Thanksgiving Stressball

I am a giant stressball.

Zach and I leave to go out of town for the Thanksgiving holiday this week and I feel like I’ve been running around like a mad woman.  It’s been a very interesting experience prepping for this trip.  Going somewhere you’ve never been before is always tricky.  I can honestly say that the majority of our week was spent picking up random necessities.  Everything from Military grade insect repellent to vaccination tablets.  Many, many trips to Cabella’s, Sportsman’s Warehouse, the pharmacy, and the like.


Mark and Jeanene are going on this adventure with us and we spent Family Night on Monday planning our tentative schedule.  We had dinner at Tona and saw THOR at the Megaplex in O-Town.


Jeanene and I also hit up City Creek to get a few more essentials this week.  Mostly make-up, to be honest…but you can never be too prepared.


Along with the prep for the trip I have been pretty overwhelmed with work stuff.  Not only do I have my regular work projects but my freelance work AND Christmas Card Land.  I had to complete 18+ Christmas cards this week before we were to leave.  I know there were more than 18, but I stopped keeping track at that point.  Although it has added to the chaos, I am so lucky to be busy!  I am so grateful to my family, friends, and other clients that support me.

Wednesday afternoon I needed a breather – mostly a break from my computer – and decided to go on a long run.  I ran my very first 10-miler!  I finally feel ready for the Half that I have been working towards!  I actually feel like I am getting a hang of this whole running thing…although I still don’t get that “Runner’s High” that everyone talks about.  All I want to do when I get done is eat pumpkin cookies…so…


Friday we had our date night.  We went to Trio for dinner and saw a very interesting film at the Broadway Theater.  Like usual, we stopped at a gas station to stock up on treats for the flick.  Since when do Mavericks sell GIANT Reese’s Cups?!


Saturday was our annual Henderson Turkey Shoot!  The whole crew met at Mark and Jeanene’s for dinner before the festivities.  Every year at the Hendo Turkey Shoot the grandkidlets get their Christmas Pajamas so they can wear them on Christmas Eve.  Since Zach, Mark, Jeanene, and I will be gone over Thanksgiving we had the event ahead of schedule this year.

All the kids geared up with their marshmallow shooters and waited for the Turkey to show up.



Since it had snowed earlier that day, Mark decided he didn’t want the kids to freeze out in the back yard.  So he set it up so the kids could shoot the Turkey out the kitchen windows.



As usual, my husband is such a good sport.  He played Turkey and sweat his guts out in that furry suit while dodging mini marshmallows.



You’d think that these kids would be terrified of Turkey…but the majority of them LOVED him.  The younger children aren’t even phased by the strange animals and other creatures that show up to Henderson Family functions.


Then each child had to sit on Turkey’s lap [poor, sweaty Zach] and tell Turkey what they were grateful for.  Then the grandkids made Mimi and Papa do the same.



Turkey time was nearly over…but I did get a little one-on-one time with him as well.  Yes…in case you haven’t noticed, Jeanene and I wore IDENTICAL outfits to the party!  Great minds think alike, I guess?


After Turkey left to go back to his farm [aka shower because he was soaking wet with turkey sweat] the kids all put on their pajamas for a photo op with Mimi and Papa.


We are so sad we are going to miss Thanksgiving again this year [this makes our 5th Thanksgiving away from our families].  We loved being with the Hendersons to celebrate our version of the holiday!  Henderson family parties are really unique, but we wouldn’t have it any other way!

I was also really grateful to spend Sunday afternoon with my family eating Sunday dinner at my aunt’s house.  I haven’t seen my family in almost three weeks for our weekly Sunday dinner and it was perfect to be able to spend time with them before we leave.

Here’s to celebrating Thanksgiving 9,787 miles away from home this year!  I’ll be grateful if we don’t contract Malaria or get attacked by a wild animal, to be honest.

Weekend in SF

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A few months ago we planned a trip with our friends and neighbors, the Reeds, to San Francisco.  Our husbands really wanted to see a 49ers game and we decided to make a weekend trip out of it!

We left Friday after Zach got off work and arrived in the city late that night.  Jenn and Tyler found an apartment available to rent for the weekend in a great location and after we had dropped all our bags off there we drove to the Mission for dinner at Foreign Cinema.  That place never disappoints!


We were all pretty exhausted after our flight and our late dinner date so we went straight back to our apartment and hit the sack.

The next morning we set all set out to do a little shopping at Union Square.  Jenn and I hit up some of our favorites in the area and then we drove down to Fisherman’s Wharf for lunch.






We dined at a seafood restaurant and then walked to the pier to see the view of bay.  Zach loved waving to the tourists on the cruise ship.  He even blew them a few kisses…


We then drove to the viewpoint so we could check out the Golden Gate Bridge.  The views were incredible.  It is the little things like this that make my heart ache.  Sometimes I miss living in the city so much.


