Year One Reflections, Part 2: Colorado Fun!

Stella loves all things Disney! Disney Princesses–Disney/Pixar movies–Mickey Mouse Clubhouse {especially Minnie!}–etc. It only made sense to plan a trip to Disney for our 1-year Stella Family-versary. But then we realized, it actually made no sense at all. Even a year later, she is just not ready for that much overstimulation for several days in a row.

Instead, we took her cue and went to Colorado because she wanted to play in snow. We had so much fun–being silly in the snow and hanging out with cousins.

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I had to get just as many photos of Paul playing in the snow than Stella–haha! Growing up in South Carolina one does not get to see the fluffy, white flakes often, let alone build big snow balls and sled.


Paul’s mission was to roll a snow ball that was too big for him to lift. Mission accomplished, with Stella’s help!


“Mama look! Snow angels” She would make one and instead of getting up to change her location, she would roll to the next spot and make another one. They looked like paper doll snow angels!


Mama had to be a kid, too! {It’s been a while since I’ve played like this in the snow and it was so much fun!}


Our host family {minus Ryan because someone had to work instead of play}! Lindsey, my cousin that I share a birthday with, and two of her three kids helped to make Stella’s first experience in the snow an absolute blast!


**We missed getting a photo with cousin Shelly 😦 Not sure how that happened, but enjoyed her company and the time she came over to hang out with us.**

Baba needed a hair cut so we were off to visit cousin Sam’s barber shop! He had no idea we were coming, which made our entrance so cool. Thanks Sam & Austin for the Krazy Karl’s pizza recommendation! It was beyond tasty.


When we left Loveland, we realized we were only 30 minutes from the Wyoming state line. None of us have ever been to Wyoming before so we made it an adventure! The best part was that as we were driving it began to snow big, pretty flakes and continued to snow once we got out of the car to capture a family photo. The joy in Stella’s voice and excitement as she told us she was catching snowflakes made this mama’s heart melt. It was evident that this was the first time our southern China girl had ever seen snow fall into her hands!


The Denver Stock Show was in full swing, which meant it was rodeo time–a first for both Paul and Stella. Cousin Sophie made sure Stella had a cow-girl shirt to wear and everything!




After the rodeo we were able to hang out with Mundi. A neat coffee shop, a tasty burger joint , and a quick tour of Union Station rounded out our trip into the city of Denver. {Thanks Jen for sharing your parking pass!}34-mundi

Never a dull moment….not even when we were just at the house. Wings, a wand and play heals become typical accessories for Stella. She was in heaven when Sophie’s dress up clothes were unpacked.

dress up1 dress up2

The Broncos were playing, but we spent more time talking while hanging out with Scott & Deanne! Stella wasn’t too sure of Bear the dog, but I absolutely love the photo of them because she finally gave him a chance and sort of became “friends”.


One would think in Colorado it would be easy to purchase a sled. NOPE! Nada! No way! Little known fact that we learned: most stores get one shipment in for the season and by mid-January they are sold out. BOO!! After going to several stores and calling twice as many, we finally found some at  Lowe’s. A surprise, new box and we snagged 3!!  {They have since been left for our cousins to use and come to the rescue of some other southerners that come into town and need a sled.}


With enough sleds for everyone, we piled into two cars and headed to the sledding hill at Rocky Mountain National Park.  As we were getting out of our rental car, Lindsey texted me:


All we could do was laugh as we bundled up. No turning back now!!




Tuesday, January 19, 2016 marked one year since we had become a family. Mundi found a great restaurant where we could order dim sum or off a Chinese menu. They had our favorite egg custard steamed buns and Stella’s beloved noodles, which made us reminisce to our meals with David, our guide from Stella’s province.


And as the cliche goes….all good things must come to an end. Our trip to Colorado was fabulous! Time with family was wonderful and watching Stella play in the snow & catch snowflakes was priceless!!


It was only fitting for Stella to take her “Pleasant Goat” backpack with us on this trip. It was the one that brought with her when she met us the previous year.

z-outta here

We love you, Stella and had so much fun celebrating 1 year as a family! Thanks for planting the idea of going west to play in the snow in mama’s head.

We’ll visit Minnie and the Disney Princesses another time–PROMISE!


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