Sunday, April 27, 2014

Happy Now--April 27

 This past month has flown by!  It was busy, but also very happy.  I started a new post several weeks ago, so I will keep those original Happy Now moments and just add to them.  Since I am covering about a month, I am allowing myself a Happy Now 16.  Here they are (listed pretty much in chronological order).

1.  Geese--When Darren and I first moved to Pinedale last August, I loved the open spaces and nature that surrounded us.  The air smelled fresher, the grass looked greener, and I loved becoming acquainted with new sounds in nature.  For some reason, the sound a flock of geese made every morning as it flew over our home was a particular favorite.  It just seemed so .... country.  It wasn't long before the geese left and winter came.  But last Monday (which is now several Mondays ago), as I was eating breakfast, I heard them again.  They're back!  It is the Wyoming version of seagulls and ocean waves.  It made me so happy!

2.  Bread Making--For many years, the Sonnes had a tradition of making Grandma Elaine's bread every Christmas.  This was always a group effort and, with several extended family members, kneading the bread two or three times was usually the extent of my involvement in the bread making process.  I recently used a fairly simple recipe for wheat bread I had found to attempt the whole process on my own.  Success!

3.  Frozen Yogurt--Darren and I finally got around to trying the new frozen yogurt shop it Pinedale.  It was great, and I'm so glad it's here!

4.  Mom's Birthday--Mom's birthday was March 27.  I am so, so grateful for her.  She is an example to me in every way, and someone who I try to emulate in my interactions with others.  When my Papa John (my mom's dad) died last year, I was given a picture he had had in his apartment of me and my mom when I was a baby.  Paired next to a picture from my wedding, that picture represents what a source of support and strength my mom has been to me all these years, and how blessed I've been to have always had her by my side.  Love you, Mom!

5.  Chris is Engaged!--This was the happiest moment of the whole month for me!  Chris called me and Darren on the evening of March 30 to let us know that he and Christiane Cannon were engaged.  Christiane got on the phone with him at the end, and it was great to have a moment to celebrate with them both.  We have yet to meet Christiane, but I can tell how happy she makes my brother and I couldn't be more happy for them both.  I have heard so many wonderful things about her.  So glad to have you join the family, Christiane! 

6.  Snowshoeing--My last snowshoeing experience was several years ago ... and wasn't particularly fun.    Darren talked me into getting out and trying it again at the beginning of April, and I'm so glad he did!  It was a beautiful day, and the snow was just right.  Darren (who had bought snowshoes for himself and his future wife before we even met) was equipped.  It was fun to see him so much in his element.

7.  General Conference--I love this time of year.  There were so many wonderful messages shared at General Conference at the beginning of April, and I am grateful to be able to review them online and through the Ensign.  What a blessing!  And a special thank you to Katie Houston and her family for letting me watch the Saturday sessions with them!

8.  Dad's Early Arrival--Some "family business" required me to be in Salt Lake from April 3-22.  Due to work, Darren couldn't join me until April 13.  My parents also planned to come out and spend some time with us from the 11-20.  I was so THRILLED when my dad called and said he had rearranged his schedule to join me on the evening of the 5th.  Having constant company with me for that first week was a real-life saver.  I will always remember that week we spent together.  Thanks so much, Dad!

9.  Logan Trip--One of the things my dad and I did during our first week in Utah was to take a little road trip to Logan.  My great-grandpa, Alma Sonne, raised his family in Logan (which included his son, my grandpa, Conway Sonne).  Alma was President of the local bank (originally the First National Bank and now the Cache Valley Bank) and was Chairman of the Board of Directors at Utah State University (where my Grandpa Conway eventually met my Grandma Elaine).  It was fun to visit some of the old "Sonne sites" and learn a little more about my family history.  Dad, as always, was a great traveling companion.
Alma Sonne's house on Main St. in Logan.  It is now a dental lab.  The kind people inside let us look around (they have kept everything looking very "homey") and gave us a type-written history of the house they had found in a drawer when they moved in.  From that history we learned that the builder of the home was Fred Dahle, Alma's friend who served a mission for the Church with him in England  and whose illness prevented Fred, Alma, and a few other missionaries from returning home on the Titanic!
Although it is now called the Cache Valley Bank, the old First National Bank lettering from when my Great-Grandpa worked there is still on the steps.
The outside of what is now the Cache Valley Bank.  One of the Bank clerks also gave us a tour of the bank.  It brought back many memories for my dad from when he had visited the bank in the 70s to get his first bank loan from Grandpa Alma for college.
Dad and I had lunch at "The Bluebird" (apparently a hot-spot while my grandparents were in college and where both of my grandparents wrote in their journals about going on dates)!

