Vancouver + Whistler 2015

A few months ago Zach and I were discussing ideas about going on a family vacation.  Since we are coming up on Zach’s 30th birthday, I told him that he could pick where and when we would go.  I figured (considering I know how Zach’s mind works) that he would pick a “city” vacation or a tropical destination.  When he told me he wanted to go snowboarding in Canada it totally threw me off.  Mostly because the only knowledge I have of Canada, and the only reference that comes to mind, is the movie Cool Runnings.  I am serious.  But I went along with it.  Zach planned the whole trip.  He scheduled activities, booked the hotels, made restaurant reservations.  I was only in charge of packing for Sloan and myself – which was harder than you would think considering we’ve never been there before.

I was hesitant about the flight, mostly.  International flights [even though we were just traveling to Canada] are always a little more cumbersome than domestic flights.  You have extra security and the whole customs/border control situation to deal with.  I was just hoping that it would go smoothly for all of us, but mostly for Sloan.  She was as happy as could be at the airport.  She loves people watching…


We got to board early [the biggest advantage of traveling with babes] and got all settled in our seats.  We left on time, Sloan flirted with the male flight attendant that was manning the drink cart (no shame, it got me an extra Bischoff cookie) and not long after she got sleepy.  I wrapped her up, put on her headphones, and she was out for the count.  The flight couldn’t have gone better.  Processed with VSCOcam with a5 presetWhen we arrived we grabbed our luggage, picked up our rental car, and headed up to Whistler.

IMG_8312We checked into our hotel and somehow got upgraded to a suite.  I still don’t know how it all happened – I am still wondering if they were worried that Sloan would keep the other guests up all night, so they shoo’d us up as far away as possible?  Either way, we were thrilled.

The free upgrade meant Sloan had her own room.  We got her all ready for bed and decided to order room service for dinner and eat it in our little dining area.  It was so nice to relax just the two of us after all the traveling.
IMG_4544The next morning Sloan woke up chipper as ever.  Believe it or not – Sloan sleeps better on vacation than she does at home.  I think she appreciates hotel life as much as I do.

IMG_6416-1Zach and I ordered blueberry pancakes for breakfast and afterwards Sloan and I got dressed in our swim gear.

IMG_6419The whole reason Zach chose Whistler is so he could snowboard.  They have year-round snowboarding because of the glacier.  I was happy to float around in the pool with Sloan while Zach hit the slopes.  We had the heated outdoor pool all to ourselves and the weather was unbelievable.



Afterwards we went back to our room to change and meet up with Zach so we could go on a little excursion.  As if the hotel hadn’t already hooked us up enough – they were hosting a Moxilla training conference.  How does this relate to our little family?  The swag.  Tech companies love their swag.  And food, as well.  Every morning, afternoon, and evening there would be a giant spread left out near the elevators.  A rookie move, on their part, but a big bonus for us.  There would be tables of leftover soda, candy, fruit, and other snacks – all abandoned.  Zach and I would sneak the free treats as fast as we could before we would leave the hotel and stash our loot in Sloan’s stroller.  That way, if we were ever caught and didn’t have a Moxilla badge to flash – we could just blame it on the baby.  Nobody gets mad at babies.  Back on track:  we took some of our free [lifted/abandoned] goods on a family hike that afternoon to Brandywine Falls.  We made the short drive down HWY 99 and parked our ride and set off down the trail to the waterfall.  The short hike was beautiful all on it’s own.  You crossed bridges, train tracks…IMG_6561 FullSizeRender-2…and walked through a galley of gorgeous trees.


Once we got to the outlook, we couldn’t believe the view.  The whole upper area was fenced off and there were a few other hikers nearby.  We decided to take a little stroll where nobody could see us and hop the fence to get a better view.  So basically, Sloan broke her very first law on Canadian soil.


After our hike we ventured back to the hotel to shower up and get dressed for dinner.  Sloan took her afternoon nap and when she woke up we walked through Whistler Village.IMG_7112We ate at a busy pub where we tried the local cuisine – poutine (frites topped with gravy and cheese curds).  Sloan was hesitant, but Zach and I thought it was surprisingly delicious.

