But first, how do you like the Rocco Deluca? I tear up everytime it begins to play...such heart and soul in a song, reminding me of Kimmy. The Eminem tune that I had up as first play for a short time "I need a Doctor" haunted me for obvious reasons...and the mesmerizing voice of Skylar Gray (formerly Holly Brooke), just hooked me on that song...but, I felt that I should focus more on Kimmy and her passion for music, and, of course, Rocco Deluca was more appropriate, in this light...
I awoke with a start, the sun coming in too brightly through the window, surrounded by bambini! Luckily, they were all still asleep. But, I had to sneak out to check to make sure that the Easter Bunny did a good job and remembered to hide all of our eggs - you never know! The challenge, was, not to wake Bella, who sleep with Cody. Autumn and Tonio slept in my room last night, as we fell asleep watching 'Dodge Ball' - a cinemagraphic classic.
I was so tired, I couldn't think - the clock read 6:00, not much time! I made my way into the garage, to see if the bunny found the colored eggs in the fridge out there - and realized I could slip out the side garage door and into the yard, to make sure the eggs were properly hidden. I breathed a sigh of relief, to see that all was in order, snuck quietly back inside, back into bed - and not a bambini, nor Bella, had stirred!
That was close! No time to go back to sleep - I had 'Kim' things to do...I cleaned, and then began to prep pasta salad, for the picnic later in the day...
7:00! Here came the bambini, soaring out of the bedroom, hooting and hollering! I made them go wake up Cody, before the tore into their baskets. Kim was big on basket presentation...yeh, I missed the mark here, but the kids did not seem to mind!
On to the Easter egg hunt! Kimmy would make sure that the video camera, as well as, the regular camera were ready to go! We would switch of manning one or the other...so I was immediately outmanned, but, having two good arms, figured I could get by.
And in the end, it was all smiles...I breathed a sigh of relief, having jumped the first hurdle. Kim always made the egg hunt so fun - and cheered the kids on - they had a good time this morning.
Next, the big breakfast: French toast (don't forget Kimmy's secret, to add vanilla to the egg dip!) made from Viro's bread and bacon.
And about 8:45, I get the text from Kristie...'Mom wants to know if you are at church'...uh, oh...I text back "I'm busted...pray for me!"...the text got forwarded, because a little later, I got one from Janene ' Hey, no worries, we were busted too! Happy Easter!' and reminding me to bring Tonio's scooter!
After the breakfast chaos was cleaned up, I turned back to finishing up the pasta salad. I panicked this morning. I swore I had located Kimmy's famous pasta salad recipe...but, it was no where to be found. I had to improvise. I found another recipe that she often made, one my sister Sherri had given her for a Greek (Grick) salad. It goes something like this:
1 package of twirls - I used campanelle, as Kim loved to use them in her pasta salads.
1 cup crumbled feta, roquefort or blue cheese (I used feta today)
1/2 c. chopped black olives
3/4 c. sliced radishes
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1 small cucumber, thinly sliced
1/2 c. olive oil
2 tbl. lemon juice
2 tbl. chopped parsley
1 clove minced garlic
1 tsp of oregano (I use 2...cuz I love oregano)
Cook the pasta and drain. In a large bowl, toss hot pasta w/ cheese, olives, radishes, onions and cucumber until well blended. In a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients, toss w/ pasta until evenly coated. Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste. chill 1 to 2 hours before serving.
By the time I was done, it was time to get the car loaded - Kim was great at making sure we did not forget anything, and I tried to remember - sunscreen!! I did it!! My little ones would not fry today!!, camp chairs, pasta salad, coconut eggs, football, soccer ball, camera! We managed to get everything in, and even had time to swing by Catalinia's (Kristie's husband, Ross's mom) and load up their gas grill into my truck before heading to the park.
There must have been 30 or 40 of us there and a smorgasborg of food. An invariable cornucopia! I grazed, telling everyone, this is not a sprint...it is a marathon! Hot dog, pasta salad...nachos and beans...fruit with salt and sour sauce, which was addicting...then, the main course - carne asada, fresh off the grill - I just put salsa on it and wrapped it in a tortilla...there was so much food.
Meanwhile, the kids had gone of the deep end. A full scale water war was being waged with squirt guns, water balloons and any other means of soaking each other - oh, and I remembered another Kimmy best practice - bring Antonio a change of clothes - it was much needed today!
Lexy and Autumn's strategy was to move opposite the pack and they did quite well hording eggs!
It was an incredible sight, and characterized the day, as the kids had constant activities to keep them laughing and enjoying themselves, including volleyball (Andrea asked the party next to us if we could use their net in between matches), t-ball and soccer (I played barefoot, instead of trying to handle the ball in flip flops). And lady bug catching. There were an abnormal amount of lady bugs in the grass and the kids used empty eggs to make lady bug 'homes'.
I think that the adults, had as much fun interacting and participating in all of these events, as the children had.
Here, Janene pulls over Andrea and Micah for exceeding the speed limit,as Richie looks over his shoulder, relieved that he was not pulled over for speeding! Micah is telling Janene that Richie was going way faster than he and Andrea were!
We finally began packing up around 7, after a full day of food and fun...I talked to each of the kids, to get a sense of how they felt their Easter went - after this event, they were all happy and glowing - it really set my mind at ease and warmed my heart to see them this happy...What was your favorite part of the day? I asked them...Autumn said 'All of it!', Tonio said 'both Easter egg hunts', Cody? The party at the park..
Angie pointed out the beautiful sky as the sun began to set...all of those Easters we had together, Kim always made each one so special...today, we put together a great one, in her honor and because of what she had taught us made holidays special, fun, meaningful...all of these ingredients were present today - the Williams family made it happen, and we were blessed to have them include us...
Towards the end, as I sat in a chair, watching the kids play t-ball...Catalina came up and hugged me...saying she always thinks of us and how hard it must be...she was tearing up, and I told her - Kimmy wouldn't want us to be sad, not today. And somehow, these good people, took us into their hearts and made us feel like family, so we would not feel any sorrow today, just have good memories and make more good memories today - I know Kimmy guided me through this holiday season, as I tried to make everything perfect...she would have wished for us to have such a blessed day, as we enjoyed today - our angel, watching over us.
The bambini love to end their day with something special. Autumn and Tonio either love to be read to, or to get together and watch a movie. Tonight, they wanted to watch Gulliver's Travels, starring Jack Black. He truly is a versatile actor, and pulled this one off brilliantly. One of Kim's favorite movies was The Holiday, starring Jack Black, Jude Law, Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet. Black plays a pretty straight role in that one. When they fell asleep, around 10:15, I went out to the sports room to play Guitar Hero with Cody. We played Mr. Brighteyes, by the Killers "it started out with a kiss, how did it end up like this?" and one by Papa Roach, "Last Resort" 'Cause I'm losing my sight, losing my mind, wish someone would tell me I'm fine"...and I had amazing dexterity on these two pieces, besting Cody on both songs...of course, I'm on 'easy' setting and he is one 'expert'...! He loves to end his day this way...it felt good to give them all of this today - as much as I love to write, I can't put it into words adequately how much we needed a day like this and how much this day meant to us...