This afternoon, Roger and I are headed to Denver for a much needed (and to toot our horn I'll say much deserved) few days away. His niece Cerissa is getting married on Thursday and we are very excited. I am sure it will be quite the celebration.
The move is completed. Romp n' Roll-Mechanicsville is OPEN for business and let's all exhale... There are still a few polishing touches to do but now the main thing is to just fill the place with kids. We have had overwhelming positive reactions from the Mechanicsville community as well as from our current customers so we are excited by that. Summer session starts in three weeks so tell all your friends and neighbors in Mechanicsville to hop on over and sign up for a class, camp, or birthday party. That's my shameless RNR plug of the week...
In CJSTUF news, our board met last week. While we don't have any major activities planned right now, there are some potentially large projects in the works for fall. Look for some CJSTUF merchandise to launch this summer (T-shirts, mugs, diaper pads...). Ok, maybe not diaper pads. These will be available on the website. In addition, Sarah Blankenship of Crystal Paintbrush is making some original jewelry designed exclusively for CJSTUF. It will feature lots of pink, purple, and butterflies! She is making a limited number of pieces and they will all be unique. We are hoping to launch this in September...just in time for the holiday shopping season. I saw a preview yesterday and was thrilled with the results!
In just a week we will launch our Home Based Biz of the Month. The business for June will be Tupperware! Dot Heffron and Jody Harmon will be the local reps handling this sale. I will post an update in the next week with all the details and we will update the website accordingly so stay tuned. This program is currently booked through August. July will feature Stella & Dot as well as design services by Reflections Interior Design. August will feature Mary Kay cosmetics. If you have any interest in any of these products, stay tuned for more information because a good portion of proceeds from the sale of these items will be donated to CJSTUF. We appreciate these entrepreneurs for their generosity.
If you have a Home-Based or Small Business and would like to be a featured fundraiser for CJSTUF, contact us and we will get you on the docket for the fall.
Once we return from Colorado, Roger will also be launching his official training schedule for his Double Marathon Madness this fall. He will run both the Chicago Marathon (in October) and the Richmond Marathon (in November). He has an ad hoc committee working with him on fundraising plans and events with a goal to raise $10,000.
Finally, soon after we return we will be distributing our first set of Financial Assistance Grants to 10 families served by MCV. I am excited that everyone that submitted an application qualified for funds, including two families that have two children (each) with a significant health need. We are very excited that we are able to do some GOOD WORK for the community this early in our development! The second set of applications are due October 1st so if you know anyone who would qualify, please encourage them to submit an application now.
On the personal front, I appreciate the many people who have inquired about our mental and physical health and well-being over the past few weeks. Roger and I continue to have our ups and downs on the emotional front. I was able to get away to NYC for a few days for Devon's graduation and that was a big help in the stress relief department. I'm really glad the opportunity presented itself. (Congrats, Devon!)
Preparing for this trip has been particularly emotional for me. Getting ready to fly on a plane just hearkens back all those memories of last year: commuting back and forth to Houston, the Disney trip, all of that travel with a very sick child. And now we fly alone. I don't need to tell anyone with kids that flying (or traveling) anywhere with a kid is an adventure in patience. Your packing style is different (why bother bringing a book to read? you won't need it!), there's so much more to think about. And getting on this plane without her is just another reminder that she is gone. Last year at this time, we were in Houston for the first time. We were meeting a new set of doctors, exploring options, wondering about the future.
Now here we are. This is our first truly "pleasure" trip in almost two years (I don't count the Make-A-Wish trip. As wonderful as that was, it was truly bittersweet and I'm not sure traveling with your terminally ill daughter qualifies as a vacation). We're traveling with one large suitcase for two people, a laptop, and a camera bag. Sometimes I think we're forgetting something. I hope that in these next few days we can just relax and recharge. I'm very happy that we can leave the store in such good hands. Our staff is amazing!
I'm sorry to leave you with sad news but we found out early this morning that Casey DeSombre passed away from Leukemia overnight. We never met Casey or his family but they were Caring Bridge folks who we have journeyed with for over a year. Casey was not quite three years old. Despite many innovative treatments and all the best care, he lost the battle. We pray for peace for his family at this difficult time. Cancer sucks. No other way to say it.