Friday, December 30, 2011

Top 11 of 2011

It was so difficult to pick only eleven photos as my top favorites for 2011! I really think I spent two hours creating this post because I kept switching the photos. Whew! I also noticed that I am not in any of my favorite photos :( Therefore, my goal is to be in at least one next year! 

Well, here are the Top 11 of 2011 in no particular order.

Nathaniel thinks he is such a grown up drinking
"coffee" in a mug just like Mommy.
(In reality, he is drinking milk.)
And one of the best parts of being a Stay-at-Home Mom?
I get to eat breakfast with this little guy every single day.

 I am picking the photo on the left for the Top 11
but feel that I need to show both for you to truly understand:
The morning before, Nathaniel was pantless when
I picked him up in his crib. That morning, I found him like this.
 We were at the playground and my husband Dean picked up
Nathaniel and started giving him kisses.
Suddenly, Dean said, "Wait! You're not my kid!"
If looks could kill, Dean would be dead 30x over
from the death stares from the parents.

"Adventurous Toddler Feet"
  My son is a true explorer.

"Kissy Face"
  I was trying to capture Nathaniel's natural highlights
and he looked up to give me this kissy face :)

 I am absolutely in love with my son's laughter.
It is music to my soul.

"Chubby Feet"
 Nathaniel looks very much like a toddler
but his hands and feet are still remnants of his babyhood.

Nathaniel loved Santa Claus...from a distance.

There is just something so peaceful and heart strings-tugging about watching these two nap together. It also gives me a couple of hours by myself  and do whatever my heart desires.

 Nathaniel ran his first 1-mile run with Daddy;
not even two-years old and already a runner!

 Exploring the beach with a stick and pausing to watch the beautiful sunset

Linking up to: 

Click It Up A Notch

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Home Owners

Exactly a month ago, we purchased our first home! It's an all brick ranch-style home with three bedrooms and two full baths. Our master bathroom has a garden tub, which I'm really looking forward to using. I've never been a bath-person but it is huge and just looks so cozy. It also has a great backyard with screened porch and a separate deck. There's a custom built play area for Nathaniel and an air conditioned dog house for Riley. I don't know if we'll really use the AC or heater, but I guess if it gets cold or hot enough we will. It has a gas fireplace, breakfast bar and nook, formal dining room and laundry/mud room. The only downside (if it really is downside) is the kitchen has a smooth-top cooktop. I just have to get used to it since I've always cooked with a gas stove top.

(iPhone 4 pic)

Purchasing this house is really an example of leap of faith and online shopping to the extreme. We saw it online while we were still in Texas and started the ball rolling after our friend who was already in Georgia viewed it. We were pre-approved, made an offer and scheduled an inspection within two weeks. My husband and I drove down to Georgia to view the house literally just AN HOUR before we signed the papers. We could have backed out if we needed to and just lost a chunk of money, but it looks like this house is really meant to be.

And the best part, my husband unpacked all of our stuff while he was down there for a week! He worked really hard and I'm so very thankful.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

We celebrated Christmas early with my side of the family yesterday and so we're spending today with my husband's family after church. Unfortunately, just like last year, Nathaniel has a runny nose and is cutting his two-year molars (for about two weeks now, in fact). If he wasn't feeling so miserable, I would completely find his stuffy, congested voice so adorable. But he is as happy as a sick boy can be and still seems to be enjoying all of the festivities.

 Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Santa Claus 2011

We took Nathaniel yesterday to have his annual pictures with Santa Claus. He was so excited to see Santa but as soon as it was his turn to sit on his lap, he started crying.

See Santa Claus 2010.

I didn't really care whether he smiles or cries in the picture. But personally, I really enjoy seeing the crying ones at this age :) It will be precious and hilarious(!) to look back at a few years from now.

And here is the "official" one ($18.18 for (1) 5x7)

We are still in Indiana visiting family and that's why I haven't been active on the blog. There are so many events I want to record but unfortunately I cannot devote any time on posting until after the holidays.

Happy Christmas Eve!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Happy 2nd Birthday, Nathaniel!

This precious little boy turned two today. For the past two years, we have been blessed, loved, hugged and sought for comfort and security by this child. He has also challenged our patience and tested our limit to stay sane. Every day spent with him is an adventure---an adventure I've been blessed to ride every single day.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Second Birthday Party

It was so exciting to watch Nathaniel blow his birthday candle and open his gifts this time around. Now that he is aware of what's going on and even participating at opening his gifts, I'm sure his future birthdays are only going to get more exciting from here.

Tita Sheila showing Nathaniel how old he is.

My nephew Daniel taking his turn at blowing that candle.

Opening his gifts; check out his face when he saw the football jersey. He's screaming, "Football!"

Go here to see Nathaniel's Milk & Cookies Party:

Monday, December 12, 2011

2nd Birthday: Milk & Cookies Party

We celebrated Nathaniel's second birthday early this past Saturday and the theme was Milk & Cookies. I was pretty much a mad crazy woman in the kitchen all week long baking 12+ dozen cookies. It was a lot of work (and waiting for the cookies to bake!) but it was all worth it in the end.

