12 Month Old Isaiah

Sam Allen Creates Handlettered Isaiah Baby Twelve Months One Year

I went into having a baby knowing that the time would pass quickly. I had told myself that I would savor each and every moment along the way. Even the sleepless nights—but what I didn’t know about that was how it’s really hard to savor a hysterically crying baby when you are also so sleep deprived and hysterically crying yourself because you are an absolutely clueless first time mom. Wow, sorry for the sidetrack… but my point was this, now that you, my Isaiah, are getting older and we have somewhat got the hang of things, I have been savoring the baby left in you. The moments where you still need my hand to hold as you walk or the nights where you need to nurse to soothe yourself back to sleep. In those moments, I get a chance to hold you without you squirming away to start another adventure. In those moments, you are my little baby and I just don’t want to let you go.

Isaiah 12 Months Mothers Day

My boy, you are loved. I think I say this every month but every month I am amazed at how loved you are. And how much I love you. And how much you love me. The way you look at me, the way you see me… that’s who I want to be every single day.

It’s an incredible honor to get to be your mom. I am Isaiah’s Mommy. And I am so proud of that.

 

 

I am just so proud of you. Everything you do just amazes me. Or makes me laugh. The way you light up when you smile at me gives me every warm and fuzzy feeling… and then the way you scrunch up your nose for a “stink face” cracks me up.

This month you really started loving books. Especially lift-the-flap books. It’s so cute to watch your little chubby fingers work the flaps open and your squeals of delight at the surprises they may contain. You definitely have your favorites though, there’s only like 10 books that hold your attention and any outside of those you just squirm away and leave me reading alone haha

Isaiah 12 Months IHOP

Another favorite series of moments this last month took place at our local IHOP. You’ve fallen in love with the manager there. You break out your best flirting skills. A big “toothy” grin with a cute little wrinkled nose that can best be described as so ugly it’s cute! Or you give her your best smile and then turn away all shy when she smiles back at you. She’s definitely going down in the book as your first crush, hopefully her 11 grandchildren won’t be too jealous though!

Isaiah Pool Floatie

And of course, this month you turned ONE! We started our day at IHOP so you could see your crush. You just loved the staff singing to you and loving on you. That night we went to the community pool with just us and your grandparents, aunt and godfamily. And again, you just loved getting sung to but I think the real favorite for you was eating your first cupcake. Down to the very last bite haha

Isaiahs Birthday Cupcake

And speaking of being sung to, I did take a quick glance around during your actual birthday party to see everyone singing to you. It was only a quick glance because I was trying not to cry. There is just so much love for you that my heart just overflows with joy. I hope you always feel this cared for, this support, this unconditional love that surrounds you all your days.

Cake smash photos by J Rose Lifestyle Photography

 

 

More photos by J Rose for Isaiah’s One Year Portraits

 

 

And more favorite photos from the month…

 

 

And since this is the last month of these (boo hoo!) here’s a look back at the year. Wow, just wow. So much love for you, my boy.

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And one last note… I am kinda glad these monthly photos are done because the challenge to capture the little guy before he crawls away keeps getting harder and harder!

Isaiah 12 Month Photo Crawling

Lauren & Kellen — Menifee Maternity Photos

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made — Menifee Maternity Portraits — Lauren and Kellen 247

This little sweet baby girl is about to make her debut in the next couple weeks so I thought I’d share a few of her parent’s maternity photos with you all first! I can not wait to cuddle and love on this babe. Timehop has been reminding me daily of my little Isaiah as a newborn from last year everyday and it’s giving me baby fever!! Olivia June, I can not wait to meet you! And neither can your mama!!

Menifee Maternity Portraits — Lauren and Kellen 232Menifee Maternity Portraits — Lauren and Kellen 247Menifee Maternity Portraits — Lauren and Kellen 291Menifee Maternity Portraits — Lauren and Kellen 342Menifee Maternity Portraits — Lauren and Kellen 382Menifee Maternity Portraits — Lauren and Kellen 443Menifee Maternity Portraits — Lauren and Kellen 449Menifee Maternity Portraits — Lauren and Kellen 519Menifee Maternity Portraits — Lauren and Kellen 565Menifee Maternity Portraits — Lauren and Kellen 608

Menifee Maternity Portraits — Lauren and Kellen

Lauren’s Woodsy Shabby Chic Baby Shower

One of my long time friends, Lauren, is about to have her first baby so us girls joined creative forces to throw her one amazing baby shower earlier this month!

We based the look of the shower off the nursery which will be a shabby chic-woodsy-adventure-tribal theme. How fun is that?!

We had so much fun planning out all the details but let’s first start with the invitation…

Invitation Suite

The Adventure Begins Shabby Chic Baby Shower Invitation 2 Tribal Watercolor WreathThe Adventure Begins Shabby Chic Baby Shower Invitation 3 Tribal Watercolor Wreath

This was SO much fun to paint!! I had absolutely NO experience painting flowers before this but after doing A LOT of research, I really am so happy with how this turned out. Using a wreath allowed us to bring in all the fun aspects of the nursery, from the woodcut background to the feather and arrows.

The Adventure Begins Shabby Chic Baby Shower Invitation 4 Tribal Watercolor Wreath


Guest Tables

The weather forecast had called for rain, in May… in California!? Thankfully we had reserved this canopy back when we first started planning even though it was for shade! Turned out God had another use for it in mind. And you know what, the weather ended up being PERFECT! After some light rain while we were setting up, not a drop came down during the actual shower.

