Mother’s Day 2017

We kept in tradition for Mother’s Day this year and had ourselves a relaxing weekend in Park City.  We left Friday after Zach got home and drove straight to our hotel.  We ordered food to our room once we unloaded all our bags.

Sloan got the macaroni and cheese and for dessert they left her a s’mores treat with a chocolate moose atop.  We might as well have been at Disneyland.

They even left a tiny Sloan-sized robe and slippers in our room as well.  She could hardly wait to take her bath and get wrapped up in it.

The next morning Sloan and Zach got breakfast while I got to go workout at the gym.  The views are always amazing no matter what time of year we visit.  Afterwards we all went down to the indoor pool.  We stayed for what seemed like forever and Sloan was still disappointed when it was time to get out. 

We had lunch and then decided to do a round of bowling down in the hotel’s lower level.

Then we all got changed for dinner and drove over to the J&G Grill.  We rode the funicular up to the restaurant [and ended up riding it four more times while we waited for our reservation to come up] and then got all settled in to eat.

Sloan loved her appetizer of gummy bears and goldfish – anything to help her stay happy while waiting for our entrees.

I got the miso glazed catch of the day – and it was out of this world.

After dinner we got back to our hotel and got Sloan all ready for bed.  We tucked her in and took the baby monitor outside for s’mores.

The next morning we packed up and checked out.  Sloan had a cold coming on a few days before and I woke up with a sinus cold myself.  It was so bad we didn’t even go to Mother’s Day dinner at my parent’s place that night.  We felt bad for missing out – but didn’t want to pass on our germs to the rest of the family.

It was honestly the best weekend.  Even with the cold – I’d replay those few days over and over.  I love being away with my little family, even if it is just up in Park City.  I couldn’t have asked for a better Mother’s Day gift.

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.

 

Targhee 2017 / St. Patty’s

Targhee with the Hendersons was a little later than usual this year.  It happened to fall over the weekend of St. Patrick’s Day!  So – to keep up with tradition – we had our St. Patty’s Day dinner a few nights before heading up to WY.

We decorated with left-over decorations from Sloan’s 2nd Birthday. Balloons and streamers make a simple rainbow, and Sloan thought it was the greatest thing she had ever seen.

We spread out some chocolate coins and gold paper plates and we were set! Homemade green bread and rainbow linguine were on the menu.  Sloan enjoyed playing with the colorful noodles more than anything, and Zach and I got to eat a full hot meal without any distractions.  So I’d call that a definite win!

We continued the rest of the week making green meals, in good fun. I tried the most delicious chicken artichoke pesto pasta recipe that all three of us went crazy over.  I’ve already got it on the menu again for this week.

Thursday after Zach got off of work we packed up the car and drove up north.  The drive went so smoothly – the best road trip to Targhee we’ve had to date.  Sloan read books, we all listened to music, and we finished the ride with a showing of Beauty and the Beast.  We arrived at the resort around 8:30 pm.  We unloaded and got Sloan into bed and then unpacked all our supplies in our room.

When Sloan woke up – the Leprechaun had left her something in our room.  I love this age – everything is so magical and I don’t want it to ever change.  Her favorite item in her basket?  A tiny green cutting board of her own to help me with dinner prep.

That morning was Gina and I’s meal assignment – a Leprechaun Breakfast!  Lucky Charms, green french toast, and little green footprints leading towards the “pot o’ gold” that the pesky leprechaun had left the kiddos.  They loved every bit of it and a real leprechaun ended up gracing us with his presence (aka Zach is the creepiest costume to date).  Sloan was unsure at first, but that didn’t stop her from grabbing her loot out of the cauldron when it was her turn.

Then we dropped Sloan off at the Kids’ Club so Zach and I could snowboard together for a few hours.  To be honest, I was extremely hesitant to do this.  Zach told me it would be pointless for us to drive all the way up there and both not ski.  So he set up Sloan to stay in the Kids’ Club for half a day to test the waters.  Long story short:  she ended up doing great and didn’t want to leave when her time was up.

Zach and I even got 8 runs in together with a few other members of his family before lunch time!

When it was time to go pick her up we got to spy on her through the windows.  She loved having her cousins Cole and Clark in there with her!

As soon as Sloan woke up from her nap back at our room we all set off for some snowboarding time together.  We took Sloan on the kiddie lift for the first time and she was in awe the whole time.  I will say though, snowboarding with a toddler goes a lot smoother when it is in the morning – not in the afternoon.  We learned that the first day and didn’t make the mistake again.

That night we had dinner at the Branding Iron to celebrate Jeanene’s birthday [which was actually on Sunday, but we wanted all of us to be together to celebrate].  Sloan hung out with her older cousins while all the adults ate peacefully downstairs in the restaurant below them.

The next morning we did some earlier snowboarding together as a family.  Sloan enjoyed it so much more in the earlier hours and did amazing on her little board – especially considering the snow conditions.  It was icy and it made her go extra fast down that little bunny hill.

Cole and Sean and Siri came out for a bit, too and Sloan got to shred alongside her closest cousin for a bit.  It’s so nice having these two only a few weeks apart – Sloan adores Cole! 

After our shred sesh we dropped Sloan back off at Kids’ Club and she couldn’t have been happier.  Zach and I got more time to snowboard together and met up with the majority of his family members and some of our nieces and nephews.

