March
20

Words

This was handposted inBusiness Moments,Hand stamped personalized jewelry,personal journey,stories about our jewelry

 

chosen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love words.

Especially words with multiple meanings.

So when we started making this sweet horizontal bar necklace I wanted to make one with just the right word.

I spent some time thinking about a word that had dimension to it.  That meant something more than just the first meaning that comes to mind.

When it came to me I knew it was mine.

“Chosen”.

As an adopted child I was always told that I was chosen.  My parents chose me to be theirs.  And sometimes that was cool.  They did a good job of loving me unconditionally, and my mother and brother were both adopted too so I was in the right club.  That someone chose me, after all, was enough when I was little.  It took until 11 or 12 until I realized that being chosen meant that my biological parents chose me not.  Hmmm.

There were plenty of things during the ensuing years, teenage and beyond, that cemented the unchosen in me.  I unknowingly over time let being not chosen define me.  It was the squeakiest wheel  inside of me and I worked REALLY HARD to be the kind of person no one could possibly not choose. Perfectionism was the poison that drip. drip. dripped into my marriage, parenting and friendships.  Exhausted to be accepted, I organized date nights, playdates, meals for families that needed one, etc… All noble enough but never really done with any motivation other than gaining importance for myself at the heart of it.  Then it all began to unravel in big and small ways and the controlling compulsion that drove me broke down in a puddle of “I can’t do this anymore and why did no one play along with me”???

That’s when I was chosen again.  When I found out that God chooses us all.  He creates, loves and CHOOSES us to be a part of His amazing family.  This family full of all types of broken-but-loved-dearly people that ACCEPTED me most when I was just being me.  Silly me.  Lazy me.  Grumpy me. Tired me.  No make-up me.  Can’t control a single thing me.  And this family just took me in and had space for infinitely more tired souls. And there was more unconditional love than I could even take in.  No earning your way into this family though, you just fall into it, spent and ready for a new adventure just being you.

Chosen.  That’s my word.  I love what it means to me.  What it means for everyone.

There’s a song by Hawk Nelson called “Words”.  I love the lyrics, you can hear it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anVweXDcxhA

What’s your word?

 

—Sister Sledge

 

February
25

A Birthday Blessing

This was handposted inBusiness Moments,personal journey

little Lo

This sweet girl just turned 18.

 I honestly cannot account for the passing of that much time with her already.  Suddenly it felt like too much time had slipped away without being marked.  So, on a spontaneous get-away to the coast, the pieces of my family that could be present took turns walking along the shoreline  with this daughter of mine.  Her Sister, Aunt, Grandpa, Grandma, Dad and I. Each of us taking a space of sand with her… telling her what they loved about her, saw in her, dreamed for her– and then passing her off to the next waiting family member who would walk with her and do the same.

It wasn’t comfortable.  We all had to step into a vulnerable place where feelings reside and acknowledge that a change was occurring.  That the little girl had somehow grown up before our eyes and a new thing was about to begin.  But I am so very glad we did.  I can’t think about it, type it or talk about it without a lump clogging my throat and tears stinging my eyes, but I am grateful we took the time and the risk to speak into her life. Because I know there will come a day when something her Grandpa said to her will be the sure-thing she stands upon during a hard time.  Or that heart her sister drew in the sand that said “I love Lauren” will pop into her memory like a big hug from home.  Her Dad’s heartfelt words will make her smile.  Her Grandma’s encouragement will make her brave.  Each person’s love a sure stepping stone in her path just when she is looking for the way…

Graduation will be here much too soon.  Then summer will slip by and college will start.  And our family of 5 will be down to 3.  We’ve done this before with our son.  Things change and we adjust, and our children go and do what we’ve been training them to do all along– live independent lives– but not without regrets and sadness and wishing for bits of the past.  Things just won’t be the same again.  Sure we will have texts and visits and calls, and great family moments,  but we won’t have the endless days that go on forever when your kids are small.  We won’t have the family vacations that just happened because we all had the same schedule.  We will have to be intentional.  And we will appreciate each other a little more.

I have the tendency to look back and wish I had done things differently.  This special memory goes  in the column of things I could never regret.   We celebrated family, a precious girl and a bright future. We marked a moment that none of us will forget and started a tradition.  I hope I’ll be brave to do more of that.  I hope you are encouraged to be brave too!

brave locket

WISHfully yours,

Sistersledge

October
22

comfort food

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pudding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So there are days when all the things that need you seem to rebel against your every attempt to tame them.

You try to do it right and it just ends up sideways.

You forget every blasted password to every blasted place you should be able to be in order to accomplish anything.

