One Little Word 2018: Focus

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This year, I have chosen the word “focus” to be my “one little word” for the new year!

And here’s 3 reasons why:

O N E .Improve the process. Over the past few months, I have constantly had to remind myself of this to the point it has become my mantra! I’m always whispering it to myself as the many distractions in this world split my focus. While I am really good at focusing on working and not getting distracted by social media, it’s the many projects that I am working on that I keep getting distracted by. So rather than plowing through a project to completion, I work a little here and a little there and then inspiration strikes on a completely other project and I start to dabble there. By the end of the day, I look back and see that not one thing can be checked off the list but the list has actually grown. Ugh.

To fix this, I will be reworking my day to day processes. Implement a schedule with daily routines, like taking care of the business side on Tuesdays, painting on Wednesdays, photographing those paintings on Thursdays, new listings on Fridays, etc. This will help to streamline the day to day and not have me jumping back and forth between all the various duties of a small business owner and the many hats we must wear.

T W O .Cut the clutter. Not only am I trying to clear my mind to allow myself to focus, I am also physically reworking my office to allow for maximum productivity. My office is always in a constant state of “creative clutter…” paintings are drying on every surface, old lettering projects for scanning are scattered everywhere waiting to by filed, scraps from the paper cutter left in a pile. All this is getting cleaned up or getting thrown out! And it’s feeling amazing!

T H R E E .Niching down. I tend to say YES to any and all projects. But it’s far past the time to start saying NO! Another perspective on focusing is narrowing in on what projects I want to work on. I tend to take on too many pro-bono projects, styled shoots, and other photo shoots that may not fit my aesthetic anymore so my new plan is to say YES only to the projects that will move my business and skills forward. This will all make me a better artist rather than keeping stagnant doing the same old thing. Giving me more time to focus in and hone my design skills and run my business (as the business side of life is always what gets pushed down the list).

Now I must remind myself yet again, “FOCUS, Sam and wrap this up!”

I hope this message may be helpful to some who feel just as all over the place as I do. I’m here to help and hope to share a few other tips along the way as I focus in on becoming a better artist by focusing my craft and on what really matters: getting the work done in a timely matter SO I can spend time with my little family!

“One Little Word” is a concept created by Allie Edwards, learn more about it here.

Kara and Jaime’s White Lace and Gorgeous Greens Summer Wedding

2017 has ended and while I am still coming to grasps with that, I didn’t want another day to flash by without sharing photos of my friend Kara’s gorgeous summer wedding!


To start of course, we need to take a look at the gray lace invitation with their watercolor brush calligraphy envelopes! Kara wanted simplicity in her invitations so we kept the design simple but with an intricate lace design in the corners in a pale gray for low contrast.

Sam Allen Creates Watercolor Wedding Invitation Envelope Addressing detail

Sam Allen Creates Gray Lace Wedding InvitationSam Allen Creates Gray Lace Wedding Invitation Detail

Sam Allen Creates Watercolor Wedding Invitation Envelope Addressing

The wedding ceremony was held outside of the Eagle’s Nest Clubhouse. It was truly one of the most gorgeous ceremonies I have ever attended… I just loved the cascading botanicals framing the bride and groom as they became husband and wife!

George Street Photo - Eagles Nest Clubhouse - Ceremony

George Street Photo - Eagles Nest Clubhouse - Bridal Bouquet of White and Green

After the ceremony, the guests came inside the Clubhouse to attend the cocktail hour and find their seats on this amazing table seating chart created with a variety of silver and white frames within 2 vintage window frames. It was such a unique concept and I loved getting to work on it with them!

Sam Allen Creates Wedding Seating Chart on Windows

George Street Photo - Eagles Nest Clubhouse - Bar Menu Chalkboard - Sam Allen Creates Lettering

The last item I got to work on for the wedding was handpainted placecards for each guest! Kara and I came up with a fun way for the server’s to know what dish to provide the guests… the different amount of leaves in the corner of the card would say whether they got steak, shrimp or vegetarian! I loved it (the shrimp and the outcome of the tent cards!)!!

 


Wedding photography by George Street, photos of my handlettering designs were taken by me.
Wedding Coordinator: Events by the Cea
Wedding Venue: Eagle’s Nest Restaurant & Clubhouse
Florist: Benabese
Table numbers painted by Skript Shoppe

Isaiah’s Under the Sea First Birthday Party

After Lauren’s beautiful baby shower in May, I was in a party planning slump which meant I ended up putting off planning Isaiah’s birthday party until the absolute last minute! The whole party pulled together only the week of the event, except for the invite of course.

