Eleven Month Old Isaiah

You are growing up so fast! I keep mourning this fact but really each and every day brings so many fun surprises! You have such a funny personality, full of so many sweet little quirks that bring me so much joy! One of which is this new “stink” face that you give out way too often and at the funniest of times. Your little gummy smile still melts my heart though! Seriously, I become one big mushy mess when you give me that giant open mouth smile that lights up your whole face.

Poor little guy with his puffy eyes had a cold on Easter

Big milestone moment!! You took your first steps! I was so afraid I would miss this moment in your life. You’ve been on the verge for so long but you spend so much time with your grandparents, that I was so terrified I’d miss THE moment. So I’m ever so thankful for being the one you took those first steps to. I’m so proud of you sweet boy. I feel like you are going to do big things in your life (what mama does feel this way?!) and I am so excited to be cheering you on all along the way.

Of course, that same night, watching you let go of my hand to walk away from me led to moments of intense emotion. After you’ve clamored for my hands to help you walk, you soon won’t need them at all anymore. It’s led me to really cherish the moments where you truly are still my baby. Like during the middle of the night feedings and when you need extra help falling asleep. I’ve definitely rocked you to sleep more this past month than I have for the past several combined. I constantly feel like my baby is slipping away but I’m truly loving this big kid stage you’re entering.

You have a series of “tricks” that you do. I think we may have asked you to do them to many times because now if we start with singing “if you’re happy and you know it…” you will clap your hands, then show up where your ears are and then tilt your head to the side in the cutest little way.

You LOVE to eat. I don’t even know if I have ever really seen you get full yet! You have loved every meat we have put in front of you… starting with your dad’s Texas style pulled pork but you love his brisket too! With chicken not far behind those. It looks like you eat super fast, but you’re really just storing it all in your cheeks and then picking up another bite before you’re really done with the last one.

You still love to walk while holding our hands. And you can walk up the stairs with ease. Taking each stair in only one giant step. You are going to be such a handful!

You love to look in the mirror when we ask “where’s Isaiah??” The “mirror” also includes the faucet in your bath where you actually look back at our reflection with that big gummy grin of yours!

Thank you for always bringing a smile to my face and laughter to my heart, son. You just make life so very magical.

Ten Month Old Isaiah

I’m not really sure how we got here. The double digit months? Where did this year go? I thought I was soaking up every ounce of baby that I could but yet this stage is nearing the end and I keep finding myself at grasping at the moments as they slip by ever so quickly. I want to remember his chubby little thighs and his gummy smile, the way he is always searching for a hand to help him walk, the way his eyes light up when he sees someone he loves, the way that only I can calm him down in the middle of the night. Pretty soon, he won’t feel like he needs me anymore. Not like this anyway. Pretty soon, he won’t want to sit in my lap while he plays with his toys or need me to hold his hands while he walks and walks and walks. It’s such a struggle, such a fine line, between wanting to indulge his need for attention and encouraging him to do it on his own. I want him to need me sometimes just as much as I might need some space. But soon, I will have too much space so I keep reminding myself to keep him close while I can.

This past month, this kid’s personality just blossomed. This scrunchy cheese ball face emerged in an attempt to keep us smiling and laughing. It couldn’t have come at a better time either as my husband’s grandfather passed away and we found ourselves on a whirlwind trip to South Dakota for the funeral. Surrounded by family, during such a sad time, I saw my baby lift so many spirits with his scrunchy nose face. He went to everyone who wanted to hold him, he gave them smiles and gave them joy. I am ever so proud to be his mama.

 

He still just loves for us to hold his hands and let him walk, and walk, and walk. And he’ll pull himself to standing whenever he gets a chance. He still is a little scooter when he’s crawling, not lifting that cute little belly off the ground for very long. One of his favorite pastimes is making a blanket fort with his grandpa. It becomes one big tunnel that he loves to crawl though.

I just love getting to know him and seeing this little baby of mine grow into a little person. I am so excited to see where he goes in life, what his hopes and dreams will be, and who he becomes. I just pray that Andy and I are Godly examples to him in every walk of life and that one day he follows in that same path, getting to know our Lord and trusting in Him too. Being his mama has truly opened my eyes to how God loves us, in such an unconditional, unrelenting way. It truly is an amazing gift.

**Outdoor bubble bath photos by Jessica Rose Lifestyle Photography**

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Taylor and David’s Wedding at The Crossings, Carlsbad — Elegant Lace Wedding Stationery

Not every day does a designer get the privilege to have their hand, in my case that can be taken literally, in so many aspects of a single wedding. My wonderful family friend Taylor, had me create so many amazing pieces for her wedding last year two years ago… from the save the dates and invitations, to the tent cards to signage, I got to do it all—and I loved every piece! I have been so excited to share this special day with you all and the time has finally come! Just in time for their 2nd anniversary!! What the what?! Where does the time go?!

