Planting Sequoias

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


Our Christmas Card 2012 (in which I stretch the chalkboard theme to a new area of our lives)

Going along with the unofficial “theme” of the past few months of our lives, Kenny and I thought it would only be appropriate to send out a chalkboard-looking Christmas card. Actually, Ken didn’t have much say in this and was just fine with that.

Presenting our 2012 and very first Christmas card as married people:

Christmas Card 2012

Well, mostly. Imagine a “the baumans” under the “love” right there. I just wanted to show the nice mock-up before I dazzled you with my photography skills of the real thing.


Inside, we put one of our favorite pictures from our wedding. It’s hard to believe that it was already more than 4 months ago!

Kenny and Annie

I ordered these cards from Cardstore. There are a ton of online card companies, but I’ve been consistently impressed by the quality of Cardstore’s prints, and their selection of designs are phenomenal. It doesn’t hurt that they frequently offer fantastic deals on Christmas cards and will ship the cards for me.

On the inside, we (I) wrote:

We wish you a Christmas filled with the wonder of the birth of Christ,

the warmth of the Holiday spirit,

and the love of family and friends.

We appreciate your presence in our lives!

With much love,
Annie and Kenny

Even though we couldn’t send this Christmas card to everybody, if you’re reading the blog, consider yourself one of our Christmas card recipients. #warninggettingsappy… I’ve had a lot of fun blogging over the past few months and have even made a few blog friends along the way!

We’re excited to see what the new year will bring, but it will be hard to top 2012. We are so blessed.



Our First Christmas Tree (in which I wax poetic about a twenty-five-year-old fake plant)

This is the story of a little artificial Christmas tree that has witnessed many a joy-filled Christmas.

When my parents were married on December 4, 1987, they embarked on their honeymoon and came back to find this cheerfully decorated Christmas tree in their new home.

Now Kenny and I are using it for our first Christmas as Mr. and Mrs.

However, the tree is feeling its age. Being stuffed into a box and shoved into an attic every January for the past 25 years has been hard on this little guy.

Here’s how it emerged this year in our little apartment.

At least it still stood straight and tall. That is, after I tightened the tree stand. Kenny was not so successful with his attempt. I have had much practice wedging myself under artificial trees and screwing in that trifecta of screws just so.

Here’s how it looked after I’d fluffed it up, good and proper. A nice ruffled tree skirt did not hurt appearances either.

However, the poking and prodding and general shaping I did to the tree was not so kind as I’d hoped. Still, I am rather impressed at how little this aged tree shed. 25 years is a long time for tiny plastic needles to stick to a prickly bunch of wires.

After I cleaned up after the tree, we began to dress it up a bit.

We strung some fresh lights on the tree, draped a ribbon garland, appointed an angel atop, and opened our boxes of treasured ornaments to carefully arrange on the little tree’s plastic branches. After its makeover, the tree was glowing.

I can say with near certainty that someday this little tree will be upgraded for a bigger, newer model, or perhaps even the real deal.

But for this year, this tree is perfect.

By the way, happy 25th anniversary, Mom and Dad!



Bedroom Christmassy-ness (in which a tiny box of ornament hooks evokes way more emotion that it should)

It was an innocent looking package that nearly drove me insane.

Granted, the whole ordeal was basically my fault (though it pains me to admit it) because I was stubborn.

You see, this little box of hooks had a nifty perforated window on the back, from which you could withdraw each ornament hook. Attach said hook to ornament, arrange on tree, and voila! a perfect little Norman Rockwell moment.

HA! Not so at my house.

The little window on the back looked like this.

As you can imagine, it was terribly difficult to get the hooks out, for two reasons. First, that hole is really small. Second, the hooks were, well, hook-shaped. Which meant that they hooked onto each other like a parasite onto its host. And me, being the …focused… individual that I am, insisted (to myself, no less) that I carry on like this until I was thoroughly enraged with these tiny inanimate objects.

Next year, someone please remind me to just open the whole thing and dump the hooks into a bowl and thankyouverymuch for not questioning my absurd actions (or lack thereofthis year.

Anyway, I Christmas-ized our bedroom despite the hooks.

Since our unofficial “color scheme” (I say that like I had a plan) for our tree was red and gold, I was left with a lot of green and silver ornaments, which I hung around the room.

It’ll be your job to spot them all, kind of like an “I Spy” book, okay?

Actually, the voice of reason (aka, my husband) convinced me that the ornaments on the lamps were weird. The Voice of Reason likes to think he is normally right, which in this case, he totally was, so the ornaments no longer remain on the lamps.

If you squint real hard at this picture, you can see the festive decor I put in the frame for the season.

I hung up this realistic-looking garland (amIrightorwhat) (pleasesensethesarcasm) up on the window and decorated the curtain with little tin icicles.

Oh, and I made the bed. 🙂

At this point in our lives, we’re not about to invest in a new color scheme for Christmas each year, but by working with what we had, I think things turned out just fine. Tomorrow I’ll show ya’ll our living room.

Oh, and my advice to you? Be patient with ornament hooks (they can’t help who they are) and do yourself a favor and enlist your husband to hand you each one.

Linking up to the Nester’s 2012 Christmas Home Tour!