Love Wins

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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.


Sometimes it’s OK to be THAT Mom

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I’m not really a big baker, but yesterday morning I was overcome by the desire to make cupcakes for my daughter’s fourth grade classroom.  You see, I am the art docent for the year and the project for the day was to make a cupcake out of cardboard, teaching a lesson on texture.   Here they are (cute, don’tchathink?)…

I thought to myself…how fun would it be to bring in actual cupcakes for them to see and eat while I am doing the lesson?  Then, I thought:  Wait, Im not THAT mom.   We all know that mom…the overachiever, the one who the other moms roll their eyes at and wonder how many cups of coffee they must have a day to do all that they do.

But, I realized I wasn’t doing it for any kind of compliments, kudos or points from the teacher.  Being THAT mom for the right reasons can be OK.  I purely wanted to bring the cupcakes because I know how fleeting this time is with my 10-year-old daughter.   How many more times would I get to do this?

Yes, let’s bring the cupcakes!  Now, I don’t have a cupcake stand and the sprinkles and gummy lifesavers aren’t quite Martha Stewart, but cupcakes were coming for the art lesson.

As I mixed the batter, while my daughter with her swinging ponytail cracked the eggs, I tried to etch this special time into my memory and be in the moment.  I love the quote from Annie Dillard that says, “How we spend our days, is of course, how we spend our lives.”  When we step back from the busyness of life, the to-do lists and the time we often spend on things that in the end don’t matter, we find that the little things with those we love the most are what bring the most joy.

And at that moment, I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my day.

Love, Hammergirl (Kendra)



She SHOOTS like a GIRL

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My sister-in-law, Stephanie, just began a new business.  Yes, she did…in her forties.  I love that because I truly believe we are never done inventing ourselves.  She is an AMAZING photographer and this year she really went ALL IN with it.  The pictures she has taken this year have left me so inspired.  She went on a mission trip to Uganda this past summer and her photos capture the people there so beautifully.  She has pictures of barns, stunning seniors, flower fields, families, best friends, and even some great shots of my son playing soccer.  She realized that she has been given a true talent and it was time to share it with the world.  This can be scary for all of us and I am so proud of her that she decided to step out and bless us with her gift.  As I have watched Stephanie take hold of her passion, I have seen her transformed in the process.  She is focused.  She is exuding confidence.  She is happy.


What are you excited about?  How are you taking your talents and gifts and sharing them?  You will be blessed in the journey and so will others.

So, Steph…the wish mamas hope all your wishes come true with your business!  It is so cool for us to see other women starting businesses and believing in themselves. We love you and we love that you SHOOT LIKE A GIRL!

**Check Steph out on Facebook…http://www.facebook.com/#!/stephaniesharpephotography?fref=ts.

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This was handposted inpersonal journey

Our lives are often marked in our mind by moments.  We all have them…  holding your baby in your arms for the first time, walking across the stage to receive your diploma, finding out you have
cancer, buying your first home, you fill in the blank.  Sometimes these moments are planned and other times we wake up in the morning not knowing that a defining moment is going to
happen to us that day.  When we look back, these moments weave the stories that make up our lives, and ultimately, who we are.

My Dad had a heart attack this past weekend.  It was a call that you never want to receive no matter how old you get.  This is my Dad, affectionately known as the Rock to those nearest to him.  Things like that just shouldn’t happen to him.  He loves to take care of his kids (even though all of us are married now!) and it is hard to see him in a vulnerable state.  To make a hard situation even more difficult, he and my mom were visiting friends in California and weren’t home where we could be taking care of them. I hate that feeling of helplessness–I think it’s a first born thing.   I told my sister to bring her family over for
dinner just so I could be busy doing something. Things are looking good for my Dad and he should be released soon from the hospital.  They will slowly make the drive back to the Northwest where they have called home for the past 65-plus years.  They will collect their mail, I will go volunteer in my daughter’s classroom, life will return to “normal”.   There is obviously some comfort in returning to our schedules and knowing what to expect from our days after our lives have been rocked, but should these moments cause us to change our course?

I believe God uses these moments in our lives in the hope that we will reflect, change our mindset, be moved and have the courage to delve forward into new territory.  Somehow, giving my Dad the biggest hug ever  seems like the most pressing thing on my calendar.  We can spend so much of our lives on things that in the end will not matter.  Let us not forget!  Our hearts can so quickly move on from these moments that leave us raw and open to new possibilities.  We too quickly will go back to “normal” and not take the opportunity to be different.

As you consider your own defining moments, here are some questions to wrestle with in your own life.   List the 5 most important people in your life, and make them a priority in your schedule.  Take steps to let go of grudges.  List three things you want to be known for(how are you moving toward this?).  Evaluate how you are giving back to others.  Focus and work on your goals.  Write down two dreams you have and take actions to make them happen!

Each day is given to us as a precious gift…what are you doing with yours today?



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.

