Sunday, September 7, 2014

Happy Now--a birthday and a WEDDING

Two big events happened since my last post: first, I enjoyed a fun birthday with Darren and some friends.  Second, and certainly much more exciting, Darren and I were able to attend the temple wedding of my sweet brother Chris and his (now) wife Christiane.  I wanted to share my Happy Now in ten pictures from these two events, but I had a hard time choosing among all the pictures from the wedding.  So here are my Happy Now 27 in photos:

1.  Turning 31:  Last year my 30th birthday came in the midst of a lot of changes.  Darren and I were in the process of moving to Wyoming, finding a place to live, and starting new jobs.  Maybe because there were so many new and exciting things going on at the time, reaching the milestone of my 30th birthday felt just as new and exciting and promising.  I didn't struggle with 30 as much as I had thought I would a few years earlier.  Well ... those struggles certainly caught up with me this year as I turned the big 3-1.  I felt the last year had flown by and I needed time to slow down to accomplish the plans and goals I had set for myself.  When the day came, I wanted to keep the celebrations low-key.  Spending the evening going to dinner with Darren and the Bruce family, and then taking a beautiful walk along the river, certainly made the transition easier!

Along the river wearing the skirt Darren gave me as an early birthday present.
2-27.  The Sonne/Cannon Wedding:  Darren and I flew to Chicago on August 21 to begin wedding festivities with my parents, Chris, Christiane, and Christiane's parents, siblings, and her siblings' families.  Due to crazy schedules this summer studying for and taking the Bar and Medical Board Exams, Chris and Christiane decided to wait until next June to have a large formal reception and keep the August wedding small with only immediate family.  Chris and Christiane had a wonderful weekend planned for us, which included separate activities for the guys and girls on the evening we arrived.  The guys took Chris to a Mongolian BBQ restaurant while my Mom and I joined Christiane and the other ladies for a bridal shower at the home of Christiane's brother, Sam, and his wife.  I had not been able to meet Christiane before arriving at the shower, so I was filled with excited, and somewhat nervous, anticipation beforehand.  Immediately upon meeting Christiane, however, I knew that all of the wonderful things my brother had said about her were true.  I was, and am, so excited to have her as a part of the family!  The shower was girly and fun and was the perfect setting for me to get to know Christiane and her family better.

The next day, Chris and Christiane had a real treat in store for everyone: a Cubs game at historic Wrigley Field.  Not only was the weather great and the atmosphere perfect, but the Cubs played a great game for a win against the Baltimore Orioles.  I am far from being a sports fanatic, and I follow no professional sports teams, but there is something I have always loved about attending baseball games.  I can (usually) follow what's happening and it feels just so ... American.  I really love it.

This year Wrigley Field is celebrating its 100th Birthday.  As one of the oldest baseball fields still in use, it seemed only appropriate that the scoreboard be operated the old-fashioned way with people physically changing the panels to reflect the stats.

With the help of my Dad and Sam, Christiane's brother, Darren and I kept score on the scorecard as we watched the game. It brought back some fun memories of attending Dodgers and Angels games when I was younger.

Darren ready to chow down on a foot-long Chicago Dog and sporting his new Chicago Cubs hat :)

The second evening ended with pizza and games with the Cannons before heading back to the hotel to rest up for the big day!

Chris looked so handsome Saturday morning (August 23) as we prepared to head to the temple.  His obvious excitement for the day added to my own and made me so happy for him!

Ready to go to the temple!

The ceremony at the Chicago Temple was beautiful and touching.  I know that the thoughtfulness, sensitivity, adventurousness, and sense of humor that made Chris such a wonderful brother will make him an equally wonderful husband and future father.  I was filled with so much pride for Chris on his wedding day!

Waiting for the bride and groom ...

The new couple!

They were so happy :)

New family photo (The photographer asked Darren and I to hold hands, and I'm not sure we quite caught her vision ;)

Though it was quite humid, the rain held off and the skies were beautiful during the family pictures.  Almost immediately after the last of the family pictures had been taken at the temple, however, the clouds gathered and it began POURING rain.  I tell you, I have never seen rain like that.  Darren, ever the gallant man, sacrificed himself by leaping out of the car to run an umbrella to Chris and Christiane and their photographer who were trying to get a few final shots around the temple.  By the time we caught up to them in the car, Darren gave up his seat to the bride and groom so that we could run them over to their rental car.  By the time we finally got Darren back into the car, he was soaked through.  Everyone was appreciative, and I was reminded, once again, of the gem I have for a husband.

This picture doesn't quite capture the extent to which Darren was covered in water, but it gives you an idea.

After the temple ceremony we celebrated with a dinner at a restaurant called Pinstripes.  It was a beautiful restaurant made fun with Bocce ball lanes available for the kids ... and adults. ;)  The professional photographer shared a preview of her pictures the day after the wedding. In the preview was this picture she captured as we said goodbye to Chris and Christiane outside of the restaurant.  They have such a bright future ahead of them, and I am so grateful to anticipate future get togethers with them both!

The expressions on everyone's faces in this picture are totally candid and capture the true excitement we felt for this new couple!

Before flying back to our respective homes, Mom, Dad, Darren, and I spent a couple of hours seeing the sights in downtown Chicago.  We went to the top of the John Hancock tower to get some amazing views of the city and where Dad and Darren dared to go on "The Tilt."

Dad and Darren in line for The Tilt

The Tilt is a "ride" of sorts on which you lean against a glass stall at the top of the John Hancock Building.  The stall then proceeds to tilt 30 degrees away from the building above the city below.  Needless to say, Mom and I opted out of that experience.

View from the top of the John Hancock Building

View of Navy Pier from the top of the John Hancock Building

For our last stop in downtown Chicago, we walked along Navy Pier and had lunch.  What a charming place!
View of the city from the end of Navy Pier

Needless to say, this August was quite a memorable month!  Thank you to all of the family and friends who helped to make it so special!

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