You don’t link the pin on pinterest to the website page.  And you don’t do it again the next time.

Your business partner extends so much grace, you wish you didn’t need it all so badly.

The middle schooler needs editing help on a loooong story.

Yesterday’s attempt at laundry is still in the washer.  wet.

Your college student is off to Hawaii for five days for a friend’s wedding with just some change in his pocket and not much in the bank.

That super recipe you decide to try from whatever place you see it just isn’t super.

Every alive thing brings in half a tree worth of leaves on their shoes/paws every time they enter the house.

You haven’t finished your Bible study lesson and you are the leader.

Your husband decides to work on the budget.

the universe conspires against you and wins, yelling “sucker” over its shoulder at you as it dances out of sight

so you MAKE CHOCOLATE PUDDING and serve it piping HOT with a huge mound of WHIPPED CREAM.  and you are 8 and don’t have a care in the world again.  and tomorrow is a new day. and you know you can be brave.

brave

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sistersledge

March
21

the MAMAS who clean together…

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Our business was born during a day of housecleaning.

During a walk with our dogs, we had mourned the days when we had jobs that warranted hiring people to keep our homes tidy for us and how the feeling of “everything clean at once” was not happening now that we were stay at home moms.  Oh, everyone was fed and clothed and breathing, but our homes would get vacuumed and dusted or the kitchen was clean for 30 minutes, but never all at the same time. So we thought we’d try cleaning both of our homes TOGETHER at the same time in one 5 hour period of time.

And it worked!  I would vacuum and dust at her house while she cleaned the kitchen, bathrooms and floors and we would swap roles at my house, spending 2.5 hours on each home.  Of course the day before we would do laundry, change sheets, put away mounds of toys and shoes and junk and HAIR ACCESSORIES in preparation for our cleaning day.  The point is IT WORKED!  And we chatted while we worked and asked important questions and caught up on each other’s daily lives.

Here’s the thing… when your friend is vacuuming in the other room you CANNOT stop and chat with your mother on the phone for 45 minutes.  While she dusts you don’t get rabbit-trailed into another side project when you should be scrubbing the tub.  You use every loving minute of that 2.5 hours to stay completely focused so that when times up your house is totally clean!

Those were purposeful days.  And on one such day, during a hypothetical conversation about how we would spend all of our time when our youngest kids went to school full time in the fall, our business was born.  And now we don’t clean house together anymore, we just don’t really have that luxury of time.  But I miss those days spent serving my best friend and being served by her.  Rich times indeed!

March
11

be YOU tiful

This was handposted inBusiness Moments,Hand stamped personalized jewelry,personal journey,Products

So often we go through our days chasing down someone else’s life.  Trying to be like them.  To accomplish something they’ve already mastered.  It just hit me that while it is wonderful to stretch and grow and try new things, we shine brightest when we are fully engaged in the business of being ourselves.  So do YOU today… the best version of YOU that YOU can present to the world.  Authenticity is beautiful.  YOU are they only person qualified on this earth to be authentically and genuinely YOU.

Oscar Wilde said ” Be yourself, everyone else is taken”.

Go “be YOU tiful” today!

 

Click here to order!

July
16

Summer + Mint = Mojitos!

This was handposted inBusiness Moments,Hand stamped personalized jewelry,Parties,personal journey

 

In the Pacific Northwest we love our weather year ’round, but nothing beats our SUMMERS!  On one summer afternoon on Priest Lake with Hammergirl, we had a utopia moment at Cavanaughs… two tall, iced, glasses of huckleberry mojitos!  We toasted our day, our families and our blessings.  Mojitos have been the “it” summer drink for me since then.  I grow some mint, muddle it with lime and simple syrup and add some soda and rum (not required, just preferred).  Of course, it all must be served over ice.  This process can be labor intensive when having a crowd, so the other evening I made my simple syrup and infused a bunch of mint leaves in the boiling sugar-water for 5-10 minutes.  I juiced a bunch of limes and made a pitcher ahead of time.  It was delicious!   Just remember to add the soda (you can use sprite or 7 up) after all of the other ingredients so it doesn’t all fizz over when stirring :)  I don’t have a “recipe” but just mixed to taste, I don’t think you can mess these up!

Delicious!

Cheers!

