Planting Sequoias

In which I blog about a life (hopefully) well lived.

Leave a comment

Happy Easter (in which I bedeck myself in florals to celebrate the resurrection)

Here you go.

This is me, circa 1992.

1990s easter dress

In all seriousness, though, read this and celebrate.

“When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory.’

Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”

1 Corinthians 15:54-55


1 Comment

Christmas Recap 2012 (in which I challenge the limits of my marriage by insisting on photo evidence)

Every year, I say that this is the “best Christmas ever.” And every year, it’s true. Including and especially this year.

We began our celebration on Christmas Eve at my parents’ house. It was a little different to drive a half an hour to get to my stocking, rather than just running down the stairs, but it was still wonderful. This year, my stocking had 2 of everything in it! Unfortunately, it was not all for me; I had to share with my husband.

2012 stockings

We then devoured the traditional “monkey bread” breakfast, and when the barn chores were finished (not by me :)), we sat down to the business of opening gifts.

Here’s this year’s tree, complete with “knitted sock garland” from my dad’s antique sock knitting machine (he makes these socks out of wool from our sheep).

I was thrilled to receive a ton of tools, the Young House Love book, earrings, a scarf, a hat, and much much more. It was awesome.

2012 Bronkema Christmas Tree

The rest of the day was filled with game playing and food. My new favorite game? Set. It’s incredibly hard and I’m horrible at it but I love it. The only problem was that it wasn’t gifted to me personally, so I had to leave it behind at the end of the day…but it’ll go on next year’s Christmas list.

We left around 8 and headed to our apartment, and both Kenny and I came to the conclusion that we’d rather open our gifts to each other then and be able to sleep in on Christmas day…since we were going to hit up the 11pm candlelight service at our church.

It was the right decision.

My gift highlights: a new sleeping bag, camping cookware, watercolor paints, and a gorgeous blazer. Ken has good taste.

Annie's loot

I insisted on photos. Ken begrudgingly complied. It was a good thing I buttered him up first with all those gifts.

Kenny's haul

This year, I wrapped a bunch of our gifts in plain brown kraft paper, partly because it was very cheap, partly because we ran out of wrapping paper, and partly because it’s the trendy thing to do. I also took the initiative to sharpie on some bows and tags, and was SO EXCITED when Kenny wrapped a gift for me in a similar manner. This guy knows the way to my heart.

Kenny drew me wrapping paper!

After sleeping in on Christmas day (the candlelight service wore us out!), we headed to his parents’ house for gifts with his immediate family and then extended family.

If this picture could be animated, you could see our feet practically wriggling with excitement.

Christmas day at the in-laws

My gift highlights: giving away photo books of our wedding and receiving a rain coat, new purse, and additional dishes (yay!). Kenny basically got an entire new wardrobe of Ralph Lauren clothes and Sperry’s shoes. He was pleased.

Merry Christmas!

In summary: it was pretty wonderful. And I’ll say this for the gajillionth time too: we are so blessed.

1 Comment

The True Meaning of Christmas (in which I quote Luke the Theologian via Charles Schultz)

Linus has it right.


Charlie Brown: “Isn’t there anyone, who knows what Christmas is all about?!”

Linus: “Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about. Lights please?

And there were in the same country shepherds, abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them! And they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, “Fear not! For, behold, I bring you tidings o great joy, which shall be to all my people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ, the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” And suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the Heavenly Host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the Highest, and on Earth peace, and good will toward men.

That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”

1 Comment

For the Beauty of the Earth (in which I am thankful)

For the beauty of the earth,

For the glory of the skies;

For the love which from our birth,

Over and around us lies;

Lord of all, to Thee we raise

This, our hymn of grateful praise.


For the wonder of each hour,

Of the day and of the night;

Hill and vale and tree and flow’r,

Sun and moon, and stars of light;

Lord of all, to Thee we raise

This, our hymn of grateful praise.


For the joy of human love,

Brother, sister, parent, child;

Friends on Earth and friends above,

For all gentle thoughts and mild;

Lord of all, to Thee we raise

This, our hymn of grateful praise.


For Thy church that evermore,

Lifteth holy hands above;

Off’ring up on ev’ry shore,

Her pure sacrifice of love;

Lord of all, to Thee we raise

This, our hymn of grateful praise.


For Thyself, best Gift Divine,

To the world so freely given,

For that great, great love of Thine,

Peace on earth and joy in heaven.

Lord of all, to Thee we raise

This, our hymn of grateful praise.

Lyrics from Folliott Pierpoint


Embroidered Wedding Dress (in which I show you 1/100th of my wedding dress)

I keep thinking and worrying that I won’t have enough time for the details that I want to do in time for the wedding, but somehow I’ve been blessed to be able to keep sneaking them in there.

The other night, I embroidered our wedding date into the hem of my wedding dress. It’s one of those things that *may* end up in just one picture (if I remember), but I love making my dress a little more personal.

This is all you get to see of it, though. 🙂

Note: our wedding is not a show of how crafty I can be or how much money we can spend or how fun and beautiful the reception can be–but it is a celebration of our marriage, and thus very, very special. I plan to celebrate it for the rest of my life.

UPDATE: Here it is!

August 11, 2012 Wedding Dress Embroidery