Festival of Trees

For years I’ve heard of the Festival of Trees. I’ve never been and honestly really had no clue what it was all about.

This year Shaylyn’s dance class had the opportunity to dance at it. So we made plans as a family to go. This even included my family members and Eric’s mom. My family made plans to meet up around 10, but I knew I wouldn’t get my act together by then and told them we’d get there as soon as we could.

The day before Eric was really sick and I knew the chances of him being able to go the next day weren’t good and as predicted, he didn’t feel much better the next day. Eric’s mom also got sick on Friday and sent me a text letting me know that she was just getting worse as the day went, so she wouldn’t make it either.

My mom, older sister – Kami, little brother – Donovan, little sister – Kaeloni still all made it. They were there before me, but that’s cause I was moving so slowly that morning.

I debated taking all the kids with me, but that only lasted a few seconds before I realized how stressful that would be. I got lucky as Ailey and Nate had no desire to go and Lex hadn’t returned from his sleepover. I decided I could take Tanis and Jace, but when I talked with Tanis he said he didn’t want to go and he’d rather stay home. So it was just Shaylyn and I.

Because my family had been there for some time already we got out the door at 11 and arrived around noon. Shaylyn didn’t need to be backstage until 1:30, so we had an hour and a half to kill.
We walked around for a few minutes hoping to see my family, but when we weren’t seeing them – I texted Kami and then my mom. When neither of them texted back, I texted Kaeloni. She responded immediately letting me know where they were. We found them soon enough and found that Kami and Kaeloni’s kids were already ‘done’ with the day and so they were going to go find somewhere to sit or something to keep kids entertained.

We met up with my mom and Donovan and took a look at the trees that lined the building. We took a few pictures of the ones we really liked or ones I thought the kids would’ve liked to see.

{…Monsters Inc. has long been a family favorite…}
{…Someday I WILL have a tree like this!…}
{…Polar Express…}
{…I just thought this Goosebumps display was great and knew Tanis would love it. I later found out that Shaylyn’s best friends mom knew the girl that this tree was dedicated to. She works at a school for kids with disabilities and the girl was a student there. Was super glad I got a picture of that after hearing the story…}
{…The older kids are obsessed with Minions, Shaylyn just didn’t really want to be in the picture…}
While wandering around and looking at the smaller displays we came across a nativity set. Normally we would’ve just walked by, but this particular nativity set is identical to the set we had growing up. It was such a vital part of the Christmas decorating that it seemed odd the first year my mom didn’t put it up.

For years she would set the nativity set on angel hair and she took great care packing them away each year. I’m still amazed that with 7 little kids the set lasted as long as it did with very few breaks. Perhaps it was the reason she put angel hair underneath it. I was always afraid the angel hair would cut me, so I steered clear of touching anything near it.

It was then time to get Shaylyn backstage. It would be a half hour until they’d perfom, but my pregnant body was done being on my feet and so I found my sisters and where they were sitting and went and joined them.

I noticed Kami was in an arm sling and had tears in her eyes and looked uncomfortable. I went and talked to my mom and let her know what was happening. She wasn’t sure what to do either, but thought maybe Kami and Kaeloni could just head out and my mom would take the kids.

My sisters are awesome and wanted to be there to support Shaylyn and so they both sat through the next half hour just to watch Shaylyn’s one number. I really love my family and how supportive they are.

And here’s a look at Shaylyn’s dance.

When Shaylyn was done performing we went out to supposedly meet her, but she had to watch everyone dance, so we stood around for another 20 minutes. But then she came out and her cousins all clapped for her. It was the cutest thing.

We then all said goodbye. They needed to get Kami back to my mom’s to rest and I had to get home to my kids and sick husband. But first Shaylyn and I needed lunch. We stopped at Training Table and had a good meal.

When I got home, I just sat. It had been a long day on my feet and just a long day in general. I was glad to have the experience, but I still don’t know why it draws soooo many people. Maybe it’s just cause we had the priviledge of performing on a Saturday afternoon.

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