IMG_6556We were all worn out from a packed first day.  We strolled around Whistler Village for a bit, grabbed some ice cream, and called it a night.

The next morning I woke up mid-panic.  I haven’t set an alarm for almost 8 months.  Sloan wakes up around 7:00/7:30 every morning – so there’s no need.  She must have decided to sleep in on vacation because I woke up startled at 9:00.  I had to wake the poor girl up to feed her.  Once we got up and ready we walked down to the tram adjacent from our hotel.  It was cooler our second day [65 degrees is my kind of weather, though] and we hopped in our gondola to ride to the top of Whistler.  IMG_1903

It was a lot cooler at the top of the peak.  We walked around for a bit, grabbed a snack at a cafe, and let Sloan experience the glory of winning her first gold medal at the winter olympics…IMG_7713

We then boarded the Peak to Peak Gondola – which spans across the peak of Whistler Mountain to Blackcomb Mountain.  It’s the longest spanning gondola of it’s kind.  The views were pretty spectacular.  Our car had a glass floor so you could see all the way below you.  IMG_4496

No, Sloan is not smiling at her dad.  She is smiling at the Japanese tourists who shared our car.FullSizeRender-4

After we walked around the tippy top of Blacomb we made our way back down on another lift.  Sloan took her nap via Baby Bjorn.  All the excitement wore her right out.  IMG_6927-1

Afterwards, Zach went back to the room to change into his snowboarding gear so he could get a few more runs in and Sloan and I ventured to Whistler Village.  We shopped around for a few hours until Zach made it back to the hotel to meet us.

We decided to get another easy hike in before dinner.  Loggers Lake was a quick – but uphill – trek up a mountain nearby.  Once again, we had the place all to ourselves.  It was overcast and other than the sound of lapping water, it was absolutely silent.  IMG_6808

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IMG_6934After our walk around the lake we hiked back down to the car to get some dinner.  We ate at a Mongolian Grill inside Whistler Village.  Zach was in heaven.  It brought him back to his O-Town roots – but this place was a little nicer than Lee’s Mongolian.

The next morning Zach and Sloan lounged around our hotel while I got to hit up the hotel gym.  The views were gorgeous.  Afterwards we all got ready, checked out of our hotel, and ventured out again to the Village.  We visited all the Olympic memorabilia and Sloan deemed the bobsleds pretty entertaining.IMG_6967-1

We had lunch at a Cantina – fish tacos and Diet Coke.

 After lunch we took a short drive to Green Lake where Zach had scheduled a seaplane ride.  It was a first for all three of us.


Sloan was in heaven before take-off and wouldn’t stop socializing with our pilots.  IMG_7025

As soon as we took off she zonked.  She stayed asleep for the entire 30 minute flight.

It’s a shame, too because the views were ridiculous.  IMG_7041

We flew over several other mountain top lakes and two gorgeous glaciers – over 10,000 year old ice.  Of all the things we did this trip – the seaplane ride was my favorite.  Sloan would have loved it if she could have kept her eyes open.   IMG_7039

After our flight we made our way back to Vancouver.  We decided to break up the drive and stop at the Sea to Sky Summit in Squamish.  We strapped Sloan in and made our way up the peak.

When we got to the top we decided to brave the suspension bridge – unlike the Asian tour group who wouldn’t set foot on it.  Several of them gasped when I stepped foot on in with Sloan.
 The views were worth the intimidating ravine below and I swear it was completely safe.

  We perused the gift shop for a bit, took in the view, and then made our way back down.We finished up the last leg of our drive to Vancouver and checked into our hotel.  By the time we got all settled in it was late and we decided to get food from the hotel restaurant sent up to our room.  The house-made pasta did not disappoint.

