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Camera shy or just plain snobby?

Whenever Nathaniel sees me pull out my camera, he purposely looks away. He started doing this when he turned a year old and ever since, it has been a task getting him to look at the camera. I'm guessing it's because I've been taking his picture since he was born and he is just over it.

The following pictures really depict what I'm trying to say. We were at Lowes and Nathaniel insisted upon wearing his Dada's hat while driving the car cart. It's a memory I want to preserve so I took my camera out to snap a picture.


He sees me pull out the camera and he gave me this look.


Then I asked him to give me a smile and he looked at me like I asked him to do something silly.


I continued to call his name and asked for a smile and he pretended not to hear me.


I put the camera away for a second so he resumed playing. I'm pretty sure this is considered as reckless driving.


He fixed his hat and I managed to get a little grin. I realized that's the most I will get out o…

Project 365: 2011 Photobook

My 2011 Project 365 photobook came in the mail a couple days ago and I am beyond ecstatic. I have thought many times about quitting but now I am so glad and thankful that I didn't. It is such a blessing to look at these photos and be reminded of all the memories that 2011 brought us.




I decided to continue the tradition but this time, I am calling it 2012 in 366 Photos. I will still continue to take pictures everyday but it's ok if I miss a day or two.

New Car: 2012 Hyundai Tucson Limited

Meet the newest addition to our family! Over the weekend, we purchased a 2012 Hyundai Tucson Limited in black. We decided to just trade-in my husband's truck instead of fixing the problems. We received a lot more in return and then there was also his military discount. You factor in Hyundai's warranty (10-year/100,000 miles powertrain protection, 5-year/unlimited mile 24-hour roadside assistance, etc.) and this really is the best choice and deal for us.

I apologize in advance about the picture overload. This is mostly for our family and friends in Indiana who have been asking for pictures :)


We chose the limited edition because it automatically comes with leather seats. That was our main #1 request; everything else would be "extra." I know many people do not like leather seats because they get really hot in the summer. But with children (and pets), leather seats are just the easiest way to keep and maintain the interior of the vehicle clean.


We chose to forgo the pan…

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today (January 17, 2012)


Outside my window...
Cloudy and 56 degrees

I am thinking... and debating whether I should apply for my Georgia nursing license.

I am thankful for... marrying my high school sweetheart. It's great growing up and old with my best friend.

From the kitchen... Blueberry-Peach Frozen Yogurt in the making.

I am wearing... my high school Academic Giants t-shirt and pajamas; it's a lounging-type of day.

I am going... to take photos of the household goods that were damaged during the move.

I am reading... Graceling by Kristin Cashore.

I am hoping... to purchase my dream big girl camera soon.

I am hearing... Nathaniel playing with his drum.

Around the house In the garage... Our brand new vehicle! Over the weekend, we purchased a 2012 Hyundai Tucson Limited in black.

One of my favorite things... Nutella. Yum.

Inspired by the church song... I Know Who Holds Tomorrow

"I don't know about tomorrow,
I just live from day to day.
I don't borrow from its sunshine,

Recipe: Southwest Chicken Chili

Whenever the temperature drops, my stomach craves soup. Thankfully, this soup is easy to prepare with the ingredients you most likely already have in the kitchen. We found that this is even better the next day when the flavors have had time to marry. You can add more broth or just plain water and adjust the seasonings based on how flavorful and spicy you like your chili soup. It is versatile, delicious and just warms your soul and toes :)



Adapted from Picky Plate

Serves 4

Ingredients:
2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil 1 small onion, diced2 cloves garlic, minced 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded (I used rotisserie chicken for extra flavor)2 tbsps chili powder2 tbsps cumin2 tsps dry Ranch seasoning from packet 1 can (10 oz) Rotel diced tomatoes, mild2 cans (14.5 oz) chicken broth1 can (8 oz) corn1 can (16 oz) navy beans, drain and rinse3/4 cup uncooked pasta***Toppings: cilantro, cheese, sour cream (optional)***If using a larger size pasta, pre-cook it according to manufacturer's instructio…

Car Troubles

My husband's truck started having issues late last month and after spending $1200+, they are now telling us the engine needs to be replaced. A used one costs $3000 and a new one is $5000+. At this point, we might as well use that money as a down payment towards a new vehicle. The truck is a 2002 Ford Ranger so it is fairly odd.


