion, give sushi a try, learn to golf, start classes to get certified as a foster home, or dig deep into your soul to uncover your next adventure. Hopefully, there will be no end in sight to the growth.

Never stop seeking the next step in your mission to enjoy all this life has to offer.

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Posted in Our Story

You will be missed

We abruptly lost our sweet dog, Chucho, Wednesday night. We are still processing the loss.

We stole him from some friends of ours on Labor Day weekend of 2017. He was scared of his own shadow when he first arrived at our house. It took him weeks to get comfortable walking through the kitchen to go outside. He was content to lie under the dining room table and watch Annabeth play. All. Day. Long. I swear he had the strongest bladder of any creature I have ever known. Annabeth loved Chucho from the first second she saw his massive amount of fur. At the moment, she thinks he’s visiting the doctor. We’re going to tell her that he’s gone to play with Addie but we’re just not prepared for that conversation yet.

Every single person who met Chucho fell in love with him. We even had a lady come look at our house and asked if he was included in the sale. Both of our neighbors offered to adopt Chucho when we move. Not sure if we would have disclosed his addiction to people food though. I once caught him pull a piece of cake off of the counter and gently set it down on the floor without so much as a jostle.

I’m sure there are those who want to slap us in the face and rub our noses in this tragedy. There are two ways to view our situation. ONE: See what’s right in front of your face and abort mission ‘Move Out Of Colorado.’ TWO: Chucho was showered in adoration for the last days of his life. We questioned his sustainability with a move across the United States and worried that he was not able to regain trust with a new family, yet again.

You will be missed, Chucho Dug. We love you. Your coming, going, and everything in between were made for our little family. Give Addie kisses from us.