Starting with the Save the Date… we started to explore the type we would eventually use and the overall look and feel.

Sam Allen Creates Wedding Invitation Suite for Taylor Save the Date

Then a few months later we started on the invitation. I love every bit of it even still after these last two years! I found the lace embellishment on shutterstock.com and after showing Taylor, she LOVED it as it reminded her of her wedding dress. So that was the perfect border elements to our stationery for the invitation suite and day of paper goods. After you take a look at the invite, there’s beautiful photos from the wedding day itself ahead!

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Okay okay, enough invites already… here’s the beautiful wedding day photos captured by Heather Elise Photography.

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Guests first look after arriving to the wedding was seeing this amazing table set up for the place cards! I loved the circle design these tent cards were placed it with the large silver vase in the middle.

But of course, before the guests were to find their seats. We needed to watch those two lovebirds get hitched! It was such a beautiful ceremony! Not only did I cry, but I laughed as the groom handcuffed himself to his new bride… and then they couldn’t get the handcuffs off later. Oh my.

Taylor and David are beer snobs connoisseurs, so the reception tables were named after their favorite breweries.

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Thank you so much, Taylor and David, for letting me be such a special part of your wedding day. Creating your paper goods was such an honor. Love you guys!

Taylor+David Highlight Film from KAPPEL IMAGERY on Vimeo.

Nine Month Old Isaiah

Sam Allen Creates Handlettered Isaiah Baby Nine Months

Wow! This was a big month for our little babe! Isaiah is officially on the MOVE! After months of only being mobile by walking with our support, Isaiah [finally] can roll over from his back AND is scooting away away away! Of course, his favorite activity is still to walk around with our help. He loves being held but only if you are showing him something fun!

Isaiah 9 Months Standing

Other favorite Isaiah tricks: reaches for you to pick him up, shakes his head no—but for no reason, and he looks up at the ceiling when you ask “where’s the fan?” He also will sometimes talk back to you in conversation, but the timing has to be just right.

He likes to explore everything, if you give him a bigger toy, he’ll most likely flip it over and examine the backside and bottom of it rather than play with it like it’s intended for. He just loves to explore anything and everything. I think we’re going to be in real trouble when he really does start walking!

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All of these things bring such a smile to my face and warmth to my heart. All Isaiah really has to do is blink and I fall more in love with him.

Isaiah 9 Months Rain

My Designs in Hobby Lobby and Beyond!

Sam Allen Creates Love is Sweet for Hobby Lobby

On a random Friday night last year, my husband and I were wandering through Hobby Lobby looking for decorations for our baby’s nursery, when we stumbled upon my “Love is Sweet” artwork! I was in shock! Tears were flowing, extra hard thanks to those darn pregnancy hormones, as I smiled like a goof in the middle of the aisle.

Almost a year prior to that, I had been contacted by an overseas manufacturing company that was in need of an American hand lettering artist to create several designs for them to sell to stores such as Hobby Lobby, Michaels, Pier One, etc.

Over the course of that next month, I worked tirelessly coming up with sayings and crafting the perfect designs to submit. And once I submitted them, they would take it from there to pair my design with the perfect background material and frame. And since they bought the design from me outright, I had no idea when or if the designs would be picked up by any stores!

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Initial Sketch of my Love is Sweet Design

So that’s why, almost a year later, the shock to see my very own handwriting on the shelf in Hobby Lobby, MY FAVORITE STORE EVERRRRR, was the most exciting, the most gratifying, the most AMAZING, thing ever in my whole life (until a few months later when my son was born of course!).

And since that first time of working with this company, I’ve designed many many more pieces for them, just recently completing another 20 handwritten works!

 

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Sketch of one of my more recent submissions

It’s all so exciting! That feeling of seeing my work in stores has not wavered even a fraction. And seeing my friends and family, and even strangers, finding my work in stores and sending me photos has been the most amazing thing ever!

This post is so long overdue because I have been saving and saving and saving everyone’s sweet photos to share here! Each of these photos means so much to me!! I can not fully say how much I appreciate everyone’s support and excitement in this venture!

Sam Allen Creates for Hobby Lobby - For This Child We Prayed -Shana, Portrait by Cory James

Keep your eye out for some new releases at Hobby Lobby and Michaels, including one from the below “Love Never Fails” sketch (available at Hobby Lobby NOW)!

Sam Allen Creates Home Sweet Home and Love Never Fails sketches

• Love Is Sweet, limited availability at Hobby Lobby

• For This Child We Have Prayed: available at HobbyLobby.com

• Home Sweet Home: limited availability at TJ Maxx

• Home is Where I Am With You: limited availability at Home Goods, and coming soon to Michaels!