We were hoping to wait to upgrade to a larger vehicle for a few more years so now we're not really sure what to do. Do we buy a new vehicle or a newly used one? Or should we just suck it up for a while and just become a one car family? It will work but it will be tough on me and Nathaniel. I would have to drop Dean off to work on the days that we need the car, which means I would have to wake up the little one reeeeeally early.


We're not really sure what to do at the moment so prayers would be greatly appreciated.

***About the pictures: there was a strong snow storm on our drive down to Georgia so we were forced to stop multiple times in the middle…

Project 365: Week 52

Week 52: December 24th to December 31st


358  Christmas Eve with my side of the family. And I got a tripod and a wireless remote for Christmas :)

359  Christmas pajamas and Thomas. Nathaniel opening his gifts from Santa.

360  We were at Menards (hardware store) for two hours! I was beyond bored.

361  Snow!

362  Another favorite place to eat in college and pre-baby: Petite Chou (French Bistro). May be the last date with Hubby for a while since we're heading to Georgia soon.

363  Best friends yet rivals in football

364  All of the St. Louis boys played Nerf guns; Nathaniel included.

365  Heart-shaped post-it letter wall.

Project 365: Week 51

Week 51: December 17th to December 23rd


351  Macaroni and Cheese

352  Cow-licked hair after naptime

353  Dinner with my best friend Sheila

354  Abandoned bird nest for the winter season

355  McDonald's play place. Hubby and I read The Hunger Games while Nathaniel played.

356  Candle

357  Nathaniel loved Santa...from a distance.

Project 365: Week 50

Week 50: December 10th to December 16th


344  Nathaniel's 2nd birthday party: Milk and Cookies Party

345  Big eyes cutie pie

346  Our yearly newsletter

347  Bird bath at my mom's backyard

348  Last day as a one year old!

349  My precious two years old son

350  Tree bark

Project 365: Week 49

Week 49: December 3rd to December 9th


337  We attended a college friend's son's 2nd birthday party and it was held at a fire station. Nathaniel loved the fire trucks.

338  Cars and colander as hats.

339  My sister and her family; Christmas family photoshoot.

340  Christmas lights

341  One of our favorite places to eat in college and pre-baby: Yats. Cajun-Creole yummy, goodness food.

342  Water drain

343  Nathaniel's 2nd birthday cake: Two Stacked Chocolate Chip Cookies Cake

Project 365: Week 48

Week 48: November 26th to December 2nd


330  Lunch at Cracker Barrel during our drive from Carthage, MO to Indianapolis, IN

331  My beautiful niece Isabel (two days old)

332  Hubby and I drove down to Grovetown, GA to purchase a house. For the entire trip, we only stopped to get gas and to use the bathroom so we were starving by dinnertime.

333  Our first home!

334  Driving back up to Indiana.

335  Hubby's super spicy Banh Mi at my favorite Vietnamese restaurant.

336  Hallmark's Kissing Bears at my sister's house.

Project 365: Week 47

Week 47: November 18th to November 25th


323  Just a few of the books in my husband's grandparents' house. Hubby's grandfather was a historian for the United States Air Force.

324  Lamp

325  Chipmunk cheeks

326  Hickory Dickory Dock; do you see the mouse?

327  Nathaniel talking to Lola (my mom)

328  It was a gorgeous day on Thanksgiving so we played football.

329  Funny family picture. Also, my niece Isabel was born!

Project 365: Week 46

Week 46: November 12th to November 18th


316 Seaworld in San Antonio!

317  Silly kid making a goofy face.

318  What happens when you don't listen to Mommy. He's fine! :)

319  I just harvested and then uprooted my tomato plants :( These poor babies never had a chance; movers are arriving the next day.

320  Moving again.

321  Metal chair; there was a little hangout area at the back of each room at the base hotel.

322  Nathaniel held on to this football the entire trip from San Angelo, TX to Carthage, MO. Operation Live out of a Suitcase began three days ago.

Project 365: Week 45

Week 45: November 5th to November 11th


309  We saw this Halloween Gingerbread house on clearance and decided it is alright to keep the "holiday" going.

310  Photo booth fun; Nathaniel kept grabbing our faces together! (taken with the computer camera)

311  USMC Sword; My husband is part of the cordon for the Marine Corps Ball this year.

312  Nathaniel as Elmo.

313  I am absolutely in love with his laugh.

314  236th Marine Corps Ball; Nathaniel spent his first sleep over at a friend's house.

