What did I get myself into?

The first time I met Jeremiah, I had no idea that he had 29 first cousins. I remember him mentioning something like ‘there’s a lot of us’. I have 15 cousins total, on both my mom and dad’s sides combined. After a few months of dating, I attended a family holiday get together at Jeremiah’s grandparent’s farm. I was informed (jokingly) by J’s dad on the way there that there would be a test afterwards of everyone’s names. Riiiight. So there’s gonna be a few people at this thing, big deal.

I walked into the kitchen and saw about 15 people, just in the kitchen. Then I looked around the corner into the living room.

Holy. Moses.

I failed the test.


This photo is a little dated; there are 14 more faces added to this group now!

If you are married into this family, you know EXACTLY what I am talking about right now. It’s a miracle I came back for the second holiday 😉

I LOVE being a part of this family. I realize how lucky I am to have such awesome and fun in-laws, most of which live fairly close to us. They really have been a blessing to me and J and our little family.

The sheer numbers are kinda entertaining:

When we got married, we had 450 people at the reception. We ran out of seats, literally, and I think some people had to eat outside (sorry if you were one of them!). I think half of the list was J’s family, but that meant we had plenty of food servers, cake cutters, wine drinkers (you know who you are!) and people to fill the dance floor!

Since we have been married, we have attended 5 of his cousin’s weddings. 2 more are being planned. We have seen the birth of our 2 kids and 5 others. 2 more are currently on the way. Let’s just say we’re getting accustomed to attending a lot of showers! Our ’66 Mustang has made the rounds to at least 13 Proms/Homecomings across Eastern Iowa.

As previously written, I went on a retreat last weekend. At one point they wanted people to share if they had any family relationships amongst all 65 of us women. I was one of the 10 people that stood up and represented the family. Pretty cool!

Family events are quite…..interesting.

-G fell into a roaster full of (cooled) turkey drippings at Thanksgiving one year. Since there are so many people in one house, they had placed the roaster off into a side room after we had eaten to get it out of the way. G tripped and fell into it. By the time I heard the story, meandered through the mob and got to him, one of his great-aunts had already cleaned him up!

-There is always at least a few extra people at any given time. Friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, neighbors, people who didn’t have anywhere else to go. Always a new face to get to know. My sister has been to a few of these. She’s practically related now!

-Somehow at least one wrestling match always occurs. Sometimes it’s the kids…..and sometimes it’s the big kids.

-It takes at least 2-3 hrs to open Christmas presents.

If you come to St Ann’s 10:30 mass on any particular Sunday, you will find a minimum of 2-3 pews stacked in the family’s ‘section’, dubbed ‘Costello corner’. Can’t miss us. We are the ones with numerous children being passed from person to person, and the kids are not usually the quietest!

One of the many great things about a large family is that you have a huge network of people who know a lot more than you do about a lot of things. Just in J’s family, we have people who do: HVAC, plumbing/pipefitting, burials, pharmacy, accounting, massage therapy, physical therapy, insurance, banking, cosmetology, natural health, wedding/prom dress fitting, teaching, farming, firefighting, mechanics, just to name a few (sorry if I forgot yours!).

So I’m a transplant, married into this huge family of which I had no realization of at first. As the years go by I am amazed and thankful for the many people that have been brought into my life though this. It is amazing what great things you can get yourself into through marriage! 😉


One thought on “What did I get myself into?

  1. You talk about the big family, I can remember shortly after michelle and I were married, I walked into the house and saw elma holding a baby. I couldnt figure out who it was, or even who was pregnant recently. Oops. I also remember the order of michelle s brothers and sisters by the way the pictures were on the wall. Your right, what a family, and I’m happy to be part of it.

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