Our first day in Vancouver we spent walking around the city and shopping.  Sloan was a trooper the entire trip – constantly being nursed in the car and other strange places, eating her sweet potatoes in the back seat – never complained or fussed once.
I made Zach walk into several stores with me and rewarded him afterwards with a stop at Pinkberry.  Sloan wasn’t impressed, but appreciated the cool-off.  
We made our way back to the hotel so Sloan could get an afternoon nap in before we went back out for dinner.  We made it just in time, too.  We had no idea the Women’s World Cup tournament was taking place in Vancouver and we made it up to our room just as the flood of spectators exited the stadium.  Canada lost to England and the crowd was not pleased.  Sloan was elated to watch the people and we obliged.   Afterwards we made our way to an area of the city called Gastown.  There were all these awesome shops and it’s where we had dinner reservations for the night.  We ate a the Flying Pig.  It was the best meal of our entire trip.  Sloan made friends with the restaurant manager [who happened to have a daughter named Sloane] and spoiled her the whole night.    The weather was so gorgeous that we walked around for a bit until it was time to head back to our hotel.  IMG_7092

The next morning we had to be at the airport early for our departure back home.  Sloan slept half of the flight and barely made a peep – as long as she had her new light-up toy we got her for the way home.  When we landed we made our way through customs – which was SO much easier with a baby.  People treat you like royalty when you have a babe strapped to you.  They let us through the hoards of people and Sloan passed her inspection with flying colors.  Canada is not where I would have picked to celebrate Zach’s upcoming birthday, but I’m so glad he did.  That’s one of a thousand reasons I adore him.  He is always down for a new adventure and loves trying new things.  Besides, he got to do one of the things he loves the very most.Whistler and the surrounding area was breathtaking.  He planned such a fun trip for Sloan and I.  Vancouver is an amazing city with so much to offer (besides maple syrup).  Sanka – thank you for stereotyping my trip to Canada.  It made our trip that much more amazing.

Father’s Day 2015

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Monday all the Hendersons met at Mimi and Papa’s house to have a swim and pizza party.  Our sister-in-law Siri is in town with her four kids so we thought it would be fun to all get together.  It was Sloan’s first time in Papa’s pool.  She was in heaven, not only because she had her cousins to gawk at the entire time, but she also had a beautiful view of Mt. Hendo.  We contemplated taking her down the water slide…she is just not quite old enough yet.Processed with VSCOcam with k2 presetSloan also met her cousin, Colton, for the first time.  They are two weeks apart and Cole is almost twice the weight of Sloan.  It was comical seeing them side by side.

Processed with VSCOcam with a5 presetTuesday night we had a baby shower for my cousin Shelby at my grandma’s house.  She is expecting a baby boy at the end of the summer.  It was so fun to see all the Fotheringham family.

Wednesday we had a girl’s dinner at Em’s in Salt Lake before Siri left to go home.  We also celebrated my sister-in-law Lori’s 40th birthday.  Forty and Fantastic – you betcha!FullSizeRender-5Friday night Zach and I had a date night.  My parents watched Sloan and we went out for dinner at Market Street.  As always, our date ended running random errands.  We ended up at Target for nail polish [me] and popcorn [Zach].IMG_6265 FullSizeRender-2My Apple Warch showed up this week.  I am still undecided about it.  Sloan, however, is in complete awe of it…FullSizeRender-3Saturday was spent prepping for our upcoming family vacation.  Zach took Sloan on a walk to the splash pad so I could pack for our trip and do a couple loads of laundry.IMG_6274Packing for somewhere you’ve never been always worries me a bit.  I am hoping we have as good of luck as we had with Africa and I am just banking on packing an obscene amount of layers.

Afterwards we did some grocery shopping and made a run to Mickey D’s for a twist cone before Sloan’s afternoon nap.  Zach and I got almost completely packed while Sloan snoozed and then when she woke up we ran some more errands – including picking up our dinner at the OG.  Sloan has a new thing where she rides in her car seat spread eagle.  I guess it is how she feels most comfortable…IMG_6285-1Sunday was Father’s Day [Zach’s first official Father’s Day].  Sloan and I surprised him with a super techy gift he’s been pining for and we went to church.FullSizeRender IMG_6308Afterwards we dined at the Fotheringham’s for a BBQ dinner.  We had quite the crew.  Aunts, cousins, grandmas.  It was a blast and the food was spectacular. 