315  Riverwalk Boat Tour in San Antonio, TX

Project 365: Week 44

Week 44: October 29th to November 4th


302  We had the privileged to attend Gabby and Tim's vow renewal. It was great seeing them all again. (iPhone pic)

303  Nathaniel screaming, "Eyes!" On our way home from Houston. (iPhone pic)

304  Trick or Treating! Nathaniel, dressed up as a 'py-er' (spider), was checking out his loot.

305  One of the best parts of being a stay-at-home mom? I get to eat breakfast with this little guy every day.

306  Nathaniel thinks he is such a grown up drinking "coffee" just like Mommy.

307  A little late in the game but my tomato plants are finally bearing fruit! (The evening temperatures here in TX are finally going below 55F) But the tomatoes have been green for more than two weeks now.

308  Two of my favorite veggies: mushroom and eggplant

Project 365: Week 43

Week 43: October 22nd to October 28th


295  Halloween Party for the Little Ones: Nutty Ghosts---Nutter Butter cookies dipped in Almond Bark white chocolate with mini-chocolate chips as eyes. (Nathaniel called these "Bear.")


296  Nathaniel had a head injury during the Halloween Party, which resulted to his first trip to the ER.


297  Homemade Chick-Fil-A; so delicious, tender and sweet! Recipe found here.


298  Baby Jail


299  Spicy Thai Noodle; it is very spicy and I even already cut the red pepper flakes in half! Recipe found here.


300  Little Munchkin eating one of his favorite foods: Macaroni and Cheese.


301  Breakfast date with Mommy: eating his free Scary-Face pancake from IHOP.

Project 365: Week 42

Week 42: October 15th to October 21st


288 Hubby and Toddler picking a pumpkin at the pumpkin patch

289  One of our four carved pumpkins

290  Nathaniel got stuck on his Daddy's computer chair. And yes, I took a picture first before helping him :) (He was fine!)

291  Hamburger and Grape-Tomato Pizza (homemade dough)---really delicious! Recipe found here.

292  Adventurous toddler feet.

293  I started making the decorations for my Halloween Party for the Little One

294  "Gigil" A Filipino word with no English translation; it means: trembling or gritting of the teeth in response to a situation that overwhelms your self-control.

Project 365: Week 41

Week 41: October 8th to October 14th


281  We went to a car show but didn't get to stay very long since it started raining.

282  Chocolate and Peanut Butter Popcorn aka Reese's Peanut Buttercup Popcorn aka Poppy Chow. So sweet and yummy! Recipe found here.

283  Enjoying an ice cream from Marble Slab

284  Our wedding rings

285  Tortellini with Mushroom Sauce. Hubby and Toddler loved it! Recipe found here.

286  Thai Beef with Chiles and Basil over Coconut Rice. Such a great way and unique way to cook ground beef. Recipe found here.

287 Just... hanging.

Play Set

Operation Living Out of a Suitcase finally ended yesterday evening after a month and half. We drove down from Indiana during a snowstorm, where at one point the visibility dropped down to zero. I'm very thankful my husband is a great driver because we witness two accidents. There were several more along the way that we had to stop to a stand still in the middle of the interstate highway. But we are all safe and Nathaniel handled the road trip well. Our dog Riley did, too.

As I've mentioned before, our newly purchased first home came with a custom built play set and we immediately tried it out today.


Nathaniel loved riding the "horsey." And yes, it is pink :) The previous home owners had two girls and Hubby and I have already discussed painting it to a different color. But honestly, I don't think Nathaniel really cares about the color!


And just in case you also noticed, yes, that is a sock acting as a glove (left hand). I couldn't find the other pair---I'm…

Happy 2012!

I'm not really a resolutions-type of gal but I'm finding myself setting goals for this new year. It will be nice to come back to this post a couple months from now and see how I am doing. I may add some throughout the year, too, since these are just a few I can think of right now.
Improve web design/Adobe Photoshop skillsPrint the pictures I take on a regular basisBe in the pictures more oftenRead/Study the Bible everydayRun a 5KPrepare mind and body for Baby #2Re-paint and decorate the new houseGo on a date with Hubby at least once a monthLeave the house more often with Nathaniel Finish a book or two every monthPost more recipes on the blog Finish another Project 366 or Project 52 (haven't decided yet) Buy my dream camera (Canon 5D MKII)Start my photography business
Happy New Year!