Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Flatley Family Love Fest

My Mom is one of 13 kids. She and her siblings have 66 kids between them, and they have 137 kids between them . . . so far. And we've even got three little nuggets of Generation 4, born in 2016.

Hard to get your mind around, isn't it?

I'm #19 of those 66 cousins. Top twenty, baby. And this past weekend, in celebration of my Uncle Brian's Golden Jubilee of his Ordination, 46 of the 62 living members of Generation 2 -- plus a whole lotta fabulous spouses and kids -- joined our parents -- the 10 living members of Generation 2 and their spouses -- for an epic Flatley Family Love Fest in Boston.

As my cousin Sheila summarized, "Saturday night we took over a bar, Sunday we took over a church, and Sunday night we took over a house."

We are a force to be reckoned with, we Flatleys. Because not only are we big in number, we are big in personality. We are big in voice. We are big in Life.

Did I mention big in number?

Thirty-five first cousins came to the Harpoon Brewery Saturday night for Cousins' Night Out . . .

. . . along with those fabulous people we've married, and some of the kids who have somehow become of-age.

What would we do without our fabulous spouses?

We would be really really sad.

Thankfully, we don't have to be.

The night was not without party crashers. Uncle Kevin does not like to miss a party, as everybody knows.

 And neither do his fabulous sisters. Hi Mom!

The random conversational groupings of siblings and cousins and inlaws all night was my favorite part . . .

. . . that and the loveliness of everybody, everywhere I looked . . .

. . . and also black and white selfies. Because everybody looks better in black and white, we've decided.

It was one for the ages. And thank you to the group shot takers, from whom I am stealing photos without permission.

The next day was all about Uncle Brian.
In addition to his 18 million family members, all of Arlington came out to congratulate him and wish him well. The man has been an intimate and seminal part of all of our lives, for our whole lives. Baptisms and weddings and funerals -- essentially, the full Circle of Life. And he knocks it out of the park every time. Including Sunday. Especially Sunday. I mean, who doesn't love a standing ovation in church?

Afterward we the masses were treated to a cookout on the Arlington Green, where lovelies abounded . . . cousin lovelies . . .

. . . and Holt lovelies.

Lovely flowers . . .

. . . and adorbs cousins-of-eachother, who are both my first cousins once removed . . .

. . . and favorites everywhere one looked.

We decided we'd start a Girl Band . . .

. . . and we invited Jane to join us. Because she's cute and she can sing. And so can Corey and Jacquie. Oh wait. Okay, fine. I'll be the manager. Or maybe the Roadie.

It was a freezing afternoon in late May . . .

. . . but hey, that's what tablecloths are for.

Ellens Everywhere!!

I do love that Ellen Sr. of mine.

This photo of Mom and me was stolen from Mary Mac's Chris, as are these:

Best photo of Mistah ever taken?

Oh, how we missed our Julie-Girl.

Thankfully, we had Corey-Girl to stand in.

Who, us? Why, certainly you can take our photo!

Chris was the Man, getting so many photos of so many families. He has posted them for all to see and Facebook has been a pure delight these last few days. Mistah and I, on the other hand, spent most of our time yakking instead of snapping but believe me, you beautiful cousins of mine, your gorgeous visages are burned into my memory forever.

Or something like that.


What a Day -- what a Couple of Days -- it was. And really, it all belonged to this crew . . . 

. . . because it all started with this crew:

We're missing some crucial members of our clan: Dad, and Uncles Fran and Tom and Bill Peters and Jim McIntyre, and Auntie Peggy and Elda and Paula, and Richard and Mary and Margaret and Gary and Mikey T. But they were all well represented this weekend, and were right there with us in spirit.

Congrats, our singular and inimitable Uncle Brian.

Love you Big, my Big Flatley Family. 


Julie Corey Kelley said...

Hated to miss this, but I feel like I was there. Great post, El. xoxoxo

Beth said...

Really, it truly is hard to get your mind around all this!

Congrats to uncle Brian.


Jane Corey Holt said...

So fantastic. Thanks Ellie this was a terrific recap.

Impressed in Central PA said...

For those of us that can count first cousins on one hand, it really is hard to wrap my brain around 66 first cousins...that's half of the entire student body of the local Catholic high school that opened 4 years ago!
This thread sure made me wish I wasn't number 7 of 8 in my cousin lineage. Congratulations to the Flatley go big or go home :)