Family First

Holidays, vacations, birthdays, celebrations. They have all come and gone since the last time I was here. My resolve to write more has failed miserably.
Here’s the update:
I’m still breastfeeding. I’m no longer a barista.
By Christmas I knew I couldn’t do it any longer. We decided March would be the end. We found out in October we were expecting baby number 3 and we knew we needed to decide what we would do. I couldn’t work, watch two kids and a newborn. I just couldn’t. And we couldn’t afford to pay full time employees at this time either. It was hard to decide to end something that we had worked so hard to do. But it was something we needed to do for our family. Our family will always come first for us and we kept true to that.
Plus I’d lost my passion. My passion for people. My passion for quality. I was so overwhelmed and sad I just didn’t care. And that’s no way to run a business, and I knew that. We were given this opportunity to open and now we were given the opportunity to close. Soon this will be just a memory of what we did, what we learned, how we became closer as a family because we know what’s truly important.
I’m so happy we did it. I’m so happy to be home again. To be a mommy to my girls. To get ready for this new little love that will be joining our family soon. To be the wife I want to be again.
A lot of people have asked what’s next for us.. Family. Always family.

Advertisements

It’s Been Too Long

It’s been too long since I’ve written. It’s been too long since I’ve had time to collect my thoughts. I’m not doing a great job of documenting this time in our life by blogging…. But we have been busy. Life has been moving at warp speed, and in any free moment I’m probably eating, sleeping or cleaning something. Right now though I have a sleeping Muffin and we are snowed in..

We’ve been open for 5 months now and have surpassed any expectations we had! We keep growing and doing better, and more people are finding us and supporting us! I just want to hug everyone who comes in to buy something, knowing they choose us over another coffee shop. We are perfecting our skills, and we have so many ideas that will help us expand and grow. Slow days like yesterday and today due to weather really hurt us when we have rent, invoices and utilities to pay, but I try to stay positive and know that it will be ok.

Christmas time was trying for us. December was very slow, and it seemed like bad things just kept happening to us. We moved two weeks before the holiday.. Downsized about 1000sqft. Three days after Christmas we had our car stolen causing us to have to close the shop for two days. Six days after that Lovey slammed the bathroom door on Muffins finger severely detaching the tip of it. The next day we got rear ended in our rental. A week later a stolen car was parked in our backyard. I could go into great detail about everything that has been piled on top of us, but I won’t. There were so many other small things that have happened because of those other things I just don’t have the energy to spend on it. And I feel like talking about it gives it power and life and I just want to see that part of our life die. I feel like we have really been tested. Tested to see how strong we are. How badly do we want this business. How much we trust in God. I can tell you sitting in the er listening to Muffin scream made me feel helpless. Lifeless. Done. Spent. I was ready to pack a bag and drive away. I knew though that’s not what we were suppose to do. I praised God in our trials and still do. I looked for the blessing in each and every thing that happened to us. Maybe that’s why those things happened..to show me the blessings in life. I felt like Job. I felt good knowing that my faith and relationship with God is strong and that I didn’t, “curse God and die”. It made me stronger. It made us stronger. The outpouring of love and support we received was overwhelming and I would just cry. I could still cry seeing that it’s all so fresh in my mind.

We are moving past the bad and entering the good. So much good. We will look back on this and maybe laugh.. Or cry.. Or praise God again. I’m resolving to blog more starting now. It’s good for my soul. It will be good to remember.

A Moment

I have a moment.

For a moment, uninterrupted.

Today is the first day in Muffin’s 10 1/2 months of life I’ve woken up without her. My heart is breaking, worried and part of me is enjoying this moment alone. My dear husband has been up everyday since we’ve opened, coming in to open the shop and he needed one day to sleep a little later. He told me last night he gets drained by the end of the week trying to be happy with people. I had to laugh at this because customer service may not be his strong suit. He enjoys intelligent conversation and well, we all know not everyone can hold up that standard.. I on the other hand can fake it till the cows come home. And honestly 99.9% of the time I’m not faking it! I truly enjoy customer service, I like serving/selling people a product that I know is great! So, I really don’t mind coming in by myself and enjoying a latte, writing a little, checking Facebook.. I should be doing a million other things like figuring out our quickbooks, writing out bills or placing orders for the next day…. But my moments alone are slim to none… And though I enjoy this time, my thoughts fall back too:

How is Muffin? Has she fallen off the bed? Has she cried and no one heard her? Does she want to nurse and is crying for me? Has Lovey rolled on top of her and she’s suffocated?

My only consolation is that they are probably awake by now, and I haven’t gotten a call, so all is well! But man I’ve never wanted to hear the phone ring just so I know everything is ok!! They are with daddy though… And they are ok… And my caramel spiced pumpkin latte is really good.

