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.

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…

 

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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Four Month Old Isaiah

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Considering you will be 5 months old next week, I’m a little late in posting this. Thankfully I took good notes and wrote this out a few weeks ago because you have changed SO much since you turned 4 months. Every day brings us a new joy and discovery… but for now, I’m enjoying taking a look back on the month before:


You’ve found your hand, your fist and then your thumb. But you kinda prefer to alternate them all and end up with lots of eye pokes.
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For a time, you’d like to throw your right arm out and above your head, but end up with smacking yourself in the face. In just this past week, you’ve really figured out how to grab and hold things whether it’s a teething toy monkey or a blanket.
You’ve found your voice. Chats with you are my favorite. You rarely even interrupt but are always ready with a lengthy reply.
We heard your first laugh. It came and went so fast and I couldn’t wait to hear it again.
You’ve had your first Disneyland experience. Something I’ve been waiting for for as long as I can remember. We took you on Its A Small World for you first ride. Walt Disney and Mary Blair would have been proud! You seemed to like it at first, after all we are on a boat (another first!) and water is your favorite, but then your sleepiness kicked in and you kinda lost your cool. Your sleepiness overtook you for your second ride as well: Winnie the Pooh. Being able to take my very own baby to a place I’ve loved so deeply was so magical. Being part of the stroller pushing mamas, wow! I can’t believe I get to do that now!
You still get super excited about things and flail your arms up and down when you do. Add in your super big “crazy eyes” and we can’t help but get excited too! You love your Nemo jumper, especially when Sheldon the seahorse says a hearty “Hi Isaiah!” It almost guarantees your gummy bashful smile in return.
Bath time is still a highlight of the day. You’re almost growing out of your tub though so the kicks and splashes haven’t been as frequent! Now that you don’t hate getting out of the tub as much, snuggling up in your towel has become a lot more fun!
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Being your mama, son, is a privilege and an honor. Why God chose me for this joyful task, I will never know, but I will never stop thanking him for choosing me to raise you. Your smile and spark are contagious. Your curiosity in the smallest of things, like the polka dot lining on the Boppy, makes me wonder and makes me so excited to show you the world.

30 Wishes

Ugh, 30?! Seriously, when did that even happen?! I don’t feel 30… does that count for anything?!

I have to say this was one exciting year though! I celebrated my birthday last year, pregnant without knowing it, in Missouri. Weeks later, finding out about the pregnancy the morning of our day at Walt Disney World in Florida… flash forward about 6 months, buying a new house, having a baby, AND THEN moving into the new house. Throw in some fun work projects like getting my lettering in Hobby Lobby (next to Isaiah, this may be my best accomplishment of my life!), and here we are. The Big Three-Oh.

I couldn’t help but assemble another Wishes post… they are just too fun! I almost didn’t make a Wishes list this year… hence why I’m posting this so close to the BIG day. The big THREE-OH. Ugh… but I figured, why not. It was fun picking stuff out for myself! And being lazy and rolling over wishes from last year haha

Disclaimer: making these yearly birthday lists has just been for fun but now that my friends and family have gotten used to them, I can’t just stop releasing them. Right….? Plus they’re kinda fun to make, it’s like window shopping but online.


 

1-6. New Books

My usual book section is a little different this year… I’ve finally accepted the fact that reading books at an adult reading level may be out of the question right now, but I really don’t mind as reading to Isaiah is just THE BEST! I get so into the rhyming books that it’s hard to talk like a normal person for at least an hour afterward.

1. No Slurping, No Burping! | 2. Let Me Finish! | 3. Maxwell the Monkey Barber | 4. Good Good Father | 5. The Incredible Intergalactic Journey Home | 6. Chick ‘n’ Pug

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7-8. Kuretake Metallic Pens and Zig Brush Glitter Markers

I have a serious addiction to pens. I must try them all, in a variety of colors. ALL OF THEM. Especially metallic ones… oh so shiny!

9. Main Street Bakery Candle

My Disneyland themed guest room was finally finished earlier this year… and then we moved. So all the wonderfulness of the Happiest Place on Earth is sitting in boxes still. That must change soon. I think this candle would be a great smelling aroma during the unpacking!

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10. Disneyland Paper Cut

Speaking of my Disneyland guest room…. this this this!