• There’s No Place Like Home: limited availability at Home Goods and Hobby Lobby

• Love Never Fails: just released at Hobby Lobby, available online here.

Sam Allen Creates Home Is Where I am With You and There's No Place Like Home sketches

Amie’s Baby Shower and Emma’s Watercolor Floral Birth Announcement

Well this sweet baby girl is a whole year old now! I am antsy to share photos from her first birthday but before I do, I have to share photos from the baby shower and her birth announcement! Better a year late than never, right? Right?!

Since I was still in the midst of morning sickness when shower planning was underway, I opted to purchase some watercolor graphics for the florals. I fell in love with the ones I found from By Lef on Etsy. They were so easy to implement and came in such a variety! Make sure to check out her beautiful shop!

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Amie’s mom and sisters threw such a beautiful shower!! I was honored to get to contribute a few handlettered goods to compliment their shabby chic decorations…

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About a month later, sweet Emma was born! I used the By Lef water color graphics to compliment my handlettering for her birth announcement too! Not many of my friends have girls… so it’s always so fun to get to design some fun girly items! Photos of baby Emma are by Kristyn Dodge Photography.

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You are such a blessing to us all sweet Emma Rae!! I’m looking forward to watching you grow!

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Eight Month Old Isaiah

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For some reason, 8 months feels SO MUCH closer to a year old. I’ve started to really be able to picture you as a toddler, but then you do something that reminds me you really are still a baby (i.e. like bonk yourself in the head for lack of hand/eye coordination) and I must really cherish these last few moments that are ever so fleeting.

 

People say you look just like your daddy, but I see so much of me in you too. Your Godmama says she can hear me in your excited squeals but then I hear your grumpy stares remind them of your daddy. You’re quite the mix of us both and I love that.

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Valentine Photos by Jessica Rose Lifestyle Photography

Since this month’s recap image above focuses on things you love… I thought I’d share what I love about you right now!!

  • I love those special smiles that just I get, those Mommy smiles. I waited a long time to get those special Mommy only smiles and I relish each and every one.
  • I love how you play with my hair after you’re done nursing. I know these moments just between us are nearing the end and I am trying to cherish them all.
  • I love how you can sit (with amazing posture) and play with your toys on your own but if you’re in our arms, you just can’t sit still…
  • and you must look at and examine everything.
  • You love touching everything but with your still new coordination skills, you just end scratching all the textures with your chubby little fingers. From the feel of the wall, the corduroy of a recliner, to the skin on our faces… you explore it all.
  • I love how you greet people with your big gummy smiles. And how saying “Hi Isaiah!” has always been the best way to get you to smile. (I think “hi” will be your first word.)
  • I love how excited you get about everything. From kicking your legs to scrunching up your face and flailing your arms about, your excitement and happiness is so contagious. This type of reaction is almost a guarantee when you’re in your “happy place:” under the ceiling fan and laying on your furry blanket of all places!
  • I love how when you are examining everything, your cheeks puff out even more while you’re looking down.
  • I love how, when you get out of your swaddle wrap, you give me the BIGGEST smile and happy kicks when I come in to rewrap you. And then promptly fall asleep moments later.
  • All that to say, most of these moments are within the walls of our home. Once we adventure out and are around others, you become our silent observer, taking everything in with a calm and serious demeanor. But I sure do love that side of you, because then you actually let me just sit with you without you trying to jump out of my arms and scamper about.

There are so many more things I could list, but I’ll call that good… for now…

 

Seven Month Old Isaiah

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Oh my little love.

What an eventful month!

We celebrated your first Christmas… if the magic of the Christmas season ever waned for me, it came back in full force multiplied by infinity this year. Even though you probably didn’t notice too much of a difference on that special day, your family was ever joyous to spend it with you. From the grandmas taking turns feeding you your lunch, matching each other bite for bite… or having all your second cousins running circles around you… or opening gift after gift… you just brightened our day ever more! Of course, you loved the wrapping more than the gift, but you were loving the gifts too!

You giggle so much more now. It is the most glorious, most amazing, most heartwhelming sound I’ve ever heard. Making you laugh gives me so much overflowing joy. The things we do to elicit that laugh can be pretty hysterical too. Sometimes I have more joy watching other people enjoy you and making you laugh more than watching you smile back. Bother views are pretty spectacular.

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One of your Christmas presents was a rolling walker… because you love to jump almost more than walking, at first you would only go backwards from your hopping… but after Grandma chased you, you got the hang of it and have been mastering it! Another thing you love to do with Grandma, hop down the stairs in her lap. I have lost count of how many times she has scooted down the stairs with you, but the joy you have from it is never lost on her or your audience. The squeals of joy make all of us smile and hope she never tires from continuous trips!