"Kater" has been a nickname for as long as I can remember, so it was fun to see this as we were walking along Main St.
10.  Mom and Darren's Arrival--Dad and I had a really fun time together, but we were both excited about having mom, and then Darren, join us.  Mom arrived on the 11th.  We stayed in SLC a couple more days before meeting up with Darren in Park City.  It was wonderful to have the family all together (we just missed Chris and Christiane)!

11.  Temple Walk with Mom--Before we left for Park City, Mom and I took a walk around Temple Square (it is SO beautiful this time of year) and up to the Capitol Building.  On our walk we found a little butterfly in the middle of the sidewalk.  This butterfly took to my mom immediately and would change direction to follow where my mom moved.  It was really kind of amazing!  Eventually we decided we had to be on our way but wanted to move our new little friend onto the grass out the the way of foot traffic. :)

Moving our friend to a safer spot.
12. Dad's Birthday--We were lucky enough to be with my dad in Park City on his birthday.  I think my dad is one of the most selfless people I know.  He somehow managed to make all of us feel good and special on HIS birthday.  I'll excited for any opportunity I have to celebrate him.  I couldn't be more blessed than to have him as a father.  Love you, Dad!

Dad's Birthday Dinner
Dad's Birthday Dinner
Birthday Banana Cream Pie!
13.  Dinner with Chaffees--The Chaffees are basically family members, and it had been WAY too long since we had seen them.  We made plans to meet up in Salt Lake with Phil and Stephanie for dinner once my parents and Darren were in town.  It was SO great to see them!  I have so many wonderful memories with the Chaffee family, and seeing them brought all of those memories back.  I love and admire Phil and Steph's strength, humor, testimony, and the love they share with everyone.  I hope to see them and their girls again soon!

14.  Dinner with Roommates--My friends and former roommates Katie and Melissa made the effort to come visit us in Park City while we were there.  We had a chance to have dinner and visit for a bit, but the time went by much too quickly (even though I had also had dinner with them in Salt Lake earlier in the month, there just never seems to be enough time with these wonderful ladies).  I am so blessed to have such supportive friends!

15.  Peter Yarrow Concert--I found out the Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul, and Mary fame) was having a concert at the Egyptian Theater in Park City while we were there.  Knowing my Dad liked/likes some of Peter, Paul, and Mary's songs, Darren, Chris, and I went in on 4 tickets as a birthday present to my dad.  It was a fun (if at times slightly interesting) evening, and it brought back a lot of memories for me and my parents.  I remember sitting around the campfire at Stanford Sierra Camp or on the deck at Laguna during Sonne family reunions each summer growing up singing such classics as "Leaving on a Jet Plane", "Blowin' in the Wind", "If I Had a Hammer", etc.  It sure made me feel nostalgic.  My favorite part of the concert, though, was when Peter (and his son who was performing with him) invited all the children at the concert onstage to sing "Puff, the Magic Dragon."  He gave the microphone over to several of the kids during the song, and it was pretty adorable.  All in all, it was definitely a memorable evening.  :)

Mom and Dad at the concert.

Calling the kids onstage for "Puff, the Magic Dragon."  I took this shot a little early.  He had quite a crowd by the end!
16.  Easter--It never fails that my mom manages to make holidays special for her family no matter where we are.  On Easter morning when Darren and I came out of our hotel bedroom, we found some Easter gifts set up for us on the table, including a beautiful Jan Brett book on Easter.  I love this holiday and the reminder that it is of the blessing of the Atonement.  How grateful I am for the Atonement and a loving Father in Heaven and Savior who loved each of us enough to make it an essential part of their Plan of Happiness.

As I finish this post, I can think of about 16 more things that made me happy over the past few weeks.  I especially want to thank the Walker family for allowing me to stay in their beautiful condo in Draper for part of the time I was in Utah.  Overall, my heart is just full of gratitude for all the friends, family, and events that filled up last month.  I am truly blessed.

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