To Easter and Beyond

I have to start out with the best news first, obviously.  We have another niece, Ruby!  Travis and Lori adopted this gorgeous one-year-old a few weeks ago and she is the perfect addition to the Wayland family.  Since their youngest, Max is actually one – they basically have one-year-old twins!  Ruby is 7 days younger than Max.

We got to visit her a few Sundays ago (and play in Lori and Trav’s sweet backyard) before heading to Sunday dinner with my family.  Hendo baby #28.  We are thrilled for all of them.

As for our Easter, it was wonderful.  It came and went so fast, but not without all the traditions.  First, we died eggs.

Sloan loved it.  She took it very seriously and wanted to dye more than just eggs.  I had to rein her in a few times.

We also made an Easter themed dinner the Thursday before the actual holiday.  Carrot pot cakes (which Sloan figured out were strawberries REAL quick) for dessert were the highlight.

The next day on Friday we had a little neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt and I conned our friends and neighbors into coming with us.  Sloan loved the park more than the actual hunt, but didn’t turn down her share of candy.

The Saturday before Easter I made Sloan a bunny breakfast.  Which she almost combusted when she first laid her eyes on it.  She gets so excited about the little things.

Later that Saturday Zach took Sloan on a daddy-daughter date to the Discovery Museum.  It happened to be Princess Day (who knew?) and Sloan had the time of her life.  Meeting Belle and Moana were highlights, for sure.

Later that afternoon we had my side of the family get together at my brother’s house for an Easter egg hunt.  Sloan was in heaven and got hooked up with the most amazing Easter basket from my parents – complete with gummy bears and Swedish fish.

Then came Easter Sunday.  We got all dressed up and ready for church and then set off to Gina’s house afterwards to have the Henderson Easter Bash.

Now that we officially have a child – Zach is off Easter Bunny duty.  Our nephew Alex has been promoted to that position.  I’m sure he loves sweating his guts out in that smelly bunny suit.  At least we get to take photos all together as a family now!Sloan loved EB – just like years previous.  She got used to giant stuffed animals really quick being a part of this family. 

We had a delicious dinner, had the kids hunt for eggs, and afterwards the adults got to open their adult loot.  It was another great holiday.

The week afterward we had a family dinner date up in Ogden at Tona.  If you haven’t had sushi at Tona, you’re not enjoying sushi to it’s full potential.  Best spot in all of Utah, if you ask us.  Sloan’s favorite is always the miso soup (even the tofu) and rice with soy sauce.  She is her father’s daughter.

April was my month to conduct and teach in Relief Society – and we had an activity at the end of the month as well.  It turned out to be pretty fun.  We did “Speed Friendshipping” – like speed dating, but not awkward, with a little bite-sized dessert at each table.  The sisters seemed to really like it!

Before hand we didn’t have enough desserts for each table [little did I know that we would have far too many once people starting showing up with plates and plates of food] so I panicked and made a batch of sugar cookies with Sloan the morning of.  I didn’t have any small cookie cutters that were considered “bite sized” so I used a cookie cutter from her Melissa and Doug play baking set.  Sloan was over the moon about it and helped with serious concentration and patience.

Our “flower” cookies looked more like suns…but Sloan didn’t mind one bit.

And since we’re talking about baking – I’ve been all about single sheet pan dinners lately.  We’ve tried everything from pork chops to salmon.  But our favorite was a marinated skin-on salmon cooked over green onions and roasted carrots.  We’re saving this one for sure.

I’m pretty sure no other family goes through as much parchment paper as we do between all our sheet pan dinners and baking sessions.

We try to eat healthy…but sometimes we just can’t muster the strength.  Last week I wanted a corn dog in the worst way.  I know, gross.  Not even a famous Kaysville corn dog or a Cowboy corn dog from the Utah Stadium – just a good ‘ole fashioned HDOAS corn dog.  So I made Zach drive down to West Valley with Sloan and I to get our fix.  Sloan has officially made it three generations of HDOAS lovers – her Mimi, her father, and now her.

