well here it is march and i haven’t posted in weeks and weeks, so i thought i would put up some sort of update. my life right now is awesome! i never thought that things would be so good at 44 years old. the last few years have been a re-birth for me…a chance to start again and build a great life for myself. i have had some very lucky breaks along the way, too. things have really come together for me since arriving in ohio.
work is way cool! (how many people are able to say that?!?!) i am part of the team that will be opening a new store on april 1. we have been at the new space for the last week, working around the construction crews. they are almost done and the city inspectors are supposed to come today and approve the space. then we can go ahead and get product into the store! we spent the week meeting, talking and building shelving. we discussed which of us will be taking on which responsibilities, as well as talking about each others’ strengths and weaknesses. i like every single member of the team and found it very easy to talk openly about what i think are my issues as a manager. we all pledged to help one another with the things we need to work on.
we also assembled shelving. at first, i thought it odd that this task was not assigned to the construction crew. but as we worked along, i realized that this is actually a team building exercise for all of us. we learn how to work together….and not just in some hokey classroom setting, but in a real-life situation with tangible results. plus, we have a part in building the physical structure of the store. each time we stock the shelves, we can know that we had a hand in putting them together.
we have been meeting our new crew-members, too. they have been stopping by the store for a tour and getting to know us a bit. i have confidence in my bosses’ intuition with the hiring process. so far they have hired about 45 people out of the 60 we will start with. more than 270 people applied to work at this store, so they have been able to pick and choose and get the cream of the crop. this also means that as the first few employees fall away through natural attrition, there will still be a hefty pool of applicants to choose from. there is a lot of training to be done in the next few weeks. we have an advantage over the original “pioneer” store, in that we can bring these people into that store for training. they will have some real, hands-on experience before opening day. this is a huge plus for us!
then there is the commitment ceremony. it’s hard to believe that it’s only 12 days away! we worked on our vows yesterday, as well as the program for the service. i am also working up a schedule of events for the day, so the folks who have volunteered to help us can all have some idea of how the event needs to flow. the minister sent a draft of the service itself that tony and i spent some time with, too. i think it’s going to be lovely and, hopefully, brief. i have no need to stand up there in front of everyone for hours and hours (or even 45 minutes!) droning away about some boring thing. it should just be a few quick words, our vows, the kiss and then on to cake!
as far as the reception, that seems to be coming together nicely, too. i am so relieved that such a wonderful crew of people from the church have volunteered to help with setting up the room and making coffee, etc. i know they will do much to alleviate my stress. the cake is mostly done. i have made the layers already, and they are resting in tony’s freezer. the white chocolate curls to cover the outside of it are also done, and sitting in repose in my freezer. all that remains is the cream cheese frosting, and i have all the pieces of that already in the house. it will just be a matter of whipping it up and then assembling and stacking the layers. i plan on doing this the night before the ceremony at my house, with all my out-of-town guests in attendance. we are going out to dinner in a group that evening, then coming back here to work on the cake, the flowers and some cocktails! it will be so nice to have all of them here to share this event with tony and me.
we had picked out the paper plates/forks/napkins that we wanted weeks ago. tony and his eagle eye found then proceeded to find them all on sale at marc’s
, so we saved a ton of money on that score. i have already laid in the supplies of champagne and sparkling lemonade for the toast, as well as the disposable cameras. i’ve pre-ordered the flowers (1000 stems of daffodils.) we have our clothes all picked out. we have reservations made for our mini-honeymoon: dinner at the baricelli inn
; overnight at the inter-continental suites hotel
; brunch at the ritz
. really all that’s left is for the event to happen. we are so excited! there will be pictures as soon as i get to it afterwards.
the hunt for a house has come to a halt, pretty much. our realtor decided to take off for vacation the last two weeks of february. this was a total surprise to us, as i had planned on using this period to plow through as many listings as possible before starting in at the new store. we had seen only one property we thought we might like, and that was in a not-so-great neighborhood. tonight we are scheduled to see a house being sold by a friend of tony’s. it’s in a good area and has the much-desired giant kitchen that has been on the top of my list of priorities from the git-go. more on that as it develops.