I took some photos in my office of my favorite decorations before the party just in case something happened to them on the day of. I got a little caught up in them and they probably don’t really go for a first birthday but I love them nonetheless.

But first, I want to share the invite with you! It was so fun to work with such bright paint colors! And make the simple ocean illustrations all fit together like a big puzzle!

Sam Allen Creates - Isaiah's First Birthday - Under the Sea Birthday Invitation - Watercolor 1Sam Allen Creates - Isaiah's First Birthday - Under the Sea Birthday Invitation - Watercolor 2Sam Allen Creates - Isaiah's First Birthday - Under the Sea Birthday Invitation - Watercolor 5Sam Allen Creates - Isaiah's First Birthday - Under the Sea Birthday Invitation - Watercolor 6Sam Allen Creates - Watercolor Handpainted Envelope Addressing

And of course I had to paint up some Thank You cards to match! However, that did make me end up sending them months late! Just like this blog post, I’m always late nowadays! 😛

Sam Allen Creates - Isaiah's First Birthday Thank You Card - Under the Sea Birthday - Watercolor PaintingSam Allen Creates - Isaiah's First Birthday Thank You Card - Under the Sea Birthday - Watercolor Birthday

While searching for Under the Sea birthday party ideas, I came across this saying about the ocean and loved it so much, I knew it needed to be on display at the party!

Sam Allen Creates - Isaiah's First Birthday - Under the Sea Birthday - As the Ocean has no end so does my love for you - ocean saying - handlettered watercolor artSam Allen Creates - Isaiah's First Birthday - Under the Sea Birthday - As the Ocean has no end so does my love for you - ocean saying - handlettered watercolor art 2

I also came across these amazing glass bottles at Michael’s and of course I had to write all over it. I used lyrics from “Oceans” by Hillsong… it’s another one of those decor items that don’t really fit a kid’s birthday party but I just had to make it. My hands were itching to letter on this bottle!

Sam Allen Creates - Isaiah's First Birthday - Under the Sea Birthday Decorations - Handlettered Bottle - Oceans lyrics 1

One very important part to any kid’s first birthday party invitation is the “achievement poster.” I loved going over all of our boy’s favorite things, collecting what’s near and dear to our guy and painting them all out. He made the perfect model as well! I had no idea what he was going to do posing with a poster over half his size but his little faces looking at his mama’s work was adorable.

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Finally, here are some photos from the actual birthday party day!

Our amazingly generous friend Anthony took the majority of these photos! It was such a relief to just be able to focus on Isaiah and not have to worry about documenting all these details! So thank you, Anthony!!

Sam Allen Creates - Isaiah's First Birthday - Under the Sea Birthday - Dessert Table 4Sam Allen Creates - Isaiah's First Birthday - Under the Sea Birthday - Dessert Table 1Sam Allen Creates - Isaiah's First Birthday - Under the Sea Birthday - Dessert Table 5Sam Allen Creates - Isaiah's First Birthday - Under the Sea Birthday - Dessert Table 2Sam Allen Creates - Isaiah's First Birthday - Under the Sea Birthday - One Year PosterSam Allen Creates - Isaiah's First Birthday - Under the Sea Birthday Party DecorationsSam Allen Creates - Isaiah's First Birthday - Under the Sea Birthday Party Sea Glass Food PlacecardSam Allen Creates - Isaiah's First Birthday - Under the Sea Birthday Party FoodSam Allen Creates - Isaiah's First Birthday - Under the Sea Birthday Party - Guest BookSam Allen Creates - Isaiah's First Birthday - Under the Sea Birthday Party Favor 2Sam Allen Creates - Isaiah's First Birthday - Under the Sea Birthday Party Favor

And that’s the end of that! It was here and gone within a blink of an eye and now I have a 15 month old! But seriously, when do we stop counting months? Anyway, the day was such a joy. I love watching our boy be loved on by his family and friends. My heart just overflows.