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11. Amen Paper Co’s Advent Calendar and Devotional

My favorite lettering artist, Lindsay Letters, created the lettering for this devotional AGAIN this year. Yay! This advent calendar is paired with a devotional for the month of December. Such a neat idea.

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12. Sugar & Type’s Rule the World Planner

I bought this for myself during the presale…. I just loved my planner last year so much, I couldn’t help myself!

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13. Lettering Prayer Journal

I only recently discovered Krystal Whitten because of the release of her lettering prayer journal, but as I’ve followed her on Instagram… I’ve come to love her! Her posts are always so inspiring as she shares her walk with God with the world. She created this journal to letter through the Bible while keeping a place to write down your prayers. It’s so beautiful!

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14. Sliderwriter

This would be so incredibly useful during the season of envelope addressing! However, I’ve seen letterers also share about using a laser level from a hardware store… to each their own! Sliderwriter image by @pishposhletters

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15. Full Set of Tombow Dual Brush Pens

Ooooooh the colors! I want all the colorsssss! I only have one set of these markers, and I’ve come to find out that 9 is just not enough. I want need them all!

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16. Jenny Rijke Ceramics

Jenny Rijke ordered a logo stamp from me last year and I just fell in love with her clean yet textured style of pottery. I just had to include something from her shop on my list, but it was hard to choose!

jenny rijke PLATTER. Modern, textured, organically formed white ceramic platter_plate with gold rim

17. Jerry Seinfeld Tickets

A night out sounds nice… with Jerry or not 😉

06301210215, 10093708 On 2012-11-30,at 1:02 PM Rockingham, Graham (GRockingham@thespec.com) Subject: Seinfeld photo Jerry Seinfeld performed two-sold out shows at Hamilton Place Friday Graham Rockingham Music Editor Hamilton Spectator 44 Frid St., Hamilton, ON, L8N 3G3 905-526-3331 Jerry Seinfeld Jerry Seinfeld performs onstage at the David Lynch Foundation: A Night of Comedy honoring George Shapiro at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on Saturday June 30, 2012 in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by John Shearer/Invision for David Lynch Found

18. Disneyland Entrance Plaque

This is so perfect for my Disneyland room. So so perfect.

here you leave today plaque

19. ”Partners” Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse Statue

And what’s more even more perfect is this Partners statue.

20. Holiday Photo Session with Jessica Rose

This wonderful lady (and one of my closest friends) is taking holiday photo sessions again this year and this year I am totally taking advantage of it! Andy and I haven’t had a professionally taken Christmas card photo in years… who knows if we’ll actually make it on the card. Isaiah tends to steal the show and I’m totally okay with it! See our newborn photo session with her here!

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21-22. Laser Printer & Paper Cutter

My lists are never complete without a handful of very boring business related items… this time a fancy paper cutter and laser printer. Must haves for my growing stationery shop! You could even look at as being an investor in Your New Friend Sam 😉

23. Area Rug

I can get lost on the Magnolia website and since we’ve been looking for an area rug, and the infamous Joanna just came out with a rug collection, I can’t help but drool over them.

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24-27. King Size Bed

All Andy’s been talking about wanting for HIS birthday is a king size bed… we were too spoiled during our road trip last year with all the hotels. I guess he just wants his space 😉

PLUS he did go from having a king size bed to sharing a queen size with a growing pregnant mama haha

Bedframe | Bedspread | Sheets | Mattress

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28. Disneyland Pass

Our passes are about to expire—next month! We’ve already gotten to take Isaiah once to the Happiest Place on Earth, but I’m looking forward to years and years of more memories with my little Mouseketeer.

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29. Wacom Tablet

For the past few months, I’ve had the luxury of borrowing a Wacom tablet. I’ve officially become addicted and so dependent on it that I don’t know how I’ll function without it. So I’m going to start saving… and saving for one of these little babies of my very own!

My favorite use of the tablet has been how easy it’s made making my monthly milestone charts for Isaiah! (plus I was just looking for a shameless way to insert some cute baby photos!)

30. Chevy Equionox

For the last 4 years, this car has been on my list. Three years ago we ended up buying a truck, and 2 years ago a new smoker for catering, and last year another new truck… in other words: BBQ, BBQ, BBQ! And then this year…. we bought a house—and had a baby. So maybe next year. 🙂

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Happy Birthday to Me!

Another year, another candle on the cake, another list of wishes!