Part of the crew on the crest.
Mark the Shark and I cutting up some corduroy.  Zach and I on the cat tracks. 

It was all so much fun and so great to be together.  When I picked Sloan up from Kids’ Club she was bummed to leave, but when we got back to our room she took a KILLER nap.  When she woke up we went swimming at the pool along with a few of her cousins.

We had taco night in Mark and Jeanene’s room and then made our way back to our room to put Sloan to bed.

We left the next morning after Zach got a few runs in and I packed up our gear.  We made it home before dinner time and in record breaking fashion unpacked the car and ALL our bags before we passed out for the night.

Targhee is always such a great time – and we were blessed with amazing weather while we were there.  So grateful the Hendersons keep this tradition going, we never want it to stop!

 

 

 

The Last of December – New Years

After Christmas I was lucky enough to spend a night with my high school girlfriends for our annual Christmas get together.  Alison was in town from New York and that’s the day that worked best with everyone.  So even though it wasn’t BEFORE Christmas, we still exchanged our “Favorite Things” and stayed way too late at Kristina’s new beautiful home.

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We had pizza, pizzookies, and stayed until passed 2 am talking.  It is always the same.  No matter what happens – we always pick up right where we left off.  I love that part so much.  We really all are so different.  That’s why we work, I think.  Because we balance each other out. 

I also got to go out with another group of high school friends for dinner not long after to Alamexo down town.  We all brought our significant others and it was a blast seeing those that live out of state and catching up with everyone.  I branched out from my typical chicken tacos and got the salmon.  It wasn’t a bad call…

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Before the holiday, my mom had some time off of work and joined Sloan and I for a movie.  We went to Sing at the Cinemark with the recliners in Sugarhouse.  It wasn’t our favorite flick – we all agreed Moana was better – but Sloan downed half of a large popcorn all by herself.  She obviously gets that from her father.  I didn’t have a single bite.  Not to mention the blue Slurpee my mom bought her disappeared faster than expected.

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For NYE we decided to join Mark and Jeanene up at the Hendo Cabin and stay the night.  Papa picked us up in the Ranger and we unloaded all our gear for our short stay.

IMG_5977 We unloaded our stuff, Sloan explored the cabin – particularly the play room – and we all bundled up to go on a snowmobile ride.  Sloan loved it.  I thought she would hate the fact that her face was freezing, but she didn’t mind one bit and even got upset when we made her go back inside.

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Afterwards we had a delicious dinner (have I mentioned my MIL is an amazing cook?) bathed Sloan, and put her to bed.  We stayed up late watching Liar Liar – still as funny as it was 10+ years ago – and when Zach and I got in bed for the night we went over our resolutions.  A tradition we’ve had since we’ve been married.  I did a mental, physical, spiritual, and financial goal this year.  Zach did something similar, and we agreed to work on them all together.  I have a feeling 2017 is going to be even better than this past year.

We had a big breakfast the next morning, loaded up our stuff, and drove home.  It was gorgeous on the drive home.  As far as you could see – everything was covered in bright white snow.

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It was a perfect, laid back holiday.  Here’s to hoping our New Year’s resolutions make it past February…

 

 

 

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.

 

Thanksgiving 2016

Thanksgiving was eventful this year, as it always is with both of our families.  We are lucky that the Hendersons are easy going and don’t mind celebrating the day after, to make it easier for everyone.

My assignment this year for my side was stuffing (or dressing, as my family calls it) and it is always my favorite thing to make.  Probably because it’s my favorite item to eat at Thanksgiving.  Yes – skip the turkey and mashed potatoes – I will take all the stuffing.  I made a traditional batch and then tried a new variety this year: cornbread with chicken sausage, apples, and mushrooms.  It was actually pretty good!
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On Thanksgiving Day we ate at my aunt’s house for lunch.  It was quite the crowd:  my family, my aunt’s family, my uncle’s family, and the sister missionaries.  Sloan loved every second and her excitement was elevated even more due to the fact that there were 10 times as many people to socialize with. img_5209

Out of the entire spread our families provided – Sloan ate two things:  1.5 rolls and some pumpkin pie.
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The next morning we took Sloan ice skating for her first time.  Zach purchased two tiny pink ice skates on Amazon and could barely contain his excitement.  He begged me every day until that day to take her, and our schedule finally worked out that we could.  She couldn’t wait to get out on the ice.  She did very well considering how difficult it is in general to ice skate.  She has amazing balance, like Zach, and did better than we both expected.  img_5278

She preferred for Zach to hold her, though, and zoom as fast as he could around the ice.  Speed is Sloan’s middle name.  Already praying she is a better driver than I was as a teenager…img_5295

After Sloan’s nap we made our way up the Hendo Cabin for our second Thanksgiving.  It was a fantastic meal with more trimmings than you could imagine.  We did our annual turkey marshmallow shoot and then had an indoor snowball fight – a personal favorite tradition of mine.  img_5235 img_5507

During dinner-clean up the grandkids played a pretty hilarious game and ended just in time to open Christmas pajamas.  After everything had settled somewhat we made the drive back home.

The rest of the weekend was easy.  We relaxed as a family, made sugar cookies, and went on a lunch date all together.
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