Keeping up with the theme, Nathaniel's birthday cake was shaped as two chocolate chip cookies---two since he is turning two years old :) My husband designed and decorated the cake and everyone thought it was such a clever cake.

Two Stacked Chocolate Chip Cake
8-inch marble cake covered in caramel-flavored fondant
and Hershey Kisses as chocolate chips

In the craziness of it all, I forgot to order these paper straws and I would have had to pay $18 dollars for overnight shipping. My prime membership with Amazon had just expired but fortunately, my brother-in-law came to the rescue. I really think they completed the overall look of the theme and I'm so, so glad we had them.

We served Strawberry, Chocolate and Regular milk. There was also soy and almond milk (not pictured) for the lactose intolerant guests, which there were quite a few considering we're Asians :)

I baked four different kinds of cookies and I'm so thankful there were only about three dozen left after the party. (Cookies for breakfast, anyone?) I decorated a few brown lunch bags and used them as giveaways/favors.

We also served fruit (not pictured) at the side as another/healthier option especially since there were several toddlers attending the party.

Stay tuned for pictures of Nathaniel blowing his birthday candle and opening his gifts!

Linking up to:
Leigh vs. Laundry: 52 Weeks of Happiness 
My 3 Boybarians: Sweet Shot Tuesday
Communal Global: Tuesdays Around the World

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Isabel Francesca

There so many new changes in our lives since the last time I posted but this news surely tops them all. My sister gave birth to a beautiful and healthy baby girl the day after Thanksgiving. They are both doing very well and I am taking every opportunity to snuggle with this precious little person. I really have forgotten how teeny-tiny newborns are. And the smell... oh, the smell! I'm sure that's what heaven smells like :)

Linking up to:

Leigh vs. Laundry: 52 Weeks of Happiness 
My 3 Boybarians: Sweet Shot Tuesday
Communal Global: Tuesdays Around the World

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today (November 15, 2011)

Outside my window...
Sunny and 70 degrees

I am thinking... our life is about to change again. Move #3 since Enlistment #1!

I am thankful for... a 23-month old toddler (today) and three and a half year marriage (tomorrow).

From the kitchen... an organized disorganized mess. I'm separating the liquids and opened items that I know for sure the movers will not pack tomorrow.

I am wearing... blouse and capris

I am going... to uproot my tomato plant today :( I'm sad the tomatoes never ripened in time before our move but it's good to know I can grow a plant.

I am reading... nothing at the moment.

I am hoping... to get better sleep tonight. Since Sunday evening, I've had restless sleep where my brain just won't shut down. I think I'm just a liiiiiitle bit stressed out about the move.

I am hearing... Nathaniel playing with a ball.

Around the house... packed suitcases. Operation Live Out of a Suitcase started yesterday.

One of my favorite things... OTC analgesics that takes care of cramps and backache.

Inspired by our wedding song... The Way I Am

"If you were falling, then I would catch you.
You need a light, I'd find a match.
Cause I love the way you say good morning.
And you take me the way I am.

If you are chilly, here take my sweater.
Your head is aching, I'll make it better.
Cause I love the way you call me baby.
And you take me the way I am.

I'd buy you Rogaine when you start losing all your hair.
Sew on patches to all you tear.
Cause I love you more than I could ever promise.
And you take me the way I am.
You take me the way I am.
You take me the way I am."

A few plans for the rest of the week...
  • TMO packs our house tomorrow
  • Half year wedding anniversary tomorrow (3.5 years)
  • Clean the house, final house inspection and return the keys on Thursday
  • Hubby's graduation on Friday then drive straight to Carthage, MO
  • Spend a week in Missouri
Here is a picture I am sharing... 11.08.11 What a beautiful face.

Linking up to:

Leigh vs. Laundry: 52 Weeks of Happiness
 Simplicity: Photography Challenge--Favorite

San Antonio: Riverwalk and Downtown

After a quick tour of The Alamo, we went to the RiverCenter Mall so Hubby and Nathaniel can go to the Dinosaur-Quest. According to Dean, Nathaniel had a good time looking at the dinosaurs, watching the videos and copying the sounds they make. And I took this opportunity to look around downtown and find the nearest station for the Riverwalk boat tour.

Nathaniel was so excited to ride the boat that he didn't give me very much chance to take pictures during the tour. Our guide was hilarious and it's amazing how this city is just so full of history.

Looks like the ship Titanic

Where they filmed the Q&A scene in the movie Miss Congeniality

 Other view of the Q&A scene in the movie Miss Congeniality

After dinner, we went to Ripley's Believe It or Not, the Wax Museum and rode a 4-D ride, which Dean and I took turns to ride so someone can stay with the Little One.

My little Tom Cruise

It was a fun but long day filled with lots of walking. We obviously didn't get to see everything so I hope we can go back someday.

Linking up to:

My 3 Boybarians: Sweet Shot Tuesday
Communal Global: Tuesdays Around the World
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