Posted in Our Story

All Up In Our Business

On a more personal level, let’s talk about ourselves. Annabeth officially turned 3 on our 3rd day here. T.J. went in for his first day on Monday and took Tuesday off to celebrate. We wanted to go to Magnolia Plantation but the weather was drab and Annabeth had a cough. We went to the credit union to set up a bank account instead. We had breakfast at an adorable cafe. Annabeth got pancakes covered in rainbow sprinkles and didn’t take a single bite. We had dinner at Mellow Mushroom with a peanut butter cookie a la mode. She loved that and I think T.J. has a new favorite pizza restaurant. We were at an extended stay hotel for the first few days and it was in the neighboring lot. He still casually suggests Mellow Mushroom every chance he gets!

T.J. is a Service Estimator for a shop that formerly worked on select trucks and transmissions. They recently opened the doors as a full service shop and will be building a new facility soon. His previous position lumped the job of a foreman, service advisor, and service estimator into one. He was responsible for 19 technicians, roughly 50 regular accounts, plus countless walk-up customers for an operation that ran 24/7/365. His current shop is open Monday-Friday from 8am-5pm. There are 8 technicians and 3 people to take care of his previous responsibilities. They also have a dedicated Human Resources lady! He saw the H.R. representative, that they shared with the entire Rocky Mountain region, maybe once a year. He is stunned but welcomes the change of pace. We are temporarily renting a condo that is 2.5 miles from his office. He comes home for his hour-long lunch! He even got 2 weeks of vacation the very minute he started!

Annabeth thinks everyday is a beach day. She wakes up asking if the sun is out. She is nearly always ready to go. I say that but today is what we call, a sensitive day. We’re staying home to make masterpieces and cuddle. She has bursts of tears when the simplest thing upsets her. She slumps away but makes a u-turn to point at her lower lip poking out and says, “Look, this is my sad face. See it?” She resists my offer to give a hug but whines that she’s cold and asks to be bundled up next to me. I don’t mind. I’ve been taking everyone’s advice and savoring these moments.

As for me, I am in love. I was born in Colorado but I feel like I am really from Louisiana. I grew up there. It is the only place that I feel a strong connection to. I never caught the bug and fell in love with Colorado. I loved being near to my family and I did enjoy the mountains. I just never felt at home there, unless I was in my mother’s house. My soul is a converted Southerner. I catch myself lost in happy thoughts driving down the streets under a canopy of trees and lined with flowers, taking note of historical markers to research when I get home. That is, until Annabeth screams for a snack that I know I’ll later dig out of the car seat. I say a prayer in jest that Cooper sniffs it out before I do.

Culture is unlimited in every direction. The pace is relaxed and stress comes in the form of having too many choices of where to go next. The rain and humidity are revitalizing. I felt Colorado’s weather was harsh- dry, sunny, hot, and cold. I think the soul finds rest in a cloudy day. Colorado is more ideal for vacations than permanent living, in my opinion. Regardless, we are in the right place at the right time for our little family. You could almost feel the tension release from all of us in the first few days here. There are several more factors involved than location. T.J. has the mental capacity and time to participate in his personal life. Annabeth frolics as she walks. Frolic may be an embellished word but not if you could see her skip hop style. I am active and engaged at any given moment. I fall asleep decorating our new house and wake up taking notes from my dreams.

Not a single step to get here has come easily for us but this is the reward. We are at peace. Finally. I never want to paint the picture that this has been a fantasy but I guess it has been a Grimm Brothers style fairy tale. Now that’s embellishment.

Posted in Our Story

Drop the Expectations

Here I am browsing through sectional couches at 10pm after spending a weekend at furniture stores. How do people do this?! I feel like my head is spinning after walking through one store. Granted, Annabeth did have a little too much fun with the remote on one of the mattresses. Adjustable base with massage function in the hands of a toddler really does induce dizziness upon standing. Top it off with constant sitting and standing right back up… Maybe loading up on coffee wasn’t such a great idea.

We feel so blessed to be in this moment. We knew that we had a strong desire to leave Colorado. We honestly had no idea what we did want. How crazy is that? Charleston came up and it was a bit of a disappointment after our Raleigh-Durham letdown. Arriving in a whirlwind of chaos with the looming tickle that we may be making a gigantic mistake, we now wholeheartedly believe we have found home. Maybe for always. We never once considered a coastal area would be somewhere we’d fit in! MeeMaw Jackie is jabbing me in the side with this one. Ha. Take that, Mom. MeeMaw. I’m certain that Annabeth’s love for the sand and sea is a raindrop on her soul sent from her guardian angel.

We have been here for a month. T.J. started his new job on 2/18/2019. We arrived in town the day before. Things have moved so quickly! Now we are under contract on the home of our dreams. Seriously. It’s simply lovely but the path to it was just ugly. I feel like this journey has taken all of our comforts and thrown them out to sea. That house is perfect for you and timing is right to make a smooth transition? Nope. You would be comfortable in Raleigh at this amazing company with a wonderful owner? Not going to happen. Selling an adorable house in Colorado well below market value in a timely manner? That’s going to take 3 failed contracts and over 4 months! If you ever decide to take a risk, on anything really, our advice is to expect and prepare for devastation. Wrap it up with blind hope for unintentional joy and blessings. Sprinkle with faith and prayers for peace of mind.