I know a lot more happened in April than Easter and corn dog cravings – but those were some peaks for sure.  Life with a two-year-old makes every day exciting.  Exciting and a total blur, if I’m being completely honest.

 

March Madness

I know it’s April, but so much happened last month besides Targhee and our St. Patrick’s Day festivities.

In March there was a lot of baking.  Cookies, mostly.  But other things as well.

Cheesecake has been a family favorite.  But I don’t ever give up on those sugar cookies.  I just can’t. I helped host a shower for a sweet girl in our ward and my food assignment was sugar cookies.  So I made three dozen for the shower and I felt like I was eating cookies for the entire month!  

The shower turned out so cute, all thanks to Rebecca and her darling decor!

And my favorite part of hosting showers?  The leftover flowers.

We spent a lot of time outside – there were days when it really felt like spring was going to stay.  It didn’t, but we don’t mind!

And for those days went it wasn’t spring – we painted our toes, made homemade ramen, and went to Kangaroo Zoo.  Which Sloan calls “Kazoo!” for short.

We also went to Beauty and the Beast – which we loved.  Gaston came, too.

Before Targhee, we practiced a lot inside on the carpet snowboarding with our new helmet. 

Only a day after we returned from Targhee, Zach left for Cabo with his friends.  But he didn’t leave us empty handed.  He had a whole bag of surprises for Sloan to open (one for each day he was gone).  He is the most thoughtful person and he even attached a little note for me on each one.

Sloan is beginning to change.  Her personality is mostly the same, but she’s growing up.  Learning a lot, comprehending more than I can imagine, and exploding with emotions (good and bad).  Trips to the store aren’t as breezy as they used to be.  Unless we get a cart with a car.  And find a friend, I guess?

But luckily she is always down for a run in the jogging stroller.  Not without a snack, though. And more snacks upon arriving home.

Some more highlights were going to the Discovery Gateway with our neighbors and friends.  Sloan loved it and loved being with the twins just as much.

I also got to attend my old college roommate, Whitney’s, baby shower.  She’s having a little girl here soon!

I’m lucky that both of my current roommates love pizza.  So I make it often.  Probably too often.

We had a couple dates this month, too.  Our latest involving hot chocolate and macarons.  It was wonderful.  

Not as wonderful, but delicious considering, Sloan and I are addicted to protein bites.  Almond butter + protein powder + raw honey + chocolate chips.  When you want a cookie but you’re trying to eat clean = protein bites! 

It was a great month.  March was one of the best to date.  Our little family of three is making memories that are going to stick.

Hendo Girls do AZ

We’ve had our annual (but not so annual, considering we haven’t done a girls trip since I was still pregnant with Sloan) Hendo Girls trip to Scottsdale this last weekend.  We’ve had it scheduled for a while and it creeped up on me considering we have been going nonstop the last few weeks.  Jan/Feb have been crazy months for me – and March is going to be absolutely bananas for Zach.

We left Thursday morning for Arizona.  We flew out of the storm covering Utah and arrived to sun and mild temperatures in Scottsdale.  First things first:  we ate.  We didn’t even make it to our hotel.  We had a late lunch at a darling little place that came highly recommended from Gina, Arcadia Farms Café.

Afterwards we made it to our hotel to drop off our bags and settle in.  It was gorgeous and the grounds were seriously top notch.

We had a bit of down time before Gina had scheduled us all for hot yoga.  Jeanene and I opted out [I’ve done hot yoga before and was mortified at the smell of the whole experience – myself included] and instead of getting our sweat on we went across and down the street from the yoga studio to eat at Shake Shack.  Jeanene doesn’t even really like hamburgers.  She is such a good sport.

Afterwards we went to pick up the rest of our crew back at the yoga studio.

