I love planning in general already…. so of course I welcome excuses to plan any type event!
There are a total of 13 cousins on my mom’s side – 10 of which were born consecutively one year after the other. So growing up, it was fun! I would say we have remained fairly close into our adult years, trying to get together when we can. I kinda nominated myself as the “Cousin Social Committee” and make sure that when someone is in town, we try to make an effort to get together. Well… when our furthest living cousin (London) was planning a trip to visit So Cal last summer, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to plan a Mega Cousin Reunion. The challenge: getting ALL 13 of us together. A photo with all of us had not been taken since 2000. Seriously. We were always missing someone! So it had been 12 years since we were ALL present and accounted for.
Anyhow… with some dates on hand and several emails and headcounts… it looked like we were going to make this happen! YIPPEE! And… even better… it landed on the weekend of our grandmother’s 82nd birthday…. so we added on inviting her as a surprise! She had NO CLUE that we were all going to be there. The photo of her with ALL the grandchildren was priceless.
Outside of deciding on a date and getting everyone there…. I had this vision of what the logo for our event would be. When we were kids, we used to gather at my grandparent’s house every summer and in the backyard was always this old metal Radio Flyer wagon. We’d take turns pulling each other around in it. So it was the perfect iconic logo to use. I had a friend photoshop the title of the event into the logo and it looked perfect!!!! For our shirt printing, I ended up going with UberPrints. They were fantastic! The pricing was very reasonable, information on the website was clear, lots of different shirt/color options and the ordering process was very easy. For the backside of our shirts, one of my cousins and I came up with the brilliant idea of using the Words with Friends board and intertwining all of our names on there – including spouses. It was actually kinda fun to try and fit all the names in. Only took me 3 tries. Love how “cousins” is exactly the 7 letters needed for the letter board at the bottom. Look closely on the board and you will see two special tiles that my cousin and I hid on there in order to claim our work (ML and KT).
I had shirts made for the little ones too.
I also had a vision for doing a cupcake cake resembling the logo for the event. It turned out pretty good. However, with the heat in August, some of the frosting started to fall through the gaps later on. Boo!
Of course… I’m all about presentation. So I combed the internet for some reasonably priced frames and then took the logo and put in each person’s name so they had their own custom version of the logo in a photo print, a frame to put our updated cousin photo in later… and tied the shirts to the back. Damn I’m good. For the Second-Gen (the little kids aka mine and some of my cousin’s kids) we got little beach buckets with all sorts of fun goodies.
The swag table looked good!
I thought it would be cool to do a big collage of us through the years. I mean… its been 35+ years of cousins in the making. Pulling the pictures weren’t hard because we try to get group photos at least yearly from some holiday or event. The hardest part was trying to fit them all into the poster board I bought! But it worked out! My grandma now has it framed and hung in her house.
Here we are! My grandma with EVERYONE! All 13 of her grandchildren accounted for, plus spouses, plus 6 great-grandchildren. Whew!
And this was the photo we’ve all been waiting for! YAY! All 13 of us! Finally!
The second generation kiddos. My grandma is a happy great-grandma now!
We always like some friendly competition…. so we ended the day with a little team relay. One of my cousins found some good ones for us… including this tennis ball in the panty hose one. hahaha. Funnier to watch than do!
I wanted to close with a throwback of our Year 2000 Cousin photo. Crazy. 12 years between us all getting together! In this photo, our two youngest cousins weren’t even born yet! Sniff… this was back when there were only 11 of us. Wow.
I’m not sure when the next Mega Cousin Reunion will be, I’m hoping maybe 2014. But I’m happiest that we were able to accomplish this at a time where my grandma was able to attend, be surprised for her birthday, and enjoyed a new fun memory with all of us.