I think I know what keeps me from posting on my blog. The inability I have to post pictures. I got a few new devices, and I have yet to figure out how to get pics from my device to my blog. I must inquire with a few people to figure it out.
We opened our new store a week ago Wednesday, which was 4 days ago, so, officially 1 week and three days ago. It was much different than our first store opening, where we opened with staff that had been working for three days, most of them never having had their OWN Papa Murphy's pizza. They were confused, slow, and Peter was putting in hundreds of hours at the store when we would run out of dough like, every day. . .
Now, we have 1/2 a trained staff, and 1/2 new, and most of those people who are new have at least heard of us before! They move and learn more quickly because they have people around them who are moving and working quickly, so, they pick it up more quickly. Which is a huge blessing. The pull on the new side of town was intense. Lots of people, very excited people, who couldn't wait to have a store over there. Many would drive across town to get a pizza, and were ecstatic they no longer had to. We worked up to the very last minute to get the store open. As a matter of fact, when the inspector came, our make line wasn't even hooked up. Meaning, we didn't even know if it was going to work yet. But, he let us pass anyway, and I felt like shouting from the rooftops! So much goes into that moment. So much planning, working, ordering, I mean, I can't even describe it. It is so overwhelming that last push. But we did it. A few days later than we wanted to, but we opened the day our print ad dropped, and that was the REAL miracle. (I just realized that a lot of this means NOTHING to you, but when I read it back years from know, I will know exactly what it means, and what it meant, and I want to remember.. because sometimes it seems like we are moving mountains over here!)
My job, as always has been marketing, and getting the word out. I don't know how to go 1/2 way. As a matter of fact, Peter was hoping on giving away 400 pizzas on our second day of opening. (On our first day, we didn't open until 3 p.m. and did not have a lot of time to let people know we were open.) Papa Murphy's mailed out 2500 VIP passes, that would allow people to come and get a free pizza. They did not do this last time, and we had no idea exactly how we would be impacted by this. So, I just went about my job, getting the word out, E-mailing key contacts a VIP pass, and telling them to spread the word. Little did I know how viral it would go, 700 pizzas, and out of dough later. After I counted the mailed passes that were redeemed, it was a total of 57. So, the remaining 643 were given away strictly to the word of mouth I created. Not to mention how many people came, but left because the line was too long. I wish I knew THAT number! Someone was talking to me last night that they got an email about the grand opening and there were 200 people on the email. That was just one person, and I don't even know if it was someone that I sent the email to originally. Crazy. People were doing their job most certainly, getting the word out, and we are grateful.
My trailer has been in full swing as well. I feel like a carnie folk, traveling around with the Kettle Corn Guy (his name of course) and the Shaved Ice Guy, and the Hot Dog Guy. We all show up at events, say hi, give each other freebies. It's an interesting life. Most of it I have hired out, because when the stores open, Peter is at the store, and I need to get the kids to their stuff, and so, something has to give. But, I found someone who can do it, and I trust them to do a great job. So far, it's working, and again, I am grateful. Events are always at the same time that I have OTHER events with my kids, so, finding a balance is just about the most challenging thing of all time.
We are coming up to one of the two biggest days of the year. Halloween. What do you do, when you own a pizza store, and the biggest day of the year is Halloween? You work, and you have someone else take your kids trick or treating. Honestly, Halloween is one of my LEAST favorite holidays as a parent. I don't remember not enjoying it as a kid, teen or even young adult, but it didn't take long before I dreaded it as a parent. Thinking of costumes, making everyone happy, making/not making costumes, party after party after party where your kids come home wound up, out of control and on a sugar high that is through the roof. Yeah, I could do without it.
But this year (we missed it last year by three days) I'm working, probably until 7 (i hope the rush has died by then!). Luckily, I have the best 19 year old babysitter a person can have. She is ALWAYS available, and her mom drives her to my house, and picks her up most of the time. She loves my kids, and she agrees to babysit on days like HALLOWEEN. I'm blessed. For real. The only thing that could be better is if she could DRIVE. But alas, she doesn't have a drivers license and isn't planning on getting one. Drat. That is okay, it forces me to arrange my schedule so that I am at most of the kids events, even if it nearly kills me getting there. Oy.
I can't say I'm surprised at our new life. I knew it would be like this to some extent, but it is always different when you are actually going through it. I am just grateful that we are making it. Some of the tiredness, and run-down-ness is extreme. More extreme than I have ever experienced. However, our contractor, who was an LDS Bishop, recently released, asked me when I was leaving the store at 2 a.m. if doing this was a strain on our marriage. I laughed. Almost out loud. Peter and I had just worked from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. and he asked me if it was a strain on our marriage. I realized that it wasn't. I mean, don't get me wrong. There are times when we are both VERY strung out, and we may not react with the most pleasant of tones, or voices. However, we BOTH decided this and we are in it together. I thought back to just over a year ago, when I was leaving Arizona and praying that the most hellish time in my life was trailing behind me in my rear-view mirror. I couldn't drive fast enough. It wasn't Arizona per-se, but what happened to us while we were there. I was praying that it was coming to an end, and although we are STILL dealing with repercussions from that time, I realized that that time, may have actually been a test, a test to see if we could do this. We passed that test, and this... seems like a complete cake walk, in comparison and retrospect.
I know there's a plan. Sometimes it is so hard to see. But I am grateful for experiences that teach us, that we can endure hardship of any kind. It's been a ride. Quite a ride.