The next day was spent at the mall.  We shopped, we had lunch, and we shopped some more.  We had dinner afterwards down town, grabbed some Spinkles Cupcakes, and then went back to our hotel for an in-room movie.  We ordered some popcorn, sodas, and treats – which eventually made up for the totally depressing love flick we chose.

The next morning we were up bright and early.  Some of us stayed up later than others watching said depressing movie.  The “wear your sunglasses inside” kinda late…

We had a brunch and then it was time to trapeze.  Yes, I am serious.

Our hotel conveniently offered trapeze classes.  When planning the trip – Gina asked a concierge about nearby hikes.  The concierge asked, casually, “and do you ladies trapeze?”  It was game over after that and we were all signed up to get our swing on.

First, we mentally and physically prepped ourselves.  We observed.  We stretched.  

They didn’t waste any time.  We were briefed, strapped up with harnesses, and then asked to climb the ladder.  The first time was a little overwhelming.  You are given commands – but when hanging and swinging it is a little harder to commit to those directions.  Especially when swinging from your knees!   But after a few tries we got the hang of it.  We even advanced to the next trick – swinging and being caught by our instructor, Efe.  Efe was hilarious, patient, and incredibly gay.  It made sense – no straight man could bend like that, I am telling you.

It was honestly a total blast.  I am so glad Gina singed us up – because I would have never in a million years done something like this if it were just Zach and I at the hotel by ourselves.  Girls Trips will do that to you, I guess.

After freshening up – we made our way back to the mall.  I even convinced a few more people to join us for Shake Shack for lunch.  Again.

We had an early dinner afterwards at a great little Italian place down town.

Then we rushed off to our movie – Hidden Figures – at the nearby AMC.  The movie was amazing and if you haven’t seen it, you must.  It was the perfect feel-good end to our night.

Sunday we all met down in the lobby for our hike up Camelback Mountain.  We made it up to the helicopter pad and Gina, Rachael, and I decided to attempt the steeper and higher elevation climb to the peak.  It was a great little workout and the weather was a dream.  I could live in Phoenix/Scottsdale area in the winter and be happy as a lark.

We showered up, had brunch at Olive and Ivy, and got pedicures and manicures back at the hotel.

Then we went to dinner at my favorite, Bandera.  Even just the cornbread could have satisfied me.  But their Macho Salad is literally life changing.  We drove to find what we deemed the floating sperm (aka the strange art installation with flying/swimming fish creatures in the sky) and then made it back to our hotel for s’mores.

The staff sent us a plate of all the fixings and we put on some layers for the outdoor fire pit.  By layers I mean some of us put on our hotel robes and slippers and made our way out in public to the fire pit.

The next morning we packed our bags, had breakfast, checked out of our hotel, and had one last lunch together before heading to the airport.

I am so grateful that the Hendersons make an effort to do trips together.  Life gets so busy – and we have 27 kids between us!  So getting to spend time alone with my sister-in-laws is a rare occurrence.  I am so glad I got to have a weekend away with them, it really was fantastic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

30 / Las Vegas

Zach.

He is the best husband that there ever was.

I woke up on the morning of my birthday to surprise after surprise.  I heard Sloan wake up and went into her room.  Once we were both up and ready we went downstairs.  Zach had a full spread waiting for us.  Bagels and cream cheese, fruit parfaits, muffins.  He even had balloons, decorations, and cards.

In one card he gave me some spending money for our weekend out of town.  The other card told me to hurry and get ready, because he had a babysitter coming over and we were going to spend the afternoon at the spa.  I couldn’t believe how thoughtful the whole gesture was.  Once she arrived, we drove up to Layton for our couples massage.

It was so relaxing and enjoyable and when I got ready to leave – he took me into one of the private rooms for a foot soak.  He had a large Diet Coke, sandwiches, and my favorite treat – a Cutler’s cookie – waiting for me.

