It is often said (and we agree!) that connection and relationships are what make life most meaningful. One of the many fun things about Redmond Life is that we have lots of family relationships scattered throughout our teams. This month we’d like to spotlight a husband-wife duo who’ve had an exciting journey here together—Adrienne and Tanner Whitworth.
Adrienne started with our Customer Experience Team and is now the social media manager on our Marketing Team; Tanner started as a supply chain analyst and is now strategic lead on the Inventory Team. The last 15 months of their unique journey (you can follow their journey on Instagram at @agerclark) has been packed with changes, lessons, new experiences, and growth as they found new jobs, rebuilt a home, and welcomed a new family member.
Once Upon a Time . . .
We’re not going to share the full story of how Tanner and Adrienne ended up together this time. But the short version is that Tanner had a girlfriend when they met as college freshmen in the fall of 2012. All their friends knew that he was meant for Adrienne. Tanner eventually figured it out, and they got married in November 2016.
Adrienne graduated in dance education and Tanner in supply chain management in 2019. In 2021 they were both working in their chosen fields, but feeling less than satisfied. A conversation with a friend who worked at Redmond Life inspired Adrienne to apply for and accept a job with Redmond Life’s customer experience team in November 2021. During her first day of work, she mentioned that Tanner was looking for a new job, which resulted in him applying for and accepting a job with Redmond Life only a few weeks later. On top of these changes, they also learned that Adrienne was pregnant and that they would be first-time parents in July.
New Jobs, New Home, New Baby
Adrienne didn’t love working in customer experience. She enjoyed her team, but needed a way to exercise her love for fun and creativity, so it wasn’t long before she moved to social media and marketing (a position she LOVES). Supply chain matters were a great fit for Tanner, and they both loved Redmond Life’s culture with its focus on growth and elevating the human experience.
Although they liked the company, the hour-long drive from their house to the office was not ideal, so they began looking for a home closer to work. In late 2021, the housing market was setting records that made it more difficult than ever for home buyers, but being young and adventurous (and having done some small projects in their townhome) they decided to buy a “fixer-upper” and do as much of the work themselves as they could.
They got a house in February 2022 and it needed A LOT of work. It probably wasn’t as bad as the house from The Money Pit, but two large dogs, combined with years of abuse and neglect, had not been kind to the place. There were a few areas where it appeared that someone started a project and gave up or decided to start a different project after removing some of the wall, floor, or tile.
The phrase “sometimes it has to get worse before it can get better” is an apt description of the situation at Adrienne and Tanner’s new house. Work began in March with a “demolition day” attended by siblings, parents, nieces, nephews, and friends who helped rip out floors, tear down some walls, fill in holes, and smooth other walls.
From March to late June, Tanner and Adrienne’s weekly schedule was something like this: wake up in the middle of chaos (they slept on a mattress on the floor after the first room was done), go to work at Redmond, come home, change clothes, work on the house (often until 10 pm), go to sleep, repeat. They spent their Saturdays working on the house, rested on Sunday, and started again Monday morning. All with Adrienne growing more pregnant with each passing day.
Their goal was to make the house livable before the baby came and have everything complete within a year. With a lot of hard work, they achieved the first goal and are on track to meet the second.
Building A Home And A Baby
Adrienne’s journey varied from Tanner’s because she was also pregnant for a good portion of it. Like many women, she felt sick much of the time during the first half of the pregnancy. Being sick day after day at the office and when working on the house was miserable. There’s no other way to describe it, and no adequate way of conveying it to someone who hasn’t been through the misery of daily nausea, exhaustion, and feeling of “blah” month after month.
Looking for the positive, Adrienne is grateful to have had tasks that helped keep her mind focused on something other than how sick she felt. “I was sick and couldn’t do much about it, so I figured I might as well be at work with people I enjoyed being around.” She’s also grateful that her customer experience and social media positions at Redmond were flexible enough to let her work from home on the really bad days.
Juggling a new baby and a job has been tricky, but she is able to work part time and alternate her schedule with Tanner so they each come to the office and stay home a few times a week. Adrienne loves being a new mom, and is also grateful for the chance to come to the office, be with other people, learn, exercise her creativity, and engage her mind on a different level.
Journeys Are Always Better When Shared
Tanner and Adrienne put in countless long hours, but they are quick to note that other people made their success possible. Family, friends, and YouTube contributors taught them how to build, install, texture, and do the different work that needed to be done. Family and friends donated time, loaned tools, and provided tips for using the tools. For particularly complex work, the couple hired the skills of an electrician or contractor.
Adrienne and Tanner also acknowledge that this section of their journey has not been entirely smooth. They loved the late-night conversations, working toward a common goal, seeing the projects come together, and learning a plethora of new skills. But it also involved chaos, stress, and managing the unexpected. As Adrienne points out, “Someone thinking about doing a major remodel needs to be okay with chaos, disorder, and things not always turning out as planned.”
In addition to unplanned hiccups, it wasn’t uncommon for them to have conflicting ideas and opinions about various aspects of the remodel, but mutual respect and kindness got them through the rough patches. They vowed to never yell or say hurtful things to each other and used the conflicts as opportunities to practice some of the skills and mindsets they were learning during Redmond culture discussions—stay open, realize the limits of your own perspective, and listen. They’ve become very good at communicating and feel that their relationship is stronger than ever.
An Exciting Road Ahead
The past 15 months have been an incredible journey for Adrienne and Tanner. They started new jobs, and Adrienne moved into a completely different field. They learned to work together, ask for help, accept help, rely on each other, and communicate better than ever. They learned a host of new skills—from hanging drywall and texturing walls to installing floors and replacing outlets. They transformed a tired, rundown house into a home for themselves and their baby girl. And they welcomed a perfect new life into this world to begin her journey.
That’s a lot to pack into 15 months. We’re inspired by their hard work and playful spirit of adventure, excited to see where life takes them, and grateful we get to share their journey (you can join them, too @agerclark).