I have loved watching Zach become a dad.  It has made me happier than I could have imagined.  I am so proud of him and how he has taken on his role as a father so naturally.  He loves Sloan so much and that makes me love him even more.  My heart also swells when I see my dad holding my baby.  He is really in his element as a grandpa.  I am so grateful to the men in my life, including my amazing father-in-law who have blessed my life. 

Sloan [and whoever else decides to grace our little family] is so lucky to call Zach their dad.  

Lucky Number Seven

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Seven is my lucky number.  It must be Sloan’s lucky number as well – because right around 7 months is when she decided to start sleeping all the way through the night for 12 hours.  I know some babies sleep through the night a lot sooner – and some don’t sleep 12 hours until they are much older.  So I was completely pleased and surprised when she decided to do it on her own [especially because I am still nursing her].  Part of me was super relieved we didn’t have to do a traumatic “cry it out” routine.  Sometimes she wakes up around 3:00 – talks to herself – then falls fast asleep.  When I hear her babbling I open our video monitor.  Sometimes I can’t help but laugh at her, staring back at the camera with her chubby hand under her chin…

  I’ve been waiting to start introducing new solids into Sloan’s diet because she is so low on the weight scale.  My doctor told me I can feed her different fruits and veggies, but not to fill her up on them before feeding her the boob juice.  Since she has started her own new sleep schedule, we have her on a new eating schedule, too.  We started out super slow – introducing the veggies first.  We’ve tried every vegetable under the sun – but this girl knows what she likes.  Squash.  Sweet Potatoes.  Green Beans.  What baby likes green beans?!  Sloan, apparently…

  When I tried the fruits next, I thought she’d be all over it.  She hates apples, bananas, and especially peaches…
  Funny enough – I gave her a real nectarine slice after giving her a taste of the peaches and she couldn’t gum it fast enough.  The girl likes real food.  Can you blame her?  (Literally the peaches taste just like the nectarine – it was so bizarre). Tons of new progress has been going on at the Alder HQ.  Isn’t it ironic that my baby is sleeping through the night and I am getting less sleep than I have been in months?  I have had a couple of weeks of all-nighters to get stuff finished for these projects.  But it is all worth it when I see all the new things that are happening.  All my custom furniture I had made has been showing up.  Like these custom wood side tables…  …the custom cafeteria tables we had made…  …and the light installation in the call center is finally working out nicely.    I was also pleased to see Sloan’s 6 month photos in my inbox this week.  Sloan’s signature look [and a theme in every photo] was her little pink tongue exposed.  The photographer had me hold her in a couple of the photos and I am so glad she did.  I love that we have a few of us together.       The week days seemed to fly by.  Saturday’s are Sloan’s favorite.  I think   It is because she has both of her parents to dote over her.  We took her to the splash pad for her first time.  Even though her face doesn’t seem that amused, she was completely mesmerized. 

She loved watching all the other families – especially the kids.  The water was entertaining to her, but not as amusing as the other spectators.   We then picked up sandwiches for lunch and took her home for a quick bath before her nap.  When she woke up we went on a family walk to check out the new park coming up on the end of our street. 

Saturday was a bittersweet day for me.  It was our first date night where we had someone (other than a family member) watch Sloan and put her to bed.  I was a nervous wreck.  Having a video monitor can be a blessing and a curse, I am telling you!  Luckily she fell asleep not long into our date so I could enjoy the rest of our time together. 

We had dinner at Em’s in Salt Lake and then drove to Farmington Station to do a little shopping. 