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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?…



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

The Wish Mamas are now appearing on someone else’s blog!  We were recently contacted by Anna Moseley of the blog “Ask Anna….simple and inexpensive tips for organizing, cleaning and decorating your home.”   Anna  is a close friend of my sister, Juliette, from my hometown, Redding, CA.  Anna was wanting to have a “spring fling” contest as a finish to her spring cleaning feature and thought of us for both a feature and a giveaway!  We were thrilled as we had been brainstorming ways to broaden our business beyond Spokane and Coeur d’Alene.  We love moments that cause us to stretch and grow so we contacted our favorite graphic-designer and fellow stay-at-home-mom Kim Smith of Danilla Bean Graphic Design and had a “button” designed that Anna could display on her website. (See below- we love it!)  I also spent a fair amount of time browsing “Ask Anna” and found it has a wealth of information about all things home.  Great tips, ambitious projects, and yummy recipes abound!  Wanting to put one of her projects to the test, I chose the window track cleaning project for my 16 year old son after he stayed out later than curfew recently…  I will take manual labor over grounding as punishment anyday, and now have sparkling-clean window tracks for the first time in years!  Anyway… after a bit of emailing back and forth our feature was born!  We debut today!   Check it out at www.askannamoseley.com, follow her six steps and enter for the chance to win our $50.00 gift certificate toward your very own As You Wish Design hand-stamped, personalized treasure!

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Shop Cat

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I have always loved shops with their own resident feline or canine.  You can tell the shop owner is personally invested far beyond the monetary when their shop is inhabited by a beloved companion.  MY shop ( my little nook upstairs in the loft where I am lucky enough to spend time creating treasures for others) has two animals:  Sadie the golden retriever who is always at the bottom of the stairs keeping watch, and Mia (stands for Missing In Action) our persnickety and aloof mainecoon cat.  We call her “the rare treasure” because a friend of ours pointed out that our stray is actually a highly sought-after breed (who knew?) and when I googled the breed they referred to mainecoons as “rare treasures”.   Mia is aptly named because she is always hiding from us humans, so it has been amusing that she comes out of nowhere everytime I settle in to hammer and stamp my metals.  She perches precariously on the ledge overlooking both the downstairs one flight below and my desk just inches from the ledge.  She purrs and watches my every move from up there… I don’t know what the draw is for her;  the noise?  my concentration on my craft and lack of interest in her?  or the warm light from my desk lamp?  Whatever her reason, I love having my own shop cat!

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Back where I come from…

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Some places have a way of nestling themselves in our souls.  It is more than just a love for a place for a great beach or a magnificent hotel.  This kind of place is one that becomes a part of who you are.   It is the kind of place that has captured your heart time after time, year after year.  It can conjure up a sea of feelings and memories  just by hearing the name.  Priest Lake is my place… a breath-taking lake in northern Idaho.    This past week my whole extended family was gathered in our 1957 A-frame cabin built by the hands of my Grandpa Jesse, my Dad and my Uncle Jay.  It was a special time together, as it always is here.  We have a beautiful picture of my Grandpa hanging in the cabin where he is sitting in a chair in the half built living room looking out at the lake.  I would of loved to know what he was thinking about that day.  Was he thinking about all the generations that would gather here… the potato salads that would be shared… the fireworks that would lit from the dock…the walks to soldier creek … the card games that would be played …the cousins that would sing as they hand-washed the dishes… the talks and smores around the campfire… the boat rides he would take with his grandkids teaching them to drive the boat… the trips to the Leonard Paul “candy store”… the skinny-dipping … the huckleberry picking …the sunsets and thunderstorms that would be watched… and  the laughs that would be shared. 

I don’t know if he realized what a gift he would be giving each one of us by his vision, sacrifice and hard work.  My Grandpa loved water, and when he saw Priest Lake he knew this is where he wanted to spend his days.   It is magical now to watch my kids fall in love with Priest Lake, just as my Grandpa did,  and take delight in the traditions that I did as a child.  The roots of this place run deep and in it lies security, comfort and peace.  I couldn’t think of a better place to raise my kids on.

This is where we come from…and I couldn’t be prouder.

Where is your “place”?


Live the Life You Have Imagined

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Today I went to a graduation party for our good friend’s son.  He is heading off to WSU in the fall and the world is before him.  We made him this cool keychain…”Live the life you have imagined” with his initials in the middle.  I looked at him today with a little bit of envy.  Sometimes I wish I could turn back time and be eighteen again…how would I do things differently?  What choices would I make?  Often when you look back on your life everything can be 20/20.  In a few situations I even think to myself…what the @!*! was I thinking???  But, in my forty-something, enlightened self :), I know that everything happened for a reason, and really, at the end of the day, I feel so blessed.  Yes, I can say to an 18-year-old– “Go for it”.  “Live your dreams”.  But really, shouldn’t we all be doing the same no matter how old we are or what we are doing?  We should all embrace the idea that we are living the life we imagined.  Make it count.  Go that extra mile.  Hug your kids a little tighter.  Live for something beyond yourself.  I plan on living quite a few more years on this earth and I want to make the most of each day.  Then, if by chance, that is not the case, I will know I lived a life that matters.  On our tombstone, it will have our date of birth and our date of death engraved on it.  In between those two dates will be a dash.  The dash is what matters.  What did you do in the dash?   So Jaycob, I wish you well as you enter college, and for the rest of us… make that dash count.

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