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This morning, a mom walks in with her toddler son. She is opening her own shop in the Pasadena area, browsing for display pieces and props all while chasing her little guy around the store and attempting to get him to stop touching things. The whole situation made me smile. It wasn’t so long ago, that was me. Trying to open a brick and mortar shop with not one, but two toddlers at me heels.

I told her, “I remember those days!”

It wasn’t uncommon to find one of my girls napping in the store during business hours-2012

I don’t know if I’ve ever shared the story of opening a store while trying to parent my miss Molly.

She was only a year old when we opened. And, anyone who knows Molly knows she is a handful. Not in a bad way…but in a bouncing-off-the-walls-I-have-so-much-to-say-and-can’t-shut-up sort of way. She’s always been a kid on the move and the lone extrovert in our small family of introverts. Really, she sucks the life from me, but boy does she make us laugh unlike any other.

Ragamuffin-2013

The week that we opened the shop we rented a big U-Haul to transport all of the furniture that was at home to take to the shop. It was complete with a ramp. It was the perfect little playground for a curious toddler…one that hadn’t been walking for long. Molly took a dive off the top of the truck ramp and landed on her head smack dab in the middle of the driveway. She seemed okay but then started throwing up at dinnertime. So, we packed her up and took her to the ER where she was all cleared of any major or lasting damage.

The next day, we unloaded the U-Haul at the shop and had furniture EVERYWHERE. Chairs were stacked. Boxes of vintage objects were piled around. And, of course both girls were there “helping.” The labyrinth of furniture and boxes made it a wonderland for two little toddlers. Molly, ever adventurous managed to climb up some chairs and took a nose dive straight on a silver platter with sharp edges. She split her lip, right down the center and blood was spewing everywhere. Here we go again. We loaded her up and took another drive to the ER where she had stitches and we had a nice little chat with a nurse who had to determine whether or not to file a report with Child Protective Services. I mean, two trips to the ER within 24 hours?

Papa trying to corral Molly while we set up for the Holiday Stroll-2013

Looking back on everything that we endured as a family to open this shop…if I had known what would’ve been involved and all the obstacles we had to overcome I don’t think I would’ve ever done it.

But, here we are. Over six years later. That season of beginnings and small children were so short compared to the big picture.

I see so many businesses…home-based, internet based or brick and mortar…give up because that don’t have the patience of foresight to see the possibilities. Or, maybe they see the possibilities but don’t have the simple work ethic to make it happen. Stumbling blocks become an excuse to give-up rather than the fuel to press ahead with determined purpose.

For every stumbling block I encountered in my adventure of opening a store, I was met with an abundance of blessings rooted in wonderful relationships!

So, PRESS ONWARD! Don’t let your misfortunes of today determine the course of your future! You never know when a visit to the Emergency Room might send you a sweet nurse who is a future customer!

Have I ever told you about how just six months after Molly’s back-to-back trip to the ER she was carted off in an ambulance to the hospital for an overnight stay? Really, it’s amazing I’ve been allowed to parent. Lord, help me!