S: For Stella . Love Sam
FC: Memories of my time with you | Dear Stella | September 2010- May 2011
1: I remember when I was still in Germany, talking to your mommy about coming to New Zealand. This was the first picture I saw of you. | I had so much fun living in Germany and I couldn't wait to keep traveling and see a new country. I went home to Oregon for only two weeks to see my family and friends before I left again. I can remember being a little nervous about coming to New Zealand, but mostly just excited! I remember seeing you for the first time at the airport when you picked me up. You were so cute and I was amazed at how well you could talk!
2: When I first arrived, you loved riding your bike around town, picking flowers, and checking out the rock pools at the beach.
3: You also loved going for ice cream and drinking pretty lemonades at the Duke. That never changed :)
4: You loved going to Playcentre and I enjoyed taking you there. You couldn't wait to see your friends and liked to play outside the most.
5: In November, I made Thanskgiving dinner to share an American tradition. It was a really special night, so much fun to eat outside in the front yard. | It was great to have so many people to enjoy the meal.
6: In December, you helped cheer me on when I did the ocean swim from Russell to Paihia. | Christmas was a very exciting time, but so weird for me because it was hot! Santa came to the Playcentre party and brought all the kids gifts.
7: We had a great Christmas day. We opened presents in the morning at home... | ...and had an excellent Christmas dinner at the Duke in the afternoon.
8: The summer was so hot. We went to the beach almost every day, played with Kira and Lia, did a lot of baking, and took naps to pass the days. Your cousins Fletcher and Chloe visited with Aunt Erin and their aupair Andrea.
9: There were two weddings in February, Aunt Erin's in Wanaka and Uncle Eric's on Urupukapuka Island. | You looked so pretty! | You and Taylor Rose were flower girls. | You did such a good job!
12: In March you turned three! | You got so many nice gifts and we had a great time at the Parrot Safari. The birds especially liked your mommy.
13: You loved being silly with Kira, Lia, and Juliette. | You always looked forward to ballet and loved to color.
14: In April, we got to spend two weeks at the farm in Papamoa. I had never spent time on a farm before. | You showed me how to feed the chickens and ducks and collect the eggs. I got to milk a cow! It was a big car trip.
15: Easter was another busy time for the Duke. Laura the explorer came to visit. | We colored eggs and ate a lot of chocolate.
16: Our last few days together in Russell were bittersweet. The weather was beautiful and we spent a lot of time at the playground. | I was excited to see more of the country, but knew I was going to miss you and Russell very much.
17: I got to spend my last two weeks in New Zealand traveling and I had so much fun. It really is a beautiful, amazing country. My three favorite things were visiting Hobbiton with Laura, skydiving in Wanaka, and visiting Milford Sound with Nina. Thank you for helping me have so much fun in New Zealand. I miss you and can't wait until I get to see you again!