We bit the bullet and ordered our Apple watches and stopped to get Zach some movie theater popcorn. But before arriving home I made Zach stop at the grocery store for some supplies.  We were having Sunday dinner at a friend’s house and we were assigned beverages.  The Red Bull is not mine, I promise.  The candy I am guilty of…  Sunday was the usual – church…

…and then dinner at my friend Whitney’s new home with my friends.  All of our significant others came along with the three kidlets.  Whitney cooked a delicious spread and their new place is a dream!

Weekends like this one make me so excited for summer to finally be here!

Family = Everything

Monday we had family night at the Food Truck League in Sugarhouse.  It was our first time.  I got a chicken sandwich and Zach got a rack of baby back ribs from the BBQ truck.  Sloan loved the hoards of people and the live band.I don’t think she even noticed that her parents were there the entire time.


Zach and I’s favorite part was Art City Donuts – we got the Cinnabomb and it really was, in fact, the bomb.  We shared them in the car on the way home.

Later that night we celebrated my friend Lindsey’s birthday with take-out from Arella and the Bachelorette at her place after dark.  Probably the most entertaining episode we all had seen in the last 5 seasons.  I couldn’t have picked two better people to watch it with – we were dying.  I can’t wait to see how the rest of the season unfolds.

Wednesday Sloan and I drove down to Herriman to visit my friend Whitney and her two darling boys.  We had a play date at one of the coolest parks I’d ever set foot on.


Daybreak is legit.  The facilities, the lake, all the cool modern homes popping up.  If it wasn’t so far south of Zach’s work we’d move there in a heartbeat.  Being with my sweet friend and Breaker and Maddox was the highlight of Sloan’s week.  She could have smiled and watched those two for hours.  I think watching them actually wore her out.


Sloan had a breakthrough this week.  It’s like she finally had an epiphany and realized how great sleep really is.  Wednesday night she slept for over 11 hours!  I woke up in an absolute panic and realized she didn’t wake up around 4:00 like she normally does.  She basically slept through the night. 8:00 pm – 7:30 am.  She was as happy as I had ever seen her when I grabbed her out of her crib.


And as if that wasn’t sweet enough – she decided to continue on her stellar sleep pattern for the rest of the week.  I hope I didn’t just jinx myself by typing that.Thursday Sloan and I decided we wanted to get outside again.  It was overcast and the perfect temperature, so I popped her little shade tent and we lounged outside.  She took a long nap while I worked on my laptop.  She isn’t a very consistent napper – but what are the odds that she slept for two hours – even with all the barking dogs and pest control guy crashing our party?


My parents teased me incessantly when they found out I purchased this tent pod for Sloan.  But they don’t know about my neighbor’s crazy cat that tries to steal Sloan’s toys.  Besides…the girl has buttercream skin.  I can’t let her bake in the sun!  


Sloan has finally grown enough that her feet can touch the ground in the majority of her toys.  Wearing a pair of shoes helps, too…


Thursday night, after Zach got home from work, my parents came over to our house to watch Sloan while we went to a movie.  Not just any movie, one of our favorite HBO shows that they developed into a movie.  We’ve only been waiting for it to hit the big screen for…years.  It didn’t disappoint.  We even had the theater to ourselves.  Entourage with my one-man entourage.  IMG_5775

Saturday was a pretty special day for our family.  My aunt and uncle, who have been married for 34 years, got sealed in the Oquirrh Mountain Temple.  I was so grateful to be a part of their big day.  My sweet brother watched Sloan while we went to the sealing.  She was in heaven, and we were too.
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It was my first visit to that temple and it won’t be my last.  After the sealing my brother brought Sloan to the temple so we could all greet my aunt and uncle as they came out.  

I’ve never seen them so happy.  They have worked so hard for so long to make it to this point.  They had so many people there supporting them, all who had such a great impact on them.  Heaven really was smiling down on them because the suspected rainy weather dissipated.  It was the most gorgeous afternoon.



After the sealing we all made our way over to their ward building.  Sloan tore up the b-ball court in her sweet kicks [with the help of Dan] while we set up for the luncheon. IMG_5783


It was the perfect ending to our weekend.  Family really is everything.