This move has been so different from anything we’ve ever done. Backwards. We have always decided what we wanted, planned and researched, then it sought out. This time, we recognized our unhappiness and had almost no idea what we were searching for. Throwing expectation out the window is refreshing. Our dream was always to own a piece of property in Colorado with a couple kids (of the goat and human variety), a chicken coop, and a nice big garden. After much discussion and soul-searching, we were able to see that our dream made no sense for our current lives. We blame it on Annabeth. I think the heart of the realization is our new definition of family and fun. We enjoy exploring museums with her. Our new perfect day is throwing together a picnic lunch and seeking the coolest park we can find. We want to be busy with community events and entertain guests in our conveniently located home. Letting go of a dream is painful but creating a new one is magical.

Our house in Colorado will officially be sold on March 28th, pending no further issues. We are set to move into our house here in Summerville the weekend before my birthday. It is more than we would have ever been able to dream up. We are beyond excited. T.J. comes home for lunch every day. We walk around ponds, through flowering bushes, and under blossoming trees at our rental condo. Weekends bring so many options, we can hardly decide where to eat or which attraction we should explore.

Have dreams. But leave some room for those dreams to transform.


Posted in Our Story

We have arrived

We are here in Charleston! We actually haven’t truly been to Charleston yet. Ever. North Charleston and Summerville, but not technically Charleston. We were in Savannah last November and that’s the closest we have ever been to South Carolina until now.

What a wild ride it took to get us here! I wish I had written sooner but we honestly have been going nonstop since Annabeth’s birthday party (which she still talks about constantly). T.J. accepted the position on February 5th, while in Louisiana interviewing at two other separate jobs. We planned a birthday party, packed up the house, and reduced our belongings by at least half in 8 days. Movers arrived early on Valentine’s Day. We knew things had been going too smoothly for comfort… I found T.J. in the garage being told that the original quote was tripled. We went inside for a couple minutes because he was so upset that his fists were clenched. After a call to the guy who built the quote, we found out that they brokered out the move because their crew was stuck in the mountains. We decided to cancel the movers and reschedule with the original company after we arrived in South Carolina. I rushed to Home Depot for a few boxes and we reorganized everything! We went next door to eat dinner with the neighbors, who have become our dearest friends. Then, we hurried in the dark to shove our luggage into the car and head out. We shared a tear-filled goodbye with our friends while we waited for a load of laundry in the dryer. An hour later and it seemed just as damp as before, so we stuffed it in a duffel bag and left.

I didn’t know it was going to feel that way. Driving away from our home and life for the past 5 years was more than bittersweet, it was heart wrenching. T.J. was taking the truck he’d borrowed from his father back to their house while I stopped for gas. I grabbed some stuff out of the back and threw it in the trash. We decided to pack our Hyundai Tucson to the brim and I refuse to drive without a view through the back window, so it had to go. We had already given away so many things. I kid you not, we lined the curb with boxes and furniture for at least a week. We gave away everything we could even vaguely fathom replacing. Eliminating a few items from the car was natural at this point.

I met T.J. at his parent’s house and we all hugged. Annabeth was so excited to see Grandma and Pop Pop. That brought on the tears. I felt like my heart had been ripped out of my chest. I couldn’t breathe. That was the moment I wanted to drive back to our house and pretend none of this was happening.

The house we made into our first family home.

Next thing I knew, it was 10:20pm and we were on our way to Memphis. We made a stop in Wichita, KS at the best Cracker Barrel I’ve ever been to! I drove through a couple hours of freezing rain while T.J. slept. I needed a rest, so we stopped for gas and I gave T.J. tips on how to drive through freezing rain (not at all like snow, Colorado people!). We pulled out of the gas station and the sky opened up to sun! Seriously!?!

Freezing Rain! You don’t know until you’ve survived it.

One more stop in Sallisaw, OK at Braum’s Ice Cream and we were halfway to our final destination. We pulled into an old friend’s driveway just before dinner time. I haven’t seen her since 2002. We’ve communicated occasionally through Facebook and she shared a bunch about various places she’s lived when we announced we were looking to leave Colorado. That’s it. There I was with my husband and unruly toddler walking into her house! We ordered pizza on GrubHub and there we were chatting like we’ve been in each other’s lives this entire time. Now let’s talk about ordering food on an app, or even having food delivered to your house at all… It’s been one time in 8 years. We ordered Pudge Bros pizza once when we lived in Henderson and it took over 2 hours to arrive. My neighbor in Hudson just told me today that the grocery store finally delivers, which would be the very first food delivery option the town has ever seen!

Anyway, this was yet another piece of our journey that unexpectedly turned into something special. We often get asked how we could possibly make such a drastic change in our lives. These are the moments that have given us the peace and assurance to move forward. Through all of the fear and uncertainty, our faith has been nurtured by blessings that come when we least expect. A pit stop turned into a renewed friendship. Sunshine bursting through clouds of freezing rain. Uncovering ourselves, our joy and purpose with each step.

Never stop seeking. Do not get stagnant. REFUSE to be in a place that does not inspire your absolute greatest self. We were consumed with stress, debt, and obligation. Now, we are busy unveiling our future happiness. Whatever that may be. We won’t know until we find it!

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.

You might just like it…

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.

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.