Two Weeks In

Wow! Where do I start? I apologize ahead of time for a longer then usual blog post, but there is so much to catch up on! First I haven’t had many spare seconds in my day at all! Since opening our doors two weeks ago we have been overwhelmed with support and business! We’ve definitely had some slow days, but this past week was amazingly steady! I’ve been keeping the shops Facebook page updated, and we’ve gained a lot of likes since we’ve been open. Lets see.. Maybe bullet points will be easier and shorter 😉

– Our opening day was super successful! We were slammed and it was wonderful all the people that came out to support us. We didn’t pee or eat all day till we got home haha

– Our first week was ok. The mornings were slow, and we started brainstorming ways to get people in. We’ve ordered a neon open sign, and we brought some pots of coffee to a local business for promotion.

– Our special coffee of the week went over really well, and people seem to really enjoy trying it. Our first week was a caramel white mocha, and this past week we offered a harvest nut latte- a latte with half a shot of hazelnut and Irish cream.. So yummy!

– Our second week was busier! We switched bakery’s and it was the right move. More people know about the bakery we’ve switched too, and hands down the food is better. They have cinnamon rolls that those alone are bringing people in! And we also can are carrying a ham and cheese croissant that goes great in the later afternoon for people who don’t want sweets. It was a great switch.

– We were featured on a local radio station for their local small business program! Muffin and I were interviewed about how we started and what the shop is all about. It was so exciting and nerve wracking! I can cross breastfeeding during a radio interview off my list though 😉

– We are trying to get our books, receipts, invoices in order. It’s quite the time sucker and we need to get on top of it ASAP! But it’s like everyday it’s time to clean up to close and we haven’t done any office things at all!

– My husband is quite the barista! He is fine tuning his skills and getting faster and better! I on the other hand am really good at making change. Ha.

– The girls are both adjusting well to the hours and shop, and I am getting more kid friendly things in there. We have a little corner set up with a table and chairs, and toys and books. I even found the coolest cedar playhouse for only $50! It looks so cute out by our deck, and I think it’s such a selling point to have kid friendly stuff at an establishment. I’m more likely to brings my kids somewhere where I know they can play, so in turn I hope parents feel comfortable bringing their kids.

In conclusion, my husband is happy. I’m happy. My girls are happy. I wake up excited (even though it’s extremely early morning). I look forward to our day together and I am loving what we are doing. I feel like we will be successful as long as we are happy with what we are doing. I love my family, I love this chapter in our life and I love coffee! It’s perfect!

Opening Day!

We are open! Mountain Grounds Coffee House opened its doors yesterday morning and sold some (hopefully) awesome drinks! Our pastries looked amazing and our muffins and scones sold out! My husband was mostly in charge of making all the drinks, while I took orders and got food to the people. We were slow right in the beginning, but around ten o’clock we were hustling! We ran out of caramel syrup and milk! Fantastic right?! The milk we had was suppose to last us till Wednesday! At one point my husband was behind like 6 drinks! We are still trying to figure out a good method to order taking and drink making. I need to remember how long I’ve waited at coffee places and it’s ok because it takes a bit to grind the beans, pull the shots and steam the milk. Our favorite coffee place (besides our own) has only one person working behind their counter. They take the order, make it and then cash out the customer. I have to get out of my head the faster the better because that’s not a good barista motto. I’m pretty sure everyone was happy, except the one lady who was mad we charge extra for half and half. Did you know half and half is as much, if not more then a gallon of milk?? Pricey! I worry sometimes about the prices, but we have to make some kind of money to live! We have bills, and a mortgage and babies.. Around three o’clock we were able to sit for a minute and have a drink and got something to eat and reflect. Reflect about how crazy busy we were and rejoice on such an awesome opening day! I know today wont be a clear reflection of how we will do everyday. We had a lot of friends come out and support us, and I know they will be back, but probably not all at once! I’m know somedays will be like that and others not.. My husband was thriving yesterday. He kept saying how exciting everything was and how happy he was to be doing this. That makes my heart so glad. Me on the other hand got all emotional when I rang out our first customer! Like I almost wanted to hug them to thank them for coming and giving us money haha! It’s been like a whirlwind journey. Everything happened so fast to us thinking about buying the shop, to signing papers, to redoing everything in there, training, and now here we are. We are open. Five years from now it will feel like yesterday I’m sure. This journey is amazing.

T’was the Night Before Opening

The eve before we turn the page in a brand new chapter in our lives. Apprehensive and excited are two of the many words that describe my emotions right now. I feel like my husband and I are at a point where we want to just start and open the doors and see how we do. I’m anxious to get those first exchange of goods for funds. We both want to see the rewards of all our hard work. It’s been a long time coming I feel. We’ve done two open houses, given away many free practice drinks, and spent a lot of time, energy and money. I’m not foolish to think that we still won’t be doing those things, but it’s like we really aren’t running a business till we are actually running it.