Once we got back home – Sloan had just woken up from her nap.  We played the rest of the day together, honestly doing nothing productive at all.  As I moved from room to room, I would notice little notes Zach had left me around the house.  He even left me a note in my car.  I couldn’t help but tear up every time I read one.  It made my whole day – even more than the spa and the amazing breakfast.

It was honestly a perfect day.  I am not big on birthdays for myself.  I always try to make them special for Zach and Sloan, but mine I could take or leave.  But this particular birthday was the best I’ve ever had, by far.  Zach always makes things so fun and special, and he really went above and beyond to make it wonderful.

That weekend we had planned to go to Las Vegas for a quick getaway.  We stayed at the Encore (first time for the both of us) and Zach literally let me do all of my favorite things:  sleep in, work out, eat, and shop.  It may sound uneventful to some – but that’s my kind of vacation.  We arrived there Friday afternoon.  We had lunch at the Cafe at the Wynn – where they have my favorite salad in all of creation.

We took an afternoon snack break at Sprinkles, for a red velvie.

Then we took an Uber to the Forum Shops.  We spent most of our time at Nike and stopped in a few other places until it was time for our dinner at Joe’s.

We shopped around some more and then made our way back to our hotel.

The next morning we both went to the spa.  I had an appointment for a facial (my first one ever) and Zach wanted to enjoy the spa amenities.  The facial was amazing – in fact, I’ve been converted.  I don’t think I could pick a massage over a facial now that I have experienced one for myself.  She did put some amazing product on my lips, which I loved, but gave them a tingly sensation.  I would later realize that “tingle” was numbness and I wouldn’t regain feeling in my lips until the next morning.  But still…I loved it and would do it again in a second.

We later had lunch at Shake Shack.

We then spent the majority of the day at Fashion Show Mall and Zach wins the award for most patient husband.  I don’t even want to know how long we were in Zara – I can’t think about it.

We then went to dinner at Momofuku.  It was already packed when we got there at 6:30 – luckily, Zach got a reservation.  When we arrived I was totally bummed they didn’t have chicken pho on the menu, like their New York location.  But, the waiter assured me I would love the “chicken noodle soup”.  It wasn’t until my first taste of my dish that my faith had been restored.  Even though the menu was completely different – it was so very good.  He can do no wrong, that David Chang.

We stopped on our way out at the Milk Bar – where Zach treated himself to something coated with cereal that he really liked.

We contemplated going to a movie, but decided to take a suggestion from my sister-in-law Gina about the “Feature Presentation” that they offer at the Wynn hotels.  When we got back we ordered two candies, a buttered popcorn, and two sodas in CANS and ordered a movie to our room.  I had no idea they even offered this – and it was totally worth it (and less expensive than a real movie with all the trimmings, I might add).  It was an absolute home run!  (Thank you Gina!)

We slept in and packed up the next morning, eager to get home to Sloan.

A lot of my friends have been struggling with the thought of turning 30, but I feel the opposite.  I feel good.  I am excited.  My 30-year-old self is completely content.  I never dreamed as a teenager I would be in love and married to my best friend (well, I hoped…but I didn’t KNOW), have the sweetest little soul for a daughter, and to be able to make memories with them every single day.

Ask me how I feel at 50, ok?

Because 30 is actually pretty bomb, guys.  

 

 

 

 

I Don’t Even Remember December

But for real.  December came and went so fast – I would have guessed it would be Dec 12th by now.  Maybe.

I decorated for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving.  I did Sloan’s playroom first…so Zach wouldn’t give me such a hard time about the rest of the house.  He found out quickly, though, and just succumbed to the fact that it was happening and there was nothing he could do to stop it.

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As soon as I could allow myself, we started festive activities.  First – Sloan and I decorated a gingerbread house.  Sloan was all about it…until she realized she could eat the candy we were using to decorate.

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Towards the beginning of the month all three of us went to the Rail Gardens and did a little shredding.  Actually, I didn’t shred.  I hiked and pulled the littlest one of us around.  But we all had a blast and even captured a great shot with Zach’s GoPro.

