I'm kind of blogging backwards in time here......again.
Right before our cruise, we spent a few days with my family in NJ. My sister, who I unfortunately don't spend much time with these days, had the great idea to host a family reunion this summer. The timing could not have been better - it was the day before we set sail, exactly when we were planning on being in town anyway.
Here is my mom (in blue) with several of her first cousins, my aunts:
The next generation includes me, my brother and sister, and many of the people I spent my entire childhood with.
The next generation is all of our kids, with Joe Joe front and center, along my sister's kids (my nephew and niece, Michael and Sami).
Then, as opposed to the in-laws, were the group we jokingly called the "out-laws," those that married into our clan - which included my Brent. I had never met any of these people before to the best of my recollection, but they were all amazingly sweet and fun, and I am honored and thrilled to know them now and call them my relatives.
My mom also wanted pics of each family unit, so here's our bunch! (Dang, I really need to teach my cousin Joe how to focus a camera!)
I hadn't seen much of my extended family in probably 20 years. My fault, for leaving town for so long for college, med school, and residency. So sad, but I do have the most wonderful memories of happy holidays spent with my "cuginas." Hopefully social media will keep us closer in touch and we can arrange some reunions more often.
(Update: I'm sneaking this last picture in several days after the original post. How could I forget to include it?! I rounded the corner in my parents' living room to find the Virgin Mary and some other little guy - I'm thinking St. Francis? - staring out the front window. I asked my mom what they were doing there and she said it was to scare away the rain so we'd have good weather for the reunion. Gotta love crazy New Jersey Italian Catholic superstition!
But guess what - it was a beautiful day!)