PART FOUR: 3.5 weeks at the in-laws' and a job offer

Updated: Nov 9

In April (month 2 of marital bliss) my mother-in-law had a pretty major health scare.


-Thankfully, she is now healthy and doing well. Praise the Lord!-


Thanks to her intuition, great doctors, and a whole lot of God looking out for everyone involved, what could have been a devastating situation was caught just in time.


When we got the call that she was in the hospital, we headed for Tennessee. Once again, Covid-19 proved to be a blessing for us. Had the world not been shutdown, I don't know if we would have been able to pick up and be there like we needed to be.

We drove 18 hours through the night, kept stops to a minimum and used lots of hand sanitizer on the way. I'm not going to lie, that drive was miserable. But, we made it safely and that's what counts.


My MIL was in the hospital for a week to a week-and-a-half if I remember correctly. Once she returned home she didn't need to be lifting or over exerting at all. Much like most mothers, we knew she probably wouldn't follow those guidelines, so we stuck around to make sure she got the rest she needed.


After several weeks of self-quarantine in a small house in town with a yard and a roommate, we were about to lose our minds at home. The chance to spend time out in the country where there's fence to fix, gardens to plant, cows to feed, and pastures to spray, was a welcomed escape.


But also, on a real note, spending the second month of marriage at my in-laws' was not necessarily my idea of a good time. Not because I don't love them. I do. They're great. I enjoy spending time at their house. I mean, I love my parents too. I enjoy spending time at their house, but I wouldn't choose to live with them for three and a half weeks either...especially on month two of being a married person. You just need some time to get used to living with your new spouse before you throw the parents in the mix. Kind of like the roommate deal, it's simply not an ideal situation. But, hey, this is real life and you just gotta roll with it...Which we did and it all worked out just fine. In fact, I'm 99% sure my in-laws still like me so I'm calling it a total victory.


Anyways, a lot can happen in 3.5 weeks...


I was asked to give a presentation on how I've grown my company and lessons learned along the way via Zoom to an AGCM class at Oklahoma State University (GO POKES!). What an honor and fun way to stay connected to my alma mater.


We filed our LLC and made the whole Extra Dimension Marketing gig that much more official. I'd just been waiting to file after my name changed so I didn't have to file all the paper work again. Making this happen made me feel so much more accomplished.


Oh and the Louisiana Cattlemen's Association called Dusty about an interview for the role of EVP. How EXCITING!?


He interviewed via Zoom while the parents and I visited on the porch. We weren't sure what to expect. Although we unanimously agreed he was the absolute best man for the job, we didn't know if they'd recognize that. He's young. He's never been in a role quite like EVP. And who knows what the competition looked like.


After his Zoom interview, Dusty really didn't know what to expect either. Apparently, he didn't feel like he'd aced the interview. Plus, while this deal looked like it could be an exciting opportunity, he had a pretty good gig going with BBU.


What we did know is that we'd need to do a lot of praying on it if he got a call back.


In addition to all the adulting things we did while in Tennessee, we also enjoyed playing with the dogs and the kiddos.


Being an aunt is So. Much. Fun.




Plus, the MIL and I took a little morning excursion to a strawberry farm. Yes, A STRAWBERRY FARM. I love strawberries. I love strawberry shortcake. (the food and the character) I felt like I was Strawberry Shortcake herself out there picking berries. It was a major highlight of my trip.



After 3.5 weeks of married life at the in-laws (#2020), it was time to head back to Texas to hang out with our roommate.


I'm starting to think, God was like, "Okay, these two are way too much alike, we're going to need to give them a little supervision before we turn them loose together."


And that's why we spent the first few months of marriage without a split-second of privacy. Let me tell you, it's a legitimate concern... We are quite the duo if I do say so myself.


Anyhoo, back to the story....


Part way into our ridiculously long drive, Dusty got a call from LCA asking if he could interview via Zoom for a second time.


When? In 30 minutes. We were in a packed truck at a roadside park. Dusty was wearing an old pearl snap and had spent the morning outside working. He felt unprepared, but I was honestly pretty pumped about this scenario.


Why? Because this would be HIM. This would be Dusty in his element. While he can be a sharp-dressed, well-spoken, professional in a coat and tie (and trust me, I love this side of him too)... In his daily life, he's a pearl-snap-shirt-wearing, intelligent, hard-working, driving-across-the-country-without-stopping, good-ol-boy, sorta guy (and I love this side most). I just knew this would be his best interview.


So with complete confidence in him, I hopped in the bed of the truck with my Bible and caught up on some reading while he rocked his second interview in the cab. (Also I sat in the back so I didn't accidentally join the conversation because we all know I have no control over what comes out of this mouth.)


About an hour later, he quite literally burst out of the truck with excitement. This time he felt like he was himself. This time he felt like he really connected with the board members. This time they got to see HIM.


Back on the road, we started visiting about the fact that this opportunity may be a real possibility and how we would make the big choices on the horizon.


Prayer. A whole bunch of prayer.


I started to say a little one asking for God's clear guidance throughout the coming weeks even if we weren't offered the job. And what do you know? Before I could whisper an "amen," the phone rang with the offer...


Needless to say, we suddenly had a lot to talk about and even more to pray about. That 18-hour-drive flew by and we were soon back home in Texas with a billion decisions to make.


Making a move to a new state and starting a new career was no small undertaking and we only had a matter of days to make the jump...

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Emily E. & Dustin J. Pendergrass

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