Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Did you take time to focus on all of your blessings today? Did you find a moment in between all of your other tasks (preparing the feast, cleaning the kitchen, serving the turkey, cleaning the kitchen, organizing a family game, cleaning the kitchen) to focus on all you have to be thankful for? If not, do it now. Maybe this was a tough year for you. Maybe you don't feel very grateful. All the more reason to stop and count your blessings. Here are mine:

1. I am warm and dry. My house is not the largest (or cleanest) on the block, but it is home.
2. I am loved. I have friends and family who let me know that I matter.
3. Even better, I have people that I love. The older I get the more I realize that the capacity to love is an even greater gift than being loved.
4. I am a unique individual. There is no one else out there like me.
5. I have a career that I love. I can hardly wait to go to work everyday!
6. I have a few pounds I'd like to lose. There are people who don't have enough to eat. I obviously have more than I need; for that I am grateful.
7. My life provides plenty of opportunities for me to laugh. Sometimes I laugh with others as they laugh at me. It doesn't matter; laughter is a beautiful gift!
8. Today, I lived.
9. The mistakes I've made are behind me.
10. I have the hope of a bright tomorrow.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Have you been making plans for Thanksgiving? We have to be careful, or we start thinking about Christmas and forget all about it until it's right upon us. I love Thanksgiving...good food, good friends, and lots of family, without any of the stress of the Christmas holiday. We always spend our Thanksgiving holiday with my family. My parents live a couple of hours from me and I don't get to pop in as often as I'd like, so I always look forward to a nice visit. My mother always overdoes it. There's too much food, which she then practically begs us to take back home with us, and I'm happy to oblige. Something happened between my mom's generation and my own. Or perhaps it just happened to me and all the other 40-something mothers out there have it all together in the kitchen. I still kind of flounder around in there. For starters, I wouldn't think about cooking without a recipe. I have a really hard time replicating my childhood favorites unless my mom is standing beside me because she never uses a recipe for anything. If I call her and ask her how much garlic I need, she doesn't know. Just add it until it tastes right. How much flour? Until it looks right. How can I cook with directions like that? What will happen when my mom is no longer doing the turkey and dressing? I guess my sister will have to stop going to her in-laws for Thanksgiving and stay home to fix my dinner. Sounds reasonable to me!

Monday, November 3, 2008

We got into our new space just in time for Christmas shoppers. We have had lots of encouraging words from people who tried to navigate our old store with strollers and toddlers. They all say how much easier it is now. We have tried to keep the needs of all of our shoppers in mind when deciding where to place a new display. If you haven't shopped with us yet, come give us a try.

Some people hate the crowds of Christmas shopping, but actually, I kind of enjoy a good crowd. I know what you're thinking...of course, I love crowds. What merchant wouldn't??? But even as a shopper, I love the crowds. I'm a people watcher. I imagine the story behind each shopper. Standing in line behind someone for 15 minutes gives me time to analyze and dissect who I think that person really is. And don't we all have a story! Now maybe I'm totally wrong, but that's okay. It makes the time pass more quickly, and I often learn a thing or two about myself. For starters, be careful what I say and do because there's also someone standing behind me!

As you shop this Christmas season, be on your best behavior. It's not just Santa who's watching...

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Changes, Changes, and More Changes

Michelle and I seem to have this thing about downtime. We certainly haven't had any in awhile. Since we opened in June of 2007, it's definitely been a ride, not a roller coaster ride though. There haven't been any lows, just hairpin curves and amazing hills to climb. We already told you about our move. Before we could get a breath, we began work on our first television commercial, getting back on radio, and posting lots of online ads on some really cool sites. We're continually working to make sure that our website is the best out there, and we're going to be the featured toy vendor at a Holiday Gift Show in Atlanta next week. And all of this during 4th quarter, our already busiest time of year. Of course, there are always those little unplanned tasks that greet us on a regular basis, know what I mean. Things like quirks with the computer system or phones, speaking with toy companies about why a scheduled delivery never happened, and handling all of the family issues that require the attention of mom and only mom. But guess what...we've never been happier. We laugh everyday, all day! Come visit us anytime. If you can't make it to Madison, is the next best thing.