I realized Sunday night on my evening walk around town that my brother's wedding will be the first occassion in an entirely too long period of time that all of my first cousins on my dad's side of the family will be at the same event. These cousins are among my most favorite people in the whole world. There aren't many memories I have growing up that don't, in some way, include one or more of them. Between summer nights at Grama & Grapa's, games of Blood Suckers under the heat lamps, Cousins Night Out after we gained a bit of independence (and the ability to drive ourselves) - there's nothing that warms my heart more than sharing stories & laughter with these awesome individuals.
I also realized during my walk that it is quite possible the last time we took a group picture was in November 1997.
While I am quite fond of my flat midsection and absence of a second chin (but not so fond of my poof of a updo), twelve years is quite obviously entirely too long to go between group photographs.
I did a quick scan of my photo album archives to find evidence of group pictures at other major family events but came up emptyhanded. We came close with this picture taken two years after the one pictured above but it's missing Winnie (who was probably still trying to recover from jet lag having just returned from a golf trip to Ireland), my brother (who was probably out with the boys doing man stuff), and Katie (who was probably moaning and groaning after taking hits off one of the groomsman's flasks at the ripe ol' age what? Thirteen?).
Then three years after that, at the next family wedding, attempts at a group photograph were even more dismal. This was the closest thing I had to getting us all in one shot. Pretend like that older woman in purple is me. I'm resigned to the fact that I do, indeed, look like my mother. There you have it - my first public admission that the thing I've been fighting for years is true. Shoot me now.
Now, keep in mind that I was a bit preoccupied that day, but out of all the pictures taken on my wedding day I have not even one picture with more than two of the Poke cousins in the same shot and most of those that do exist were posed professional photographs with me & bridesmaid Tina. Therefore this one will have to suffice as a Poke group picture with Winnie in full "9 to 5" mode while Coral (that's her hip peeking out just behind the videographer), Jenny, my brother, and I (see my veil and left shoulder?) cheer her on.
With the birth of this blog and my consciousness of blogworthy moments, my ability to capture important life moments improved drastically. This consciousness brought forth this group photograph almost two years ago.
We're missing Katie (who was tending to her bridal duties, I'm sure) and my brother (who was not outside with the boys doing man stuff but instead on his way home from a week long Caribbean cruise).
So this is my mission come Saturday night. We WILL be taking a Poke cousin group picture. Everyone WILL be accounted for. There WILL be shots of Tequila Rose consummed for old times sake. If there is a dead fly found anywhere on the premesis we WILL point, laugh hysterically, and photograph the event. There will be NO puking in any gloves nor will there be ANY "water" stains covering the front of any dresses. We WILL rally around Winnie as she gives a performance of "9 to 5" for the ages. Katie MAY or MAY NOT trip down of flight of stairs while carrying her plate of food and wearing Disney-themed slippers. Poke will MOST LIKELY make some obnoxious face mere seconds before the photograph is taken.
This is my mission - no, our mission - and I'm not giving you a choice to accept it. If you refuse to participate I'll be forced to use that picture from 1997 as my Christmas card this year.