I think the most craziest thing is that I never in a million years thought this is where we would be when we first got married. I should’ve known though.. My husband had always been an entrepreneur and had so many aspirations. I’m happy to be on this ride with him and I know it will only make us stronger. I’m happy to show our girls what hard work is and that you can achieve your dreams.

I can almost feel the page turning and a new page appearing before me in this life. It’s happened before when I got saved, after I married my husband, after we had our girls, and now opening this business. Never in a million years would I have imagined my life like this and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. This life is precious and I’m doing everything I can to make it worth it.

Here we go!!!

A Little Bit of Everything

It’s Friday! Not that it really means much to me yet.. For the next two weeks I’m still technically a SAHM.. Lots of things are happening though and today I’m super excited!

Yesterday I was featured on an awesome blog, Valerie over at alantamomofthree posted my story about my tandem nursing adventures. It was great and it was nice to hear such awesome feedback! Here’s the link if you’d like to check it out!
http://atlantamomofthree.wordpress.com/2013/08/15/guest-post-real-tandem-nursing-with-the-breastfeeding-barista/

We decided to have an informal open house at the shop tomorrow. I’m really excited to be able to practice my shots and milk steaming. We made it an event on Facebook and hopefully we will get some people in to sample our goods! I’m also making a couple of syrups to test out too.. Vanilla, maybe pumpkin spice and a chocolate… Yum!

Right now it’s a nap time battle and I’m sure as one wakes up the other will fall asleep… Eh I can always shower tomorrow… Showering is for the weak!

Health Inspection

We passed! We passed! Another stressor bites the dust! The long lived dreaded health inspection that will make or break you and we passed! I honestly wasn’t too worried and figured we would pass, but being in an older building and not knowing exactly what would happen is fearful. This means we can officially open for business! Hooray!

We also interviewed a momma’s helper yesterday. This momma is real sweet with a little boy that is 4 days younger than Muffin. She would come and help with Muffin at the shop and when I needed to nurse Muffin she could help behind the counter. It will be an expense that we are willing to pay to have Muffin not have to go long without being with me. I’m sure pumping and bottle feeding would be way less expensive in the long run, but I still don’t know if I’m ok with that. I like having my girls close to me.. Selfish maybe, but they are only little once.

There are still many more things to do, but we getting it done!

I Loathe You PPD.

I don’t feel like writing this right now.

Postpartum depression reeled is ugly head 8 months postpartum with Lovey, and I’m not surprised its making a sweet comeback 9 months postpartum with Muffin. It may or may not been ppd. I’m super stressed, I’m exhausted, I’m just spent. I had a lot of depression during Muffin’s pregnancy and still I feel that has affected her little personality. That might be why I am just a little bit more sensitive to her, I don’t know. But back to ppd.. I know there are many factors that are contributing to my mood.. At least I can get out of bed this time. Last time it was an effort to just open my eyes, but when caring for a baby you do what you have to do. I’m just miserable lately and I can’t snap out of it. I keep staring at my remaining placenta pills and know they will help, but I can’t tell you why I don’t reach for them. (I’m pretty sure almost all of you- like all two of you- stopped and can’t get passed the “placenta pills” part… Yes, I had my midwife take my placenta, dehydrate it, add herbs, grind it up, and put it in capsules for me. I then consumed them. The benefits are amazing and I’ve done it twice now. I won’t go into it here, so just google it.. It’s amazing.) So, yeah, those pills are just sitting there in my fridge, shouting at me that they can help. My mood doesn’t help anyone. Especially my husband, or my children. I need to stop sitting here feeling sorry for myself and sulking and be better. No one wants a sulky, depressed barista. Or a sulky, depressed momma. Or a sulky, depressed wife. It’s not fair. It’s not fair to them, it’s not fair to me..

So much for not wanting to write about this.. I didn’t even know this is where this post was going. I was actually going to talk about church and how well I don’t fit in. I’m sure my mood is contributing to the not fitting in part though.

Postpartum depression.. Anyone else out there? Hello? Hello?

Latte Stress

It’s happening. I’m steaming soap and water to practice my foam. I’m grinding and tamping to make the perfect shot. I’m getting crazy from caffeine. I’m becoming a barista. And it’s not easy. Learning this new art is extremely difficult while tending to children. My Muffin who won’t let me out of her sight, and my Lovey who won’t stay in it makes for a stressful latte. I know I said I was stressed a week ago or so, but I think I’ve found a new level. I’m freaking out. Not just because I can’t get the grind setting right for the espresso beans, but because we have so much more to do buy. I’m almost thinking of putting a charity posting up on my Facebook, and in return I will name a coffee drink after any contributors! I’m so thankful to my in-laws who gave us money to cover our health inspection. There is just more and more each day and I need to just have faith. Breath. Pray. Breath. Relax. We have gotten this far, nothing can stop us now. Yes. We are doing this and I will stress no more! Tonight.