We Climbed before the Klimb 4 Kim...

We Climbed before the Klimb 4 Kim...
1997's Climb

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Giving Thanks

            The bambini had a four day weekend...the majority of our support would be out of town visiting friends and family for Thanksgiving, scattered across three different states.  Now, I have to tell you, I'm no longer a big fan of holidays, but, I resolved to battle through the memories, long work days and even longer nights and make it memorable for them. 
            Leading up to this weekend, I gently began to whisper to them, that I would not be making a turkey and all of the trimmings.  I did not let them know that I did not have the strength, but explained the time that went into cooking such a meal, followed by an almost equal amount of time spent cleaning, which would not leave us any time to do anything fun.  I told them about the time Kim and I had decided to go to see a movie and to a diner for our Thanksgiving, and what a nice memory that I had of that year.  My Dad followed up on that theme, speaking to them and reinforcing the idea...
           And, thankfully (being Thanksgiving season), the bambini's kindergarten teachers, Mary and Ami, invited us to join them for a pre-Thanksgiving feast at their mom, Debi's home.  This helped them get their fill of turkey, mashed potatoes (one batch with green chili's in them that was fantastic!), sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole (made with fresh green beans = not mushy!), pumpkin pie, etc, etc, etc...!

            Ami had made the table decorations, complete with individualized name tags!

                                  We've been blessed to know Debi for a long time, she has such a big heart, inviting us into her home for the Russo Thanksgiving!

Chow line!  Ami and Emilio get ready to dig in.

Brian, Ami, Joni, Tonio, me, Cody and Emilio on one side

Rosie (The Russo's family friend, who's son, Dave, worked with me at Toys R Us for many years - small world - and did all of my ink work)., Autumn and Mary on the other.

Mary's daughter, Brinley enjoying a little bit of everything!

After dinner, there was pumpkin pie, cheesecake, chocolate pie and wine!

Ami, Autumn, Mary and Brinley have fun 'warming up' the camera...

As we slowly, in a food coma, made our way into the living room for a group photo.  Brinley was so cute, climbing up on the table, back off and letting me help her.

                                                                     Almost all in!
Ami's triplets...yes, triplets!...are in the front - Colton, Hunter and Ethan.  Debi, Joni, Brinley, Mary, Tonio, Autumn and Ami in row two.  And Al, Emilio, me, Cody and Brian in the back.  And the pup, a beautiful Ridgeback, was a hit with the kids.  We are blessed to have them in our lives!

                       Our day, Thanksgiving, saw us up early to make our way to the San Xavier Mission for Mass...

They've begun to decorate the Mission for the holidays.

The students at San Xavier school made the cans/vases, which are placed throughout the church.

San Xavier was brought down from his spot on the altar to the front of the church.

After Mass, we lit our candles and Tonio and Autumn sat high up on this wall.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/q-gLRp5bSpw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

                   In the afternoon, we went to see the new James Bond movie, Skyfall, starring Daniel Craig as James Bond.  The bambini loved it - their first Bond movie!  They've made me download the theme song (link to video above) - Tonio knows most of the words already and likes to sing along - he's got a nice voice.  And all three keep asking me if we can buy it on DVD when it comes out!  That evening, I made shrimp scampi for them - and they all had seconds.

                  They really are very sweet, but, it was a fragile day - with each of them having a moment at some point.  It took all of my energy to anticipate and bring them back around.  Of course, Autumn, at the end of the day, told me 'Dad?  I think that this was the best Thanksgiving yet!'.  She had gotten each of us a Thanksgiving day card, too!

                  Friday and Saturday, the Americans great need to be consumers swept over me like a wave and I was tied to the bookstore. 
                  Tyler Durden: " We’re consumers. We are by-products of a lifestyle obsession. Murder, crime, poverty, these things don’t concern me. What concerns me are celebrity magazines, television with 500 channels, some guy’s name on my underwear. Rogaine, Viagra, Olestra. " From the movie Fight Club.
                  Jeffery Goines: "There’s the television. It’s all right there. All right there. Look, listen, kneel, pray. Commercials. We’re not productive anymore. We don’t make things anymore. It’s all automated. What are we for then? We’re consumers. Yeah. Okay, okay, buy a lot of stuff, you’re a good citizen. But if you don’t buy a lot of stuff, if you don’t, what are you then I ask you? What? Mentally ill!" From the movie "12 Monkeys" - coincidentally, both characters are played by Brad Pitt!  Try this - search 'Brad Pitt on consumers' on Youtube.  Some genius has brilliantly spliced both film segments together!
                 Brad Pitt neatly describes our obsession with being consumers!

                  On Friday, I noticed one of the posters in our front window was falling.  There is a 5' wall that separates the cash register area from the windows.  It is a slatted wall, so we can peg merchandise from it.  When I walked being to rehang the poster, a memory came crashing in on me...
                 ...on busy days, I like to stay near the front of the store, directing traffic, so to speak.  Jumping on register when needed.  Working the crowd.  Sometimes, Kim would call me while I was working up front.  Not wanting to miss her call, I'd quickly duck behind the wall between the registers and windows, so I could talk to her - it would always re-energize me to got back out and dive into those customers!