Lindsey and Anthony’s Tropical Wedding at Bali Hai Restaurant, San Diego—Watercolor Wedding Stationery

You guys, I wrote this post TWO years ago, just after the wedding and then I found out I was pregnant and my blog pretty much burnt out for a bit while I struggled with a full 9 months of morning sickness and then newborn craziness and then just working mom life with a baby. So I hope you’ll indulge me with this “throwback post” as I’m excited to be posting this now even though it’s two years later!!

This was such an amazing wedding to work on!! First of all, I got to be bridesmaid AND the stationery designer so that’s always fun!! Second of all, Lindsey let me paint all over everything! And that is extra fun!!

Lindsey and I have been friends since 4th grade. She was in our wedding several TEN years ago and I was honored that she asked me to be in her wedding as well!!

I wanted to share a few of my favorite images from the wedding, of my work and the day itself!

First off though, let’s start with the wedding invitation suite….

Sam Allen Creates Watercolor Weddng Invitation Suite Water Lily

It was my first time painting flowers of any kind, I definitely learned a lot during pages and pages of practice! Even looking back two years later, I still love this suite so much. It was also my first time addressing envelopes in watercolor. I went through quite a bit of purple watercolor paint that summer!

Sam Allen Creates Watercolor Weddng InvitationSam Allen Creates Watercolor Weddng Invitation Water Lily DetailsSam Allen Creates Watercolor Weddng RSVP Card PostcardSam Allen Creates Watercolor Weddng Invitation Details Card

We even worked on some rehearsal invites to go with the theme as well…

Sam Allen Creates Watercolor Rehearsal Dinner Invitation

Okay okay enough of nerding out over paper goods in my home photo studio, let’s see the real wedding photos… by photographer Melissa McClure! And you can see her blog of the day here with so many more amazing photos!

Sam Allen Creates Watercolor Wedding Programs - Photo by Melissa McClure 5Sam Allen Creates Watercolor Wedding Programs - Photo by Melissa McClure

The reception was held at the Bali Hai Restaurant in La Jolla. It was a gorgeous restaurant right on the beach with a dock down into the water.

Wedding Bali Hai Reception - Photo by Melissa McClure

Sam Allen Creates Watercolor Wedding Reception Bali Hai Table Number Chart - Photo by Melissa McClureSam Allen Creates Watercolor Wedding Reception Table Number Chart - Photo by Melissa McClure

Sam Allen Creates Watercolor Wedding Reception Cards Birdcage - Photo by Melissa McClureSam Allen Creates Watercolor Wedding Reception Guest Book Sign - Photo by Melissa McClureSam Allen Creates Watercolor Wedding Reception Drink Selection Sign - Photo by Melissa McClure

Sam Allen Creates Watercolor Wedding Reception Bali Hai - Photo by Melissa McClure 2Sam Allen Creates Watercolor Wedding Reception Bali Hai Tablescape Floating Dahlia Centerpiece - Photo by Melissa McClure 2Sam Allen Creates Watercolor Wedding Reception Bali Hai Tablescape Floating Dahlia Centerpiece - Photo by Melissa McClure 5Sam Allen Creates Watercolor Wedding Reception Bali Hai Tablescape Floating Dahlia Centerpiece - Photo by Melissa McClure

For the placecards, we created individually painted bookmarks which would then fit a photo strip from the photo booth!

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And just a few more pictures of the beautiful bride and groom and I’m sneaking one in of me with the bride too! Isn’t she lovely!!

Wedding Portraits - Photo by Melissa McClureWedding Portraits - Photo by Melissa McClure 2Wedding Portraits at Ballast Point - Photo by Melissa McClureWedding Bali Hai Reception Sunset - Photo by Melissa McClure

 

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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.

Isaiah Monthlys-vw

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!!

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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!

Shabby Chic Woodsy Baby Shower AppetizersShabby Chic Woodsy Baby Shower Food Pine Cone CheeseballShabby Chic Baby Shower Potted Succulent FavorsShabby Chic Baby Shower Potted Succulent Favors 3


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

Shabby Chic Tribal Baby Shower Thank You Cards table 3Shabby Chic Tribal Baby Shower Thank You Cards table

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!

Sam Allen Creates Wedding Invitation Suite for Taylor fullSam Allen Creates Wedding Invitation Suite for Taylor full2Sam Allen Creates Wedding Invitation Suite for Taylor invite onlySam Allen Creates Wedding Invitation Suite for Taylor lace detailSam Allen Creates Wedding Invitation Suite for Taylor RSVP

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.