the unknown dream

In October of 2009,Cortney got laid off from one of the only jobs he had ever had. At the time he had a three-month old baby and a wife who was falling apart mentally.

Those were some dark times for us.

The history of his job is long and complicated, and I’m not really going to go into all that here. But I will say that not having to go to that place anymore was a sort of relief for him emotionally.

Just prior to being laid off, Cortney went back to school for Network Administration (shout out to my computer nerd, yo!). When the lay off occurred we talked about it and decided that no matter what, he needed to stay in school. As it was, he didn’t have any sort of degree and he had to have one to find another job.

That was the start of eighteen long months of unemployment.

Being unemployed was both a blessing and an epic challenge for our family. Looking back, having Cortney home full-time with Eddie for the first year-and-a-half of Eddie’s life was awesome. Christmas break meant we were all home together. Summer vacation had all three of us home. We could take family walks at 10am on a Tuesday if we wanted. My mom took us to the zoo as a family. Even though things were tight, we were able to be together.

Of course, we constantly struggled with how to make ends meet on my pay and Cortney’s unemployment checks, and lived with some harsh judgement from some people who didn’t understand that any job was NOT in fact better than no job. Now that we had Eddie, if Cortney got a job, it would have to be able to pay for daycare and still pay out for it to be worth it to our family.

That is when he made looking for work and getting his degree his full-time job.

Every day when Eddie would nap Cort would hit the books and apply for more jobs.

A year and a half.

I’d like to say we stayed positive the entire time, but that would be a lie. There were many times he felt discouraged and frustrated. There were times when my anxiety hit an all time high. In fact, it was six months into the unemployment that I was diagnosed with postpartum depression and anxiety.

But we marched on together as a team of three.

By the grace of God, Cortney and I were never distressed at the same time. If he was down, I would carry him with words of encouragement. If my anxiety surfaced, Cort would remind me that things would work out; we just needed to have some faith.

And three months before Eddie’s second birthday, Cortney found a job. A job he knew. A job he loved.

For about the first year, he tip-toed around waiting for a non-existent “other shoe” to drop. He waited for this job to not be real. He waited…but it just stayed awesome.

No. That’s not true. After about a year working for them, Cort suggested a Craft Brew Lunch on Fridays to go along with the pizza the bosses bought and it became a hit.  So the job actually got AWESOMER.

Exactly a year after he was hired, Charlie joined the family.

This job has been incredibly understanding and flexible when kids get sick or we run into snags with childcare. Cort’s bosses became more than just the guys who called the shots, but guys who he enjoyed working for and with.

Another year went by and there started to be some talk. Talk of a new job. Talk of new opportunities.

"For I know the plans I have for you, declared the Lord..."

As of December, Cortney (and I, I suppose) became part-owner in start-up company with the guys who were his bosses for the past two and a half years.

The company he was working for did installs of trusses (those are the things that make the roof on a building…in case you didn’t know).  The company Cortney was laid off from four years ago built the trusses.  The company he and these three other guys are starting is another company that builds the trusses.

Have I confused you yet?

Cortney’s official position is Co-Owner and Vice President of Sales and Estimating for his new company.

I am so proud of him.  In the short month that they have been accepting bid requests they have been slammed. This is a good thing. Jobs are coming in to be bid which means there is a lot of interest. Again, yay!

In the almost ten+ years that Cort and I have been together, I have never seen him happier or more content in his job. He is enjoying what he is doing.

Better yet, it’s in his blood. Both of his grandfathers were small business owners, and so are many of his uncles. And so was his dad.

I know his grandpas and dad are slapping each other on the back in Heaven over Cortney’s bravery and accomplishments.

I’ve been asked if this is scary to me, and I can honestly say “no”.  I completely believe in this company, in Cortney’s partners, and mostly in Cortney.

We feel like our dreams might be coming true…in ways we could never imagine.

About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. I am SO happy for you both!
    This definitely sounds the right thing. SO HAPPY!!

  2. Congrats to you both! It is awesome how the two of you work so well together in every aspect of your life. I definitely mean it when I say your family is an inspiration to me for my own.

  3. Many congrats to Cortney! That is just awesome!

  4. TheNextMartha says

    Congrats! That is fantastic. What a great story that shows trust, courage, and faith.

  5. This is awesome. And similar stuff has been going on over in our neck of the woods, too. It’s so great when anyone (but especially hubbies) have a job they love and are excited about. It makes everything better. Blessings to your family! And YAY to God!

  6. Awesome! So good for you guys – I’m so happy for you.
    (Have I ever mentioned that I’m a total construction geek? I think trusses are exciting stuff! And now the trusses he sells will truly be a roof for the success of your family.) xoxox

  7. Somewhere I once heard if you do what you love you will never work another day in your life. Pastors tell us all the time God will make room for your dream to succeed in his time. Sounds like that time is now for ya’ll. Wishing you all so much success your cup overflows..

  8. What?!?! I’m so mad I’m not hearing about this in person!! (Mad but SO SO happy and proud!!) fantastic news Sluiters!!! Hip Hip Hooray for Cort!!!

  9. Congrats, Cortney! What an exciting time for him and your family. And I agree – in many cases, any job is NOT better than no job. I’ve even had conversations with my husband about how hard it would be for me to go back to my old pre-kids job, not because it would be work, but because it sucked the life out of me. Wishing Cort’s new venture all the best!

  10. SO SO SO happy for you, congratulations!!! 🙂 Wishing you all the best on the new adventure!

  11. This gave me chills – so happy for you and your family, and also for Cort specifically. Way to go – all the waiting and hard work paid off. You are truly a wonderful partner for cheering him through it.

  12. Yay for Sluiter Nation!

    I am so happy for you both, but truly my favorite part of this post is where you talk about how, by the grace of God, you were never both in despair at the same time and were able to work together to get through such a tough time. I feel like that about Ryan and I sometimes, and I know how it’s been a saving grace for us. (And now I love that you’re both over the moon happy about this at the same time!!)

  13. Kelsey Posma says

    Soooo happy excited and proud of and for you guys!!!!! God is so good! 🙂

  14. Sometimes our roads are twisted and hilly and difficult.
    Sometimes they run smoothly.

    Congratulations to you both for navigating each end of the spectrum with faith, hard work, hope.

    He deserves this. You deserve it.
    Your whole family does.

    So much love to everyone.

  15. Congratulations to you both! It takes a dedicated and driven person to work for themselves. My father-in-law owns two small businesses and I am in constant awe of all the hard work he puts into them both, juggling both so that he still has time for his family and friends. He receives so much satisfaction from these businesses though…I could not imagine him working for anyone other than himself. I hope you and Cort receive the same satisfaction.

  16. I am SO happy to read this! Hard work and dedication DOES pay off and Cortney is a prime example of that. And it’s always good to have a good woman who has your back too. 😉 Congratulations to you both! YAY!!!

  17. How wonderful! God’s timing is perfect — something that has been proven to me over and over.
    This year is supposed to be my return to work, and I get the same thing – just take any job. But I don’t want Any job – I want the right job. I don’t want to go back to something that made me miserable, and why should I? We have survived on one income for 8 years!! He also provides. 🙂