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I took Sloan to her very first movie – Moana.  It was at 9:40 am, in our pajamas, and it was glorious.  Sloan did amazing…but mostly because I had every snack available in my diaper bag and she took full advantage.  Recliners always win.  Always.

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Sloan loves being bundled up – even during breakfast.  I’m very lucky I don’t have to fight her to wear winter accessories.  It makes going out and about much smoother.

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I had a bridal shower to attend one Saturday and Zach decided he would take Sloan up to Park City for a little daddy-daughter date.  She loved it, as always.  I was so impressed when I found out Zach had packed her a lunch (a PB&J) and two beverage options.  As if I could love him any more…

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We did our new(er) tradition of breakfast with Santa at the Grand America.  We did it a little different this year.  We stayed the night before at the hotel.  Zach had his work Christmas party and planned on staying late.  So the two of us girls ordered room service for dinner and walked around to see all the Christmas windows, giant gingerbread house, and other Christmas decorations.

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Zach joined us later that night.  The next morning we woke up and got ready to head down to breakfast.  My parents joined us this time around and Sloan was elated.

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And at the end of our meal we got to take photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus.  I was dreading it – with Sloan’s professional photo track record.  But as always, she surprised me.  She was perfect – maybe because Santa let her hold his bell?  Regardless of the reason, I was thrilled to get the photos back and see that we all were smiling.
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Later that weekend we had an Ugly Sweater Party with my mom’s side of the family.  Long story short:  I didn’t realize that the sweater I had put Sloan in was gifted by the host of the party.  But we proceeded and covered it up…hopefully.

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Towards the middle of the month Zach and I had a date night at the Roof for dinner.  It’s my favorite way to see the Christmas lights.  High above, indoors, and with no crowds.  Also – they made a mistake (unbeknownst to us until they brought out the sign) and thought it was my birthday.  But we got a seat by the window, so it was a happy mistake.

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Zach was deemed CRAB MAN – due to his five visits to the seafood area of the buffet and I got myself an incredible Christmas onesie (THAT HAS PIZZA ON IT) later at City Creek – so I’d call the night a complete success.

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We spent a lot of time baking this month.  And my thighs are regretting it.  Sloan helped me make bread, several types of cookies, pastries, and a few other desserts.  She’s even got cracking the eggs down.

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I attempted to make my former neighbor’s infamous pastries – since we no longer live near them, we definitely miss them during this time of year.  They turned out pretty good – but not AS good as hers.  Maybe one day.

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My mom also enlisted my help to make sugar cookies for her coworkers and neighbors.  Five dozen, to be exact.

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She was thrilled with how they turned out, so it was all worth it.  Let’s just say I’m not making it a Christmas tradition, though.

Not long after – we had the Henderson Christmas Party at the Layton rink.  I’d love to post a photo of the whole gang eating together joyfully…but the only pictures I got were of Sloan in the Wrecking Ball blow-up castle.  It’s her favorite.

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Sloan’s become quite the little helper around the house.  She takes chores and tasks very seriously – especially the ones involved with prepping dinner.  She has become a master of unwrapping candy kisses for peppermint chocolate cookies (or peanut butter blossoms for Zach)…img_5761But her favorite tasks involve washing vegetables.
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I’ve noticed something about myself as a parent – I tend to hold back on things I think will be messy or potentially harmful to Sloan.  I also tell myself a lot “Oh, she’s not old enough for that yet”…and it’s one of my biggest weaknesses as a parent.  I have found that if I let her do things, even if I question those things, she usually excels at them.  I need to learn to stretch and she is helping me.  I’ve also noticed that having Sloan help me around the house (baking especially) makes her better at following directions and focusing.  It also completely changes her attitude.  When she’s having a rough day – we make cookies.  She loves helping and feels important.  Plus, we both get a treat at the end.

As much as she loves baking, she loves making “forts” even more.  It’s her favorite thing to do and we made plenty during the month of December.  They don’t even have to be that spectacular – just a couple of chairs and a blanket.