                  I was blessed to have Tonio's teacher, Leesa Irwin, and her daughter, Emily, tag team to help me keep the bambini happy on Black Friday.  They played games, went to Subway and had a blast!  Leesa really relates well to the kids and they appreciate her.
                  ***I apologize for the glaring lack of pictures following the Russo Family Feast, but, I didn't manage to take any!!  In fact, Ami took all of the photos posted above - she has a natural talent for capturing the moment***
                Saturday, Angie was back in town and picked the bambini up in the morning for me.  They enjoyed a big breakfast at Jerry Bob's - I love their motto 'Let's Eat!' - the kids love that place!  Then, they went to Angie's for video games and to play with Kim and Roshan's little ones, Marian, Micah and Maleah. 
                When I arrived, I got to plant myself in front of their new 60" t.v. and catch up on some college football with Mark and Roshan.  And decompress.  Oh, wait - I did manage a photo!

Maleah pins a hysterical Tonio to the carpet!

She enjoyed sitting with Tonio!  The little ones love him.  Mary's daughter, Brinley, likes to climb up on Tonio's lap, too.
Saturday night, we stuck with the Daniel Craig as Bond theme and watched Casino Royale.  After the little ones went to bed, I popped in Layer Cake - starring, you guessed it, Daniel Craig.
And today, a nice breakfast at Viro's, hanging out with Rosa and Vito in the morning...
My Sunday afternoons are typically consumed by cleaning, getting stuff ready for kid's school week and sending out approximately 782 texts to all of the great friends who take care of the kids rides and after school care for me for the week!
....followed by dinner to celebrate Mark's birthday at Casa Del Rio, as Andrea, Janene and their kids joined us having just rolled back into town.  Literally.  Janene hadn't even been home yet, she drove right to the restaurant!  Angie and I enjoyed the margaritas!!  Again, blessed.
A great way to end the Thanksgiving weekend. 
And I do have a lot to be thankful for.  I am blessed. 
Back to the memories...I also pulled down the Christmas stuff yesterday (we need a new tree)...and came across yet another massive box of photos...
This was my life:
Did Kim ever mention she loved the beach?  This pic was taken on the balcony of a place we stayed on 5th street in Beach Haven on Long Beach Island, NJ.  Kim loved photography, and had a great talent for it, too.  She had a really nice Pentax camera that she used on a timer to take this photo.

A windy day on the beach - but it didnt' keep us from enjoying the day!

Kim demolishes some crabs that we caught in the bay and cooked in beer!
These are from a time we took Cody to Beach Haven with my Dad "Pop" and Vi "Nana".

Cody enjoyed playing in the sand.  Pop even made his signature skeeball game, where he makes a hill of sand that leads down to an area that he flattened out and made several, tennis ball sized, holes.  He and Cody rolled the tennis ball down the hill and tried to get the ball into a hole for points. 
Pregnant with Autumn, we visited the San Diego beaches with Cajun.  Seeing these pictures brings me back to those beaches...remembering the walks we took, how the ocean smelled, where we ate, where we stayed.
As I was putting the little ones to bed tonight, Autumn blurts out "One more thing Dad!  I love that beginning in Skyfall - with the song playing...and he's lost in a house of mirrors..."  Yeh, that whole scene/song was what threatened to unravel me - I won't spoil the beginning for you.  I've mentioned how hearing certain songs have the effect of freezing time for me and bringing me back to memories of Kim.  I mostly know which songs do that.  So, when a song that I've never heard before is able to do that, it is even more of surprise - and I found time stopped, hanging on every word and blending perfectly with the opening scene...
Anyway, I think I was able to keep the bamini's lows minimized and, with some help, make it a good Thanksgiving weekend for them...and for me.

by Adele

This is the end
Hold your breath
And count to ten
Feel the earth move
And then
Hear my heart burst again

For this is the end
I’ve drowned and dreamt
This moment
So overdue I owe them
Swept away
I’m stolen

Let the skyfall
When it crumbles
We will stand tall
Face it all together

Let the skyfall
When it crumbles
We will stand tall
Face it all together
At skyfall
At skyfall

Is where we start
A thousand miles
And poles apart
Where worlds collide
And days are dark
You may have my number
You can take my name
But you’ll never have my heart

Let the skyfall
When it crumbles
We will stand tall
Face it all together

Let the skyfall
When it crumbles
We will stand tall
Face it all together
At skyfall

Where you go I go
What you see I see
I know I’d never be me
Without the security
Of your loving arms
Keeping me from harm
Put your hand in my hand
And we’ll stand

Let the skyfall
When it crumbles
We will stand tall
Face it all together

Let the skyfall
When it crumbles
We will stand tall
Face it all together
At skyfall

Let the skyfall
We will stand tall
At skyfall
 “It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.”
                                                           -Tyler Durden, Fight Club


No comments:

Post a Comment