When it Rains it Pours....Good thing for Blue Skies & Sunshine

When I took a tremendous leap of faith, left a teaching career that encompassed over twenty years of teaching from a middle school ELA class, all the way down to Prekindergarten, and decided to open my own business, I expected to have to not only have to deal with a lot of personal questions to battle with in my brain, but I also had my share of many people that wanted to voice their thoughts and opinions. These conversations I heard from the people I love the most in the world, best of friends, mere acquaintances, and some of these folks I had never even met before they launched into their personal own personal opinion and expert advice. I knew I had a lot to learn, and I believe in listening and respecting others' opinions, even when I do not agree. I heard a lot of positive thoughts, comments, and wonderful suggestions. However, I also had my dose of a lot of negativity. Most commonly were these ideas paraphrased; "there were going to be MANY challenges, MANY learning experiences, way less freedom, I would become a slave to the business, this type of store would never make it in Downtown Camden," the list could go on and on. As I write this blog, I KNOW ALL these things CAN happen, some WILL happen, and there will be MUCH more to add to this list of challenges I will meet. The one thing that I do not question is that I am 100 PERCENT ready for this challenge, and I know this is the right venture for me to embark on at this point in my life....I've never been more certain about anything like this in my professional life!

Blue Skies & Sunshine had a soft opening this past Saturday, and I could not have ASKED for a more perfect event at the my home life was causing me major panic, but I DID feel great about the store. My team and I worked non-stop to get ready for the Camden Boo Fest and Chili Cook-Off, the perfect EVENT to have a soft-opening, just quiet not the right date. For those that don't know my family background, there is my husband Russell, my 18 year old son, Merritt, who is a senior at Hammond School, my 14 year old son Davis, a freshman at Hammond, and my 10 year old daughter Karsen, a fifth grader there as well. All three children participate in numerous sports and activities and last week my friends, was THE activity week of the school year thus far. On Wednesday, Karsen had the infamous "first middle school" event at school, The Monster Mash Bash. Thank you to my dear friends, Martha Rabon, Gracie Jordan, Meredith Cooke, and Russell and my son Merritt for making sure Karsen was well taken care of all last week because I was swamped. I did get to go to see her at the Monster Mash, thanks to my hard working team back at Blue Skies because the next day proved one of those "rainy days" in by Blue Skies frame of mind.

Thursday was a day FILLED with MUST COMPLETE check-lists . The day would already be cut short because Davis would be playing in his last JV game-Friday night lights next year!! We also had another wonderful surprise that Merritt was elected to the homecoming court (At Hammond, the school's tradition for HOCO is six senior boys and six senior girls are nominated for the court), so Friday would be shot as far as me working the store. I would be spending a good portion of the day at Hammond watching Merritt in the homecoming parade and game that night. Thursday was THE DAY to get it all done and what am I doing??? With both Karsen and myself SICK, we are now both at home unable for me to go into the store. HOW??? I was thinking to myself, would I ever be able to do this, when I am at home?

I should not have thought about it for a second! My team was at the store working as hard as ever and didn't miss a beat...from picking up candy, decorations, painting murals, stocking shelves, and figuring out inventory and pricing, this special group did an awesome job while I could not be there. They already understand that my family and their events come first...always have and always will, and boy what a relief to know you can count on things getting completed when you are gone!

Saturday dawned with my biggest challenge yet. As I said this was quite a week to pick for the soft opening; this was also the biggest AND most emotional one yet. The opening of our store coincided with the end of Merritt's seven year, XC career, with his last meet at the State SCISA meet. Just thinking back to that little sixth grader that we would search and search for to cross the finish line, to watching him crossing the line that last time as one of the captains, just remined me of how MUCH he has learned on this team led by Coach George Simpson. There have been hills and valleys (LITERALLY AND SYMBOLICALLY), wins and defeats, lessons learned and chances to help others. There have been times to give it your all, and times to just enjoy the run. That's a lot of the way Blue Skies & Sunshine I feel will be. I personally can't wait to soak in those rays of joys AND try and take the rain in stride and remember those rainbows that you see afterwards at just those right moments!!!

May all you skies be blue!!

Pura Vida and Love, Kayci

Blue Skies & Sunshine


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