March
20

Words

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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

 

June
12

One At A Time…

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This past weekend we were able to attend a graduation party for the daughter of some good family friends of ours.  I had talked with the mom earlier in the week and told her that we wanted to make Emma a special necklace.  The necklace you see pictured is the result of our conversation and we couldn’t love it more. Let me tell you a little bit about Emma and her family.

A couple summers ago Emma went on a mission trip to China and worked in an orphanage there.  While she was there, one little girl captured her heart, and when Emma returned home she approached her parents about adopting little Mia.  “One at a time” Emma thought.  We can be overwhelmed when we hear the number of orphans in our world, and yet, the only way to change it is one at a time.  Emma’s dream became her parents dream too in time and they set out to adopt this special little girl.  As they began the adoption process, they were faced with roadblock after roadblock.  At one point, it looked like they would not be able to adopt Mia and so they began pursuing another little girl to adopt in China.  Well, in God’s perfect plan, the barriers were lifted to adopt Mia, and this family was now adopting TWO little girls at the same time!  Here is a picture of Emma with the two girls…

This story moves me in two ways.  One… to see a young girl want to change the story of orphans and to see them in families.  Two…that our friends were willing to listen to their daughter’s dream and have it become their own.  When I saw their Christmas card this year, I couldn’t help the tears from streaming down my face.  Aren’t they beautiful?I love how God makes family in all different ways.  They were willing to set aside their worldly dreams and desires and instead chose to adopt these precious girls.

This family now has six children from ages eighteen to four.  Emma, and her 16-yr-old sister, Maddie, are going back to China this summer for over a month to work in an orphanage devoted to children with Brittle Bone Disease.  With some of the children they even have to be careful on how they pick them up and hold them as their bones can break that easily.  It is so inspiring to me to see the hearts of Emma and Maddie…when most teenage girls are only concerned about boys, tanning and the next party, they are serving “the least of these”.  James 1:27 says, “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of God is this, to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.”

We have decided to offer this necklace on our website and donate $5.00 for every adoption necklace sold to “The Jeremiah Project“, an organization devoted to helping families financially to adopt.  Check out the necklace here.

One at a time.   We have the power to help change people’s stories.   Where do you feel called to serve?  Who is your ONE right now?

~Kendra

 

May
14

What I Wear

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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
11

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)

 

October
9

I Am…

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Brene Brown is one of my favorite authors.  She just released a new book, “Daring Greatly”, and it has already hit #1 on the New York Times Bestseller List.  Brene is real, vulnerable and I find myself inspired with each page I read to want to –dare greatly– in different aspects of my life.  She challenges readers to be the adults you want your children to be!  So good… isn’t it?

You can find her book here…you will be blessed to sit down with your latte and spend some time with her!

You can also follow her blog… http://www.ordinarycourage.com/.

I will leave you with a quote from Teddy Roosevelt in 1910 that Brene Brown was inspired by when she was coming up with a title for her book…

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”

Here’s to DARING GREATLY our friends!

 

October
2

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.

April
18

Featured!

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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!

March
8

Marathon Moments

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A gal from Coeur d’ Alene called us recently to help her make necklaces for two of her good friends that would be running a marathon.  On the rectangle:  the word that has carried them through their training.  On the large circle:  “Love the journey– 26.2″.  On the smaller disc:  their initial.  She traveled with them to the race, and then, at the finish line, presented them with these necklaces that were so personalized to each one of them.  I am sure they were so touched by her thoughtful gesture.  How could you not feel special and loved???

We LOVE being able to be a part of people loving others.  It just feels good.  It also gives us a sincere belief that most of us want connection.  We want to reach out.  We want to love others well.  It is an honor to be able to be the bridge between two people as they do this.

Yes, we love our job.

June
13

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.

March
8

Lucky

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I was just out running and thinking about how lucky I am…lucky to have the job that I do, lucky to have the family and friends that I do, lucky that I can have a good cup of Joe everyday! The thing lately though that I feel the most lucky about is about my relationship with my Grandma. Think about the most gracious and sweetest thing you could ever meet and that is my Grandma. She is pictured here with my daughter, Olivia, and my middle son, Caleb. They are over the moon about her too– she just has that effect on people. She has not been doing very well lately (i guess she is entitled, she is 88!), and because my parents are out of town for awhile, I have had the honor of taking care of her more.
Last Thursday, I took her out to Post Falls to see my brother-in-law who is an ENT to run some tests on her. The gal at the front desk checked us in and we went to sit down. She then asked me if I was the one who made the jewelry. As soon as she asked me this, I knew who she was. You see, my sister had ordered a necklace for one of the women at the office who was losing her sister to cancer. She then went on to share about how much the necklace had meant to her…we had inscribed “sisters” on the front and put the two sisters names on the back. They had lived next door to each other for years and she said the necklace was a way to keep her sister close now that she was gone. My heart ached for her–unexpected turns in life.
I then turned my attention back to my Grandma as I began to help her fill out her paperwork. We laughed together as one of the questions was “Is there any chance you could be pregnant?”…I joked with her that she could tell me the truth! They called us back and I began to help my Grandma from her chair and walk with her slowly to the exam room as she held onto me. The woman I had made the necklace for smiled at me sweetly, as if to say, cherish this time. Yes, it was true…there was really no other place I would rather be at that moment. What a gift to be able to take care of her.
I am LUCKY. I even saw a rainbow on my run today. Its going to be a good day…