Sistersledge (Kristin)

May
14

What I Wear

This was handposted inBusiness Moments,Hand stamped personalized jewelry,personal journey,Products,stories about our jewelry

Before we started this business 5 years ago I (Sister Sledge) NEVER wore necklaces.  Really.  Something about costume jewelry reminded of the plastic beaded necklaces I used to paw through in my mom’s jewelry drawer, and they never impressed me much (sorry mom).  My hubby gave me a pearl necklace on a nice gold chain one year because I thought I wanted it.  I’d put it on for a bit and feel fussy.   I mostly would wear my wedding rings, my family ring and a smile :).  However, when we stumbled upon this personal, classic style of jewelry I knew I needed to own it, wear it, love it.  So… in honor of still loving it after all these years I thought I share with you what I wear.  It won’t be earth shattering, you’ll wonder if I should have lots more pieces, and I’ll agree.  But much like the plumber with leaky faucets, I often forget to make my own something new while making things for others.  I really do fall in love with the new designs people ask for but more often than not you’ll find me wearing the same things. 

Love this one!  My kids on the 1″ sweet circle with the framed cross, our established date and the old couple’s ( Tony and I) initials.  I wear this in bits and pieces, too, depending on the day… just the kids, just the cross, just the initials, or all together in a happy jumble.

 

You know how parents say they don’t have a favorite kid?  Well, this is currently my favorite kid!  We just started carrying this awesome chunky chain and I reach for it most days lately.  We’ll have it on the website soon, for now you can get it by contacting us personally.  Photographing jewelry keeps me very humble and frustrated, but I think you can see our swirly heart charm, my hubby’s first initial, our last initial and my first initial on the circle pendant and our kids on the square pendant.  The pearl is the topping.  YUMMY!

This is my happy place.  We call this category of necklace “simply special” in our shop for good reason.  I love the special simplicity and reach for this on my I’m-wearing-sweats-cause-I’m-sure-if-I-do-I’ll-work-out-today days and dress up days alike.

I am curious sometimes what a shoe designer would be wearing on her feet  if I ran into her at Starbucks, and am disappointed when the salesperson at the GAP isn’t sporting something  currently sold off the rack at that very store so I can leave with the look.  If you’d like to take any of these necklace designs home with you, just click on the photo, it will take you right to the store!  So, if you are at all like me, I hope I satisfied a tiny question for you.  If you aren’t there is one thing I would like you to know… I don’t immediately look at your neckline when I see you at Fred Meyer wondering where your cute As You Wish Design necklace is, I am genuinely happy just to see you.

What’s the random picture of my family doing at the bottom of this blog?  Well….  they are WHY I wear what I wear.

– Sister Sledge (Kristin)

April
18

Love Wins

This was handposted inBusiness Moments,Hand stamped personalized jewelry,personal journey

I’m sitting here trying to wrap my brain around this blog post.  I wrote it on March 12, knowing it would be sitting in the queue when my turn came up to post it, which turned out to be yesterday, April 17.  The title is the original title.  Much of the body, save this paragraph, is original.  Our country just doesn’t feel the same as the  March 12 country I originally was blogging in.  Since then we witnessed an act of domestic terror, again.  The Boston Marathon bombing jilted everything that felt level and balanced into different focus.  A shift that feels significant, like we shouldn’t miss it or gloss over it or forget it.  However, I know from experience that after the horror of the dust and flame settles we will inevitably return to some version of normal.  Some of us sooner, much sooner, than others.  But in our post 9/11 world we recognize that for most of us, normal returns until the next jilt of disbelief shatters it.  Despite that, my thoughts I’d blogged in March still ring true to my heart.  Love wins.  All we had to do was view the horrible, repeating, difficult images in the news, and watch the courageous run TOWARD the plume of smoke to see that it is true.  Love shows up in the form of courageous acts done by everyday people. Fred Rogers, my voice of childhood wisdom and guidance until my teenage cousin told me he was nerdy, was right on with his mother’s perspective:

mister rogers helpers quote

My cousin was wrong about Mr. Rogers, he is STILL a rockstar to me!

So here is my original blog post, I think it matters now even more than it did when I wrote it.

There is an author whose blog we both follow.  Kendra told me I’d love it.  I do…. SO.VERY.MUCH.  Her blog is titled “Momastery“.  You won’t waste your time there.  Glennon, the author, does not waste our time.  She is honest, transparent (painfully), loving, fierce and my favorite person I’ve never met.  Besides the thousands of people that read her blog posts,drinking in each word  like their first morning cup of coffee, she is gaining big attention for her “Love Flash Mobs”.  These occur when someone’s story gets into her heart like a pebble in her shoe and she can’t ignore it for the brutiful (her word) pain it causes. She finds a way to love on that person in a real way and her followers (Monkees) take over.  During this “Love Flash Mob” the rules are simple.  You can contribute up to $25.00 per person. No more. Last week $85,000 dollars were raised in 6 hours to house and support a homeless teen and her new baby.  Her last flash mob sent a large family with a mom facing terminal cancer on their first ever vacation, complete with photographer to capture the memories. Wow!