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Another way to get those amazing giggles is to tickle you… but not quite. That moment before you actually get tickled is your favorite. If we just hover our hands over you, you start to squirm and giggle but then will go straight faced once we start to tickle you.

We started experimenting with more food this month. You loved the sweet potatoes we started with which made us thing you were going to be an amazing eater, but turns out anything green from peas to avocado makes you gag. We keep trying in hopes that it will change though. You may think you are having a favorite like sweet potatoes or carrot, but there are some hidden greens in there my boy!

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Photo by Jessica Rose

I thought that the overwhelming love would fade. Not that I would love you less but I would have just gotten used to it. But I’m so glad it hasn’t. Each and every day you bring us so much joy. Each slobbery kiss and gummy smile, each squeal and giggle… they bring a euphoric joy that just keeps getting stronger. I love to love you.

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Photo by Jessica Rose

Six Month Old Isaiah

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I’m loving this age. Each and every day with you comes with new discoveries.

Overall you are one very happy baby at home. When we come get you from your crib, you give us the biggest smiles and you kick your legs in excitement. It’s the best and most joyous greeting. Sometimes it’s a race or an argument on who gets to go get you up. You, kid, are so loved.

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Admist all the busy-ness that you bring though, the calm sweet moments are some of my favorites as I know they are fleeting on your way to go-go-going! Like how you hold my wrist while I read books to you. Or how at the end of the day, just before you go to bed and as you are at the tail end of nursing, you stop eating and just stare at me with sleepy eyes. You stare at me until I smile at you. Your whole face lights up and we just stare at each other for a few brief moments before you go back to nursing. You may do this 3 or 4 times in a row but I melt every. Single. Time. Those sleepy last smiles of the day are becoming my new favorite thing. I want to freeze those moments and remember them forever.

Speaking of nursing, you require utmost silence to nurse. You give the dirtiest look to anyone who interrupts you eating. Even me! If I dare to try to take a sip of water.

Standing is your absolute favorite thing in the whole world. You stand up in our laps and open your mouth wide in happy wonderment saying “hey guys, look how big I am!”

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FINALLY, we started you on solids just days before you turned 6 months. You weren’t totally sure about it (rice cereal), but you realized any food is food and you’re one hungry growing boy. From that very first time, you thought if you took the spoon from us that maybe you’d get fed faster too. We sure love out little Chunkers!

A few more things I want to remember:
isaiah-6-months-bath-toes– babbling has become very serious. You furrow your brow and talk with your hand very close to your mouth but only because talking is during a brief moment where your hand isn’t in your mouth
– everything you touch goes in your mouth. Especially your toes, to my absolute delight!
– first cold. Such a trooper. Smiled through coughing and runny noses
– loves blankets and all kinds of fabric
– sticks foot in my armpit while nursing

Family photos by Jessica Rose.

Five Month Old Isaiah

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Another month has come and gone and here I am posting over 3 weeks late about our little man’s month-iversary….

The weekend you turned 4 months officially, everything changed. You literally grew up right before my eyes. You started playing with toys. You latched on to a monkey shaped teether (“Coco”) and a burp cloth to no end. You seemed to finally see the world around you and experience it in a whole new way. Now you just grab everything and in your mouth it goes. Even including my face 🙂 but I love your kisses!

If you don’t have a toy, then you like to fold your hands across your chest and kick your legs up. And then even that changed once you found your toes. A toy connected to your chubby little legs! How fun! And so cute!

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You always want to sit up if you’re even at a slight recline, you struggle to sit up all the way and once I hold you up, then you want to stand. And you sure love to stand. It’s wibbly wobbly, but your face lights up with big boy pride! You look around at us making sure we see your new trick. I see it, I see it all.

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Your dad loves to lift you high in the air. It’s a trick that’s sure to get those gummy smiles of yours. I’m always waiting nearby ready to clean up the spit up but I sure do love watching you two play together. The best of friends.

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Your sweet little coos have turned into deeper shouts and squeals. But we still hang on to every single word of those long monologues.

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A few other random things I want to remember:
– holds bottle on his own-ish
– you love blankets, mostly to chew on but you love to play with them too
– I left you for the first time, for more than a couple hours (your dad and I went out on a Disneyland date night)
– loud noises still startle him, even from the mouths of little friends 😉
– Superman for Halloween, spent the evening at your godparent’s house and slept through trick or treating in the Ergo with Grammy.

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Time is just flying by. I sure do love this age the best so far but I miss that little 6 pounder that fit so neatly in my arms. Everyday with you brings so much excitement, I look forward to each adventure!

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