After taking in the sites we drove to North Beach for a delicious Italian dinner.



Convenient, our apartment on California Street was directly across from a Trader Joe’s.  So we stocked up on some our favorite treats and took them back to our place.

The next morning we went to breakfast at a little joint right on the corner of the block we stayed.  It sat only 25 people and there was a line down the street before the doors even opened.  It was the perfect way to start our last day in the city.


After breakfast we decided to head to Candlestick Park for the 49ers game.  We couldn’t find great deals on tickets online all week and decided to try our hand at scalping tickets.  Things weren’t working out well for all four of us and we eventually couldn’t find any good tickets that were in our price range.


We ended up walking around the stadium and observing all that comes along with being at a 49ers game [including crazy fans, incredible tailgating festivities, and the local neighborhood…no wonder they are building a new stadium.]  We even tried to sneak in, but to no avail.  We were super disappointed we couldn’t get tickets and decided to head to Fillmore Street to have some lunch a do a little more shopping.


We ended our weekend stay in SF with some pastries at La Boulangerie and some frozen yogurt [for Zach].

It was such a fun, although short, trip to the Bay Area.  Every time I visit I dream of moving back and raising my crazy miniature children there.  I could live in that city!  Thank you Jenn and Tyler for cruising around that crazy roller coaster of a city with us.  We loved being with you!


All Hallows’ Eve + Chi-Town

How do childless couples celebrate Halloween?

First you make pumpkin cookies.  Because making them only once in the month of October is sad.


Then you put a giant bowl of assorted candy on the porch for the kids in your neighborhood, because you’ve got places to see – zombies to kill.


Then you drive up to your in-laws’ house so you can trick-or-treat without being judged.  Also, you get “the good candy bars” at your in-laws’ house.


You assist with trick-or-treat dispensary because…why not?


And then after fueling up on Twix bars and chicken salad sandwiches you make your way over to battle zombies at the Haunted Hollow.  With paintball guns.





And because you get a free voucher for the haunted house, you decide to give it a try.  Even though you dislike haunted houses and your husband is useless because he has night blindness.



Yes, that’s how these Hendos did Halloween.  We came home to a lonely candy bowl [only the Whoppers remaining] and enjoyed some chocolate shakes.  I must say:  the Haunted Hollow is the best haunted house I’ve been to in years.  I would definitely go back next spook season!  Maybe they will let Zach wear a head lamp next go around?

After all the holiday festivities Zach left with the men in his family to go hunting in Montana.  That meant my mom and I got to eat out and watch Downton Abbey late into the night [while I worked on a slideshow for my uncle’s dad who passed away].


The next day I left for Chicago with the ladies in Zach’s family for our annual Girls’ Trip.  We arrived Sunday afternoon and hit the ground running.  Our first stop [after lunch] was to hit the shops.  Being that the Henderson grandchildren have the female majority, we made a stop at the American Girl Store.  I have never been a fan of dolls…


We spent the majority of our day walking around and going in and out of shops until we ate dinner at a locals’ favorite Italian restaurant.  We ended the night at Ghirardelli for some dessert.


The next morning we didn’t waste any time.  We had lunch at a fantastic restaurant and then kept on keeping on in and out of the shops.  We decided to end the night by riding the elevator to the top of the John Hancock Observatory.  There were incredible views of the city and we kicked our feet up in the cafe, enjoying our Diet Cokes.






Tuesday we started off our day with some Chicago deep dish pizza.  We walked up and down Rush Street making our rounds and only took a shopping break to get a few cupcakes at Sprinkles.


After we all met up for our dinner reservation at Joe’s Seafood.  Hands down the best crab I have ever had.  After dinner we walked to the Oriental Theater to see Wicked!  We had the most incredible seats and we were all completely enthralled with the woman that played Elphaba.     I have seen Wicked several times and this was one of my favorite productions I have seen yet.


After the show we walked back to our hotel when it started to rain.  We embraced it.  Sometimes you have to grab the bull by the horns, ya know?



The next morning Lori, Kristi, and I left the hotel early to get in a few last minute stops before we had to head to the airport.  On our walk to lunch we stopped in Millennium Park to check out the Bean.  Even in the rain it had a stellar view.


We grabbed some snacks at Garrett’s Popcorn and then hopped on a bus tour for the last hour of our time in the city.

The Hendo Girls’ Trip is something I look forward to every fall.  I had the best time with my sister-in-laws and mother-in-law in Chicago.  Thank you Jeanene for such a fun-filled trip!  It was hard to return home after having such a fantastic time in the city, but luckily Zach was there to greet me at the airport.  I can’t wait to return to the Windy City again already.  I might have to bribe Zach with a Cubs game…