Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Tree Story

I'm currently taking a break from grading to catch up a little bit on the last few days. Some highlights:

Terry and I are both finally recovering from being sick. It took a solid 10 days to finally feel normal again, including two days off from work, tons of naps, and no exercise (and a partridge in a pear tree).

On Friday I tackled my first "real" workout since I came down with that horrible cold. I survived, and it felt fantastic to be moving again, but Tina's lower body tabata series was NO JOKE. Two days later I'm hobbling around and trying to find ways to loosen up my muscles. Yowza.

And on that note, if you're interested in participating in Best Body Boot Camp Round 4, registration is NOW OPEN, and boot camp starts January 7! Get excited--and get ready to be sore!

Yesterday Terry and I visited The Grove, a lovely shopping center in LA that gets all decked out for the holidays. I mentioned to Terry that I wanted to go this year, and he made it happen! What a guy. :-) We walked around, did a little shopping, ate lunch at Marmalade Cafe, checked out the famous farmer's market, and took pictures of the decorations. It's so fun to see all the shoppers in the Christmas spirit!

This weekend we also had the chance to celebrate an early Christmas--twice! First we went to a party with Terry's scuba buddies. And today we enjoyed lunch and exchanged gifts with some of Terry's family. We're only a little more than a week from Christmas--can you believe it?

But before all that, we still have one more week of work. I'm trying to stay focused, enjoy my students, and get as much grading done as possible before break. That also includes healthy meals, workouts, and setting aside time for my work.


The rest of this post is dedicated to my big brother, who has been insisting that I share the "tree story" with all of you. So here you go, Chris!

When I was in high school, my parents started taking us to the mountains to cut down our Christmas tree, just like we did last year. Somehow, we would come home with larger and larger trees each year - 10 feet, 12 feet, 14 feet. I think one year we brought home a 17-footer, but that may be a legend.

The thing is, do you think 14-foot trees fit into normal-sized doors? Spoiler alert: They do not. So my parents' poor friends had to come over every time to help us shove the thing through the front door.

And do you think trees that tall like to stand up on the first try and then stay standing? Nope. No, indeed. They like to fall down.

(That's my dad.)

They like to be held up by multiple people,

and when those people let go the tree likes to fall again. And then, when you finally have it balanced, when you've purchased a new stand so it will fit, when you've used a cable to secure the thing to the wall, when you have it all decorated...

It likes to fall again.

So this year was different. The aforementioned friends of my parents who have to suffer through this ordeal each year had had enough. So they restricted my mom to a 10-foot tree. (Most would still consider a 10-foot tree to be rather large.) And Mom reluctantly agreed.

(That's Dan. Hi, Dan!)

Success! Mom actually found "THE TREE," but it was 14 feet--out of her height range. So my brother and his wife took that one for their house, and Mom and Dad got this 10-foot beauty. The tree was gorgeous, everyone was happy. Mom decorated it beautifully. The end, right? Ah...if only. But no...

The damn tree fell again. I wasn't there, but I hear it was tragic. I've been there before when the decorated tree has fallen--once it fell on top of my poor mom--and it isn't pretty. (I did not stop for a photo before helping, which, in retrospect, I think was the right choice.)

They fixed it all up again, and now it hasn't fallen in awhile. Let's hope it stays that way. 

What can you learn from this story? A) Keep your friends they can help you set up your Christmas tree. B) If at first the tree falls down, try, try again. C) The bigger the tree, the bigger the mess--WHEN it falls. (And it will fall.)

Meanwhile, the trees for this year...

(Left to right: My parents' tree (10 feet), my brother and Ashley's tree--with Achilles in front (14 feet), and our tree (6 feet).)

Wishing you a merry and fall-free Christmas!

What holiday traditions have gone awry in your family? Any hilarious stories to share?


  1. Ha Ha, I am so glad you shared the "tree story" with us! You had me cracking up. I can't even imagine how long it may take to decorate those tall beauties!!

    && another thing I'm glad about is.. that you & the man are feeling better & were able to get out and enjoy an amazing Christmas themed weekend <3

  2. Those trees are gorgeous! I would never have the patience for a real one, but those stories are hilarious. Btw - we visited the Grove while in LA this past spring and I loved that place!!