Shabby Chic Woodsy Baby Shower Centerpieces 3

So of course, with the impending rain storm, we totally redid the layout of the whole shower but I think we all loved how it came out!

The centerpieces were a collection of glasses, candles, bouquets and succulents. All the glassware was compiled just between the hostesses! I kept saying we need to start a rental company for all these amazing decorations! And that greenery down the center of the table? Well that was cut from this very yard on the day of the shower! So perfect!!

Shabby Chic Woodsy Baby Shower Centerpieces 2Shabby Chic Woodsy Baby Shower CenterpiecesShabby Chic Woodsy Baby Shower Guest Tables


Cake Table

Did you see the cake table in the background of the above photos? Well I think it may be my favorite…. Mostly because the focal point was this globe I painted for the baby’s nursery. And one of the other girls’ baked those “naked cakes.”

Shabby Chic Woodsy Baby Shower Cake Table

Shabby Chic Baby Shower Cake Table Succulent Cake Topper


Drink & Appetizer Table

This sweet little table definitely had its share of rain that day, but it pushed through admirably as I kept running out to save that watercolor painting from sudden death!

We served up pink lemonade and water in these awesome mason jar drink dispensers… the centerpiece was a homemade teepee and the print was done by yours truly (also for the baby’s nursery).

Shabby Chic Tribal Baby Shower Drink Table mason jar drink dispenser

We found these wood slices on Amazon for the watercolor dipped tent cards and then cut out little banners and washi taped them to the straws to personalize everyone’s drinks.

Shabby Chic Tribal Watercolor Wreath Painting

Our appetizer table housed this delicious chicken cheeseball shaped like some a pair of pinecones as well as our terracotta succulents that were the game prizes!

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Photo Backdrop and Gift Teepee

Shabby Chic Tribal Baby Shower Backdrop and Gift Tepee

I think this paper flower background was the star of our show though! I wish we could take credit for it but we borrowed it from a friend. It was just too perfect! Our gift teepee was from Target and draped with my grandmother’s lace tablecloths! Floral topper made from a few pre-assembled silk flowers from Hobby Lobby.

Shabby Chic Tribal Baby Shower Gift TepeeShabby Chic Tribal Baby Shower Guest Book tableShabby Chic Baby Shower Paper Flowers Backdrop Polaroid Guest BookShabby Chic Tribal Baby Shower Guest Book table sign

We had the guests take Polaroids for the Mama’s scrapbook for the day. The scrapbook was truly an amazing work of art—purchased on Etsy (shop: BurkeSevenVintage)! As a scrapbooker—I can’t fathom the amount of time it took to piece together all the pages.

Shabby Chic Tribal Baby Shower Guest Book table scrapbook


Headband Station

I wish I would have taken a photo of this table later on once more headbands had been made but I was taking advantage of the break in the clouds for lighting! Not yet knowing we weould end up with sunny skies for the rest of the day! Anyway, we bought two headband kits off Etsy (shop: BowtiqueEmilee), and set out all the parts in jars with a helpful little sign to guide the guests in assembling.

Shabby Chic Baby Shower Headband Station TableShabby Chic Baby Shower Headband Station Sign


Thank You Card Table

The Mama-to-Be requested for us to have the guests address their envelopes

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I had too much fun painting all the table signs throughout the shower. This and the Trail Mix table sign were my favorite though. Maybe. Plus the Headband table sign… Okay, I loved them all actually.

Shabby Chic Tribal Baby Shower Thank You Cards table 2

Shabby Chic Baby Shower Handpainted Wood Name Sign


Trail Mix Favors

At the front door, as guests were leaving they could grab a bag of trail mix “to fuel their future adventures.” The decor on the wall is also from the baby’s nursery, canvas banner lettering design by me—another decoration I want to make for myself!

Shabby Chic Tribal Baby Shower Trail Mix Favors Table

Shabby Chic Tribal Baby Shower Trail Mix Favors Table 2Shabby Chic Tribal Baby Shower Trail Mix Favors Sign

Each favor bag was stamped with the Adventure Awaits stamp from my shop.

Shabby Chic Tribal Baby Shower Trail Mix Adventure Awaits Favors

Shabby Chic Tribal Baby Shower Antlers and Handwritten canvas banner


Custom Snapchat Geofilter

Okay this may have been the best surprise that day for the Mama-to-Be! We created a Snapchat geofilter with the artwork from the invitation! I had never done one before but I couldn’t believe how easy it was to submit and get approved!

Shabby Chic Baby Shower Tribal Watercolor Wreath Snapchat GeofilterSnapchat Sign for Custom Geofilter


And last but not least, a girly group photo (photo bombed by my chubby cheeks son haha)… we love you, Lauren… and can not wait to snuggle that sweet baby girl!!

Shabby Chic Baby Shower Paper Flowers Backdrop GirlsShabby Chic Baby Shower Paper Flowers Backdrop with Lauren

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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.

Heather Elise Photography crossings at carlsbad escort tent card display lettering by Sam Allen Creates

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.

Heather Elise Photography crossings at carlsbad tablescape (565)

Heather Elise Photography crossings at carlsbad tablescape (562)

Heather Elise Photography crossings at carlsbad tablescape lettering for centerpieces by Sam Allen Creates 2

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!

Isaiah 9 Months Sink Bath

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!

Sam Allen Creates for Hobby Lobby - Love is Sweet sketch

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!

 

Sam Allen Creates Its Good to be Home sketch

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…