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We also did a little backyard and Park City snowboarding.  Sloan actually preferred to play in the snow this particular trip.  You win some – you lose some.  She’s a toddler after all.

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Zach even made her a little course in the backyard with a hula hoop and a tote lid (to represent a little box rail maybe?) to test her skills on.

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The Friday before Christmas Eve was our Fotheringham Family Christmas party.  It was at my aunt’s church – and a Luau theme.  It turned out darling and everyone had a great time.  Sloan especially…she even got loved on a little TOO much.

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December was wonderful – I’m honestly sad it’s over.  I almost wish I could do it over (but without the obscene amount of glitter in every room of my house and the stomachache from all the baked goods) but it might take me another 11 months to recover.

 

Conference Weekend

A few months ago Zach and his brothers planned a “Sports Trip” aka boys weekend going to every sport possible and it landed on Conference weekend.  He left Friday and Sloan and I wasted no time kicking off our girl’s weekend, just the two of us.  First we hit up Cross E Ranch, in North Salt Lake.  Sloan thought it was a huge hit.  The slide, the corn pit, the tractor rides.
img_4552Of all the activities – Sloan loved the tractor the best.  The sweetest employee at the ranch even gave her a private ride on the big red tractor.  It was the highlight of our visit.
img_3927 I was finding corn kernels all over the car and our house for DAYS afterwards.  img_3938 img_3902

Not in order – but still important – I got to go out with a few of the ladies in my neighborhood for a Girls’ Night this week as well to the Dodo.  Any excuse to be with friends and eat their turkey sandwich and I’m in!
img_3879 Sloan also got her first hair cut.  Some would argue it was unnecessary…but it needed to be trimmed up and evened out.  She did so great.  She literally barely moved a muscle.  I can’t decide if she was nervous or if she was holding me to my promise of an ice cream cone if she behaved.  Either way, I was so proud of her.  img_3889Saturday came and we had zero plans during the day other than watching conference.  So that’s what we did.  While I was prepping Sloan some snacks for our long haul – I turned around and noticed she had grabbed a blanket and was already curled up on the couch watching.  Let it be known that she lasted ALL FOUR SESSIONS of conference.  If she wasn’t watching, she was playing quietly nearby.
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We also made blood splatter cookies [from the Cutler’s recipe] and delivered them to some of Sloan’s friends around our neighborhood.  It didn’t occur to me until we had already dropped them off them off that it might be a little creepy to give a bunch of kids under the age of 6 bloody ANYTHING.  They were really good, though.  So hopefully that made up for the gruesomeness.
img_3979We have a serious influx of crayons at our house.  Sloan goes through a box of crayons faster than a box of goldfish crackers.  They are either broken or unwrapped and THEN broken or lost within days of buying a new box.  So instead of feeding this bad crayon habit we have – I decided to melt down all the broken pieces in the microwave and make some gem crayons.  Sloan loves them (especially the fact that they change colors often) and they are even easier for her to hold because of the size.
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I loved Conference so much.  My favorite session being the morning session on Saturday, but all of it was wonderful.  I’m so grateful that Sloan was so well behaved and enjoyed listening [especially to the choir] along with me so I could feel the spirit and enjoy all of the messages.

Before we left for our family trip we had a rainy day.  It just felt right to have chicken noodle soup and grilled cheese sandwiches.  Sloan had never had chicken noodle soup and thought it was the most amazing thing she had ever tasted.
img_3997 I also tried a new taco recipe [mostly because I was getting so amped to go to Mexico] and love how they turned out.  Mahi mahi grilled tacos with cabbage and mango and avocado salsa.  img_4012

Zach had a fantastic time on his trip with this brothers and brother-in-laws.  They went to three sporting events in three days and were back in time for work on Monday.

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It was just a snippet of family time before all 40 Hendersons left for our family trip to Mexico.