Two Oh Fifteen

I totally missed the months where the reminiscing posts are made, but I still want to take the time to look back on the crazy year of 2015. It was a year I will never ever forget…

January + February

These months were so work-centric. Tons of overtime and I know I’ve shared so much of Etsy based stuff so I’m just rushing past this… if you don’t mind 🙂

water color hand lettering one little word shine 03

March

The month started off with a bang, just mere months after celebrating the BIG 1,000th Etsy sale, I made my 2,000th sale! And after that very stressful 2014 year of working a “getting busier by the month” Etsy shop while maintaining a full time job, I finally decided to put notice in at my job to be able to fully focus solely on my shop. Even though I still worked both for another few strenuous months, there was finally light at the end of the tunnel.

Your New Friend Sam Bubble Mailers

April

Following a weekend trip to Salt Lake City for BBQ, my best friend Amie and I with her little 4 month old, Hudson, in tow, we traveled to go see the missing piece to our set: our bestie Joyce in New York.

New York Amie Joyce Sam 2015

May

In May, Andy and I traveled up the state of California to the coast of Oregon where Rooftop BBQ took calls in every category at the Coos Bay BBQ Competition and won Grand Champion! We then drove from Oregon to Colorado (yes, we are crazy) to compete in Loveland, spending a few days at my aunt’s in the mountains where we got some rest and work done before the competition and the drive home.

Rooftop Barbeque Grand Champion Oregon 2015

Watercolor Envelope Addressing from Sam Allen Creates

June

Toward the end of June, one of my best friends from high school, Brittany (who you’ve seen around here quite a bit!), gave birth to her sweet baby girl. While I don’t get to see them very often and not even close to enough, I was so happy to take her newborn photos and get some extra cuddles in with the lil’ princess. More photos here.

Jeannette Newborn Photography Dana Point 811

July

In July, Etsy was at it’s peak. My full time job had finally and officially ended. I started working on my sign designs that as I know now, would end up being sold in Hobby Lobby (!!!!). One of my best friend’s wedding was coming up in less than 30 days so there was lots of painting, work to do and celebrations to have… and then we left for a road trip to Montana for my family reunion in which we flew back early for the wedding itself! Whoo!

Sam and Lindsey Newport Cruise

Sam Loves Buffalo Selfie

August

My beautiful friend Lindsey’s wedding was sandwiched right between our TWO Montana trips of last year. It was such a beautiful day and the wedding was a blast! I was so honored to get to stand up with her as she married the man of her dreams!

Lindsey Fogleminh Wedding - Melissa McClure

A week later, Andy and I drove right back up north to compete in Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota. In Wyoming, Andy won his second Grand Championship of the year and I can’t believe I got to be there by his side. I’m so incredibly proud of his talents and love when he gets recognized for his amazingness.

Rooftop Barbeque Worland Wyoming Fair BBQ Competition

September

This was our month to relax and recoup before the BIG trip to come.

Owen at the Beach, September 2015

October

At the start of October, we were already in the midst of our cross country trip that would be taking us to Missouri, Tennessee and finally to Florida before the long journey home.

In Missouri, Andy and Joe competed for Rooftop BBQ at the (Invitational and Open) American Royal World Series of BBQ in Kansas City. They not only got some high trophies, including a first in brisket, but they also were awarded their first ever PERFECT score!

Rooftop BBQ American Royal

From there, we spent a couple weeks crashing at my cousin’s house (more on our time in Missouri here) before heading on to Tennessee where Rooftop competed at the Jack Daniels World Championship Invitational in Lynchburg—winning another top ten call for their brisket (it’s really that good, seriously).

Before making the final trip east to Florida, we spent a few days around Nashville including a cave tour! I’m 5 weeks pregnant here… even though we wouldn’t find out for another couple weeks!

Cumberland Caves

November

The start of November 2015 is where we found ourselves in the midst of a brand new adventure. The morning of November 2, hours before we planned to tourist around Walt Disney World… we found ourselves excitedly staring at a positive pregnancy test. After so many years, it seemed like a lost dream. I’ll be posting more about it (soon), so for now I just wanted to share our first official family photo at the Happiest Place on Earth.

P.S. The photographer who took this for us was the first official person to find out about the pregnancy! Ah!

Allen Baby Announcement Walt Disney World

December

The last month of 2015 is a total blur as I spent the majority of the month in the throws of morning sickness… but we did manage to have a quick photo session with my friend Courtney and make an announcement about our little one to come!

Allen Pregnancy Announcement Christmas Joy

So all in all, 2015 was a pretty spectacular year!

xoxo

Greetings From Missouri

Sam Allen Creates Missouri Fall Leaf Lettering

Hi y’all! Just wanted to post a quick update about our trip! We are just about to head out to Tennessee for the second BBQ competition of the trip, but before we do that I had to share about the Missouri leg.

After driving for 3 days, we made it to the American Royal BBQ competition in Kansas City where the team competed in two back to back competitions. They knew it was a tough competition and only hoped to get “a call,” to be placed in the top 15 in any category, where they’d be announced and receive a ribbon.

American Royal 2015

The first day was the Invitational where they placed 2nd in ribs out of 165 top teams in the nation. The next day was the Open where they competed against 615 teams, including all of the 165 teams from the day before. The day before’s awards only made the team more nervous knowing that a top call was totally possible. With no calls in the first 3 categories, and after really bad brisket scores the day before, we thought it was time to go home. When the announcer got to the top 4 in brisket, he let everyone know that everyone in the top 4 had perfect scores, a 180. The very next name he called… Rooftop BBQ! And then just moments later, the top 10 overall were announced and Rooftop placed 8th! Out of 615 teams and without knowing their scores in chicken, ribs, or pork, it was a complete shock!

American Royal Rooftop BBQ Awards

I don’t know what I’m more proud of… they really did so amazing! The perfect score is really neat though as that means they made their personal best as well.


Sam Allen Creates Strouds Kansas City

After a day or so to cooperate, with an amazingly country fried dinner at Stroud’s… we moved on to stay at my cousin’s house in Springfield, Missouri. It’s been quite an interesting challenge to have my office supplies all put away in tubs all the time, but I’m getting used to it. Makes me wanna downsize the office at home now 🙂

Your New Friend Sam Etsy Lettering Shop on the Road

A cart full of office supplies… my craft studio on the go.

These past couple weeks have been wonderful! Staying put and spending time in the wonderful autumn weather. It was the perfect mix of work, relaxation and fun!

But to really sum up this part of the trip, it was all about FOOTBALL! My cousin’s son, who was our adorable ringbearer at our wedding, plays the center for his high school football team… it was so amazing to get to watch him play in two games while we were here. PLUS Andy cooked for the linemen on the team as well during both weeks… 10 racks of ribs one week and they almost polished off a whole brisket the next week. And then this past weekend, Jake spent some time teaching me how to play football! Pointers on how to catch and throw with a fancy spin. And he even snapped the ball to me like he does in the game. I’m going to go pro now thanks to him.

Sidenote: ESPN just posted about an amazing trick play the team did at their game this past Friday that we were lucky enough to attend. View it here, seriously they’re so good. And of course, shout out to my cousin who snapped the ball as the center of the offense line. See video here.

We also got to spend both our birthdays here with some yummy food and and a couple matinee movies.

So here we go, all packed up and ready to head to Tennessee for the Jack Daniels World Championship. Go Rooftop!

Rooftop BBQ Trailer in Missouri