The concept has been working my brain over since I read about it last week.  So much can be done, by many normal people, giving very little, in a small amount of time.   When we all work together with love as our motivator, lives can be changed.  It seems overwhelming when we try to make big change happen by ourselves.  Yet as a mob all working together, we can affect big change.

I think about the small things I can do.  Give $25.00.  Pick up a teen walking in the rain to his fast food job, my son’s friend years ago, and give him a ride while telling him I’m proud of the changes he wants to make in his life.  The kids you feed, spontaneously, on any given day.  The extra time you spend scratching your child’s back at bedtime.  Praying with, and for, your family. Extending grace to someone again, knowing you’ll need it too.  Taking coffee to a friend.  Making time for your husband.  Am I making big change?  It sure doesn’t feel like it, but I have to trust that thinking outside of myself makes big change in me.  It has to be the start of something better than the other option, self-centered living.  I have to intentionally work at, each day, SEEING  those opportunities that are all around me to love someone better.

I love Glennon’s definition of Momastery:

where we practice living bigger, bolder & truer on this earth. where we remember what we already know: we can do hard things, LOVE WINS,  and we belong to each other.

Hear that?  Love wins.

-Sister Sledge (Kristin)

We are donating $15.00 of each LOVE WINS heart pendant sold to the Boston Marathon Victim’s Fund.  Click the photo above if you’d like to purchase one.

June
24

Hatching

This was handposted inBusiness Moments,personal journey

There is a robin’s nest right outside our kitchen window.  I watched the mama bird build that nest twig after twig, straw after straw for weeks until she finally settled down last week and laid one perfect egg.  The color “Robin’s egg blue” can’t even begin to depict the beautiful hue of this egg.   Our robin sat on that egg for a few days until our nasty weather turned nice for a day.  That is when she realized the importance of location, location, location.  She had chosen a well-protected branch right by our back door, which  hadn’t been used that often in our unseasonably rotten weather, but was now a thoroughfare for our family’s comings and goings.  Between my eight-year-old daughter and her friends, my son the lawn-mower, the dog who loves to roll in the damp grass, and the cat who discovered the potted cat nip, this bird’s nest had no rest!  She flew away and hasn’t been seen since.  We have mourned the loss of that new baby bird.  We had front row seats to the action and were looking forward to “our” bird.  All that is left is a perfectly formed cup of dried twigs and straw and an egg that has lost it’s vibrant color.

This reminded me so much of the journey that our “As You Wish” business has taken us on.  Most especially on our road to developing a website that reflects who we are as a company and as the friendship that started it.  Stamping metal… we can do that!  Designing and coding and all the knowledge required to develop a website… we cannot!  So back a year or so ago we jumped out and started gathering the twigs and straw we needed to build our website.  Location, general contractor (website designer) and some long, hard hours later we found that we just weren’t going to be able to get our website and shop “hatched” the way we had envisioned we would.  We had to abandon the nest.  The hardest part has been revisiting the nest over and over just to see that the egg never really hatched.

We are starting over!  Just as spring comes again and the robins return to their nest-building, egg-laying optimism, WE are going to build a new nest!  It takes alot of nerve, hope and faith to start over on something you never quite accomplished the first time around, but when two friends work together nerve, hope and faith can be doubled!   We have a new resolve, and with someone we hope is the right general contractor, we are looking forward to building a “nest” that we can be proud to invite other’s to visit.

I hope our mama robin starts over again too!  I want her to know what it feels like to move on from the past, lessons learned, stronger and wiser for having learned those lessons, and how they serve to shape us, not define us.

April
20

Happy Birthday As You Wish Design!

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Happy Birthday to us!  As You Wish Design turns two today!  We officially applied for our very first business license two years ago today and have loved every minute we’ve spent pouring ourselves into this business.  To celebrate we’ve cooked up a little giveaway.  Here’s how it goes… go to our website at www.wishmamasdesign.com and click on the flickr button on the left hand side of our homepage.  When the flickr site appears click on the word “photostream” which will bring up all of our designs.  Find your favorite and make note of the name.  Post the name of your favorite design in the comment box at the end of this blog.  That will give you one entry!  If you are already a “friend” of our facebook page (As You Wish Design) then post that too, otherwise “friend” us and post that you have done so.  That will give you two entries!  Suggest us to your friends on facebook, and let us know that you did, and that will give you a third entry!  A winner will be drawn at the end of this month (April) and will receive a $50.00 gift certificate towards the personalized design of your choice, or a gift for someone you really like!  We are really excited to celebrate with you as we enter our third year stamping our wearable, personal art!  So what are you waiting for?…