Aug 30, 2011

The Breen Family Reunion

     Embarrassingly enough for me, I am STILL posting about our vacation that happened at the beginning of this month. One of these days I’ll be finished. I am predicting around October. Or perhaps tomorrow if I can muster the motivation. Even though the Breen Family Reunion was our main event during our Ohio trip & even though I have fancy schmancy camera… I surely do not have any photographs of this years shindig. I apologize, but it sure was nice not to lug the thing around and just enjoy myself.

     How to describe the Breen Family Reunion? I have been putting off this post for sometime because I feel unable to describe it. It all starts with a little math, I suppose. My mother’s maternal grandparents were Leo Aloysius & Bess Adele Breen. They had six children, Mary Catherine {My great Aunt Katie}, Elizabeth Ann {My great Aunt Betty}, John Patrick {My great Uncle John}, Leo Aloysius {My great Uncle Bill}, Margaret Viola {My Grandmother!!} and David Alexander {My great Uncle Sam}. You might notice that my great-grandparent’s called some of their children random names with no relation to their given names..they called my grandmother Nancy and still not sure how Sam and Bill derived their names. All part of their charm, I suppose! So, my mom had 5 aunts & uncles. And being the good Irish Catholic family the Breen’s were, their children all grew up to make…..lots more children. Aunt Katie, Aunt Betty, My Grandmother and Uncle Jack ALL had six children each. Uncle Bill had four and Uncle Sam had two. Add that up and that makes 30 grandchildren for my great-grandparents. Pretty awesome. My mother grew up surrounded by her 5 brothers & sisters and 25 cousins. All around the area of Columbus, Ohio for some time. People, that is a lot. My mother had a lot of cousins, who mostly married giving her many more cousins, who also had babies giving me many, many, many second cousins.

    The bulk of the Breen’s still hold down the fort in various areas of Ohio, but there are Breen’s everywhere now..New York, Colorado, Wyoming, Florida, and Virginia :)  Us Virginia Breen’s trekked to Ohio every summer, but every other summer we would head to Maumee Bay State Park for the Reunion.  To me & my brothers and sister’s, it was paradise. Swimming in the outdoor pool all day, swimming in the indoor pool all hours of the night, hanging out in the hot tubs, hours of racquetball and wallyball, jet skiing, playing in Lake Erie, soft-serve ice cream, tie-dying, and playing hide and go seek throughout the hotel’s hallways way past our bed-time. The State Park always had activities going on for their visitors..movies in the lobby with popcorn at night, or board game afternoons. Our parents were normally in a state of relaxation and ease, happy to be hanging out with their cousins, too. We always have a big family dinner on Saturday night, and in my younger years, that meant talent shows. My cousin Shannon and I always came to the family reunion with a dancing/singing act prepared. It started as innocently as songs from the Sound of Music, but it wasn’t long before we were dancing to Spice Girls in front of everybody.

     It is a Breen Family Invasion. Although our family doesn’t take up the entire resort, with about 110 people at this years reunion, we definitely take up a good three or four hallways. During the weekend their is a basketball tournament, a fire-pit & potluck evening {for My Uncle Sam’s fabulous stories}, as well as a golf tournament, photo-shoot in our Reunion T Shirts, and big family dinner.

    This year was especially wonderful for my immediate family, since EVERYBODY came. My brother’s Brian & Chris both had not been for several years due to their deployments with the Navy. I got to come with a brand-spankin’ new handsome husband and it was perfect.  If I had a scanner, I would share all the goofy pictures from the Reunion in it’s early years.. Instead I’ll share some from the past couple ones..and the few Marcus captured on his phone this year! are my grandparent’s at their wedding!2011-07-30_18-26-17_97

And here  Marcus & I are waiting for our turn during pictures on Saturday afternoon

  2011-07-30_18-08-07_480And here is plethora of pictures from Breen Family Reunions in the past!

My grandmother & 4 of her siblings. Nanny is on the far right :) My mom and some of her cousins!

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A Breen in the making…

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My aunt Angie {my mom’s youngest sister} and I with my grandfather! grad and fam reunion 087

My grandfather with his three daughters :)

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Even though I have more second cousins than I can count, I only have ONE first cousin on my mom’s first side. Shannon and I have since retired from our dancing/singing acts.

grad and fam reunion 089 grad and fam reunion 091 My mom with her two sisters & her mom

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Just some of the crowd!

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Hours upon hours spent here…

ohio 2009 126Maumee Bay is BEAUTIFUL

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My great uncle Sam, mid-story, no doubt.

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The gang’s all here!!

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Marcus & I at the 2009 Reunion

ohio 2009 125Quick funny story. I brought Marcus to the family Reunion for  the first time in 2009. He had just been hired as a youth minister a couple months before. Many relatives asked him what he did for a living and were a little confused about his vocation  to say the least. This large Catholic family is from an area where they don’t have paid youth ministers in the Catholic Church. So on the night of our big family dinner, my mom’s cousin Tom stands up and announces that they would be honored to have the Minister present stand up and bless the food. Poor, poor Marcus. We had to explain to my family that Marcus was not an ordained minister in some protestant religion but a Catholic layperson, just like the rest of us ;)

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There you have it. The Breen Family Reunion in all it’s glory. Hope you enjoyed it!

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