Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Gratituesday: October 6th

Today I am grateful for my family. Not my Martin Family, but my Sweeney Family (my parents and siblings). Wait, that makes it sound like I am not thankful for my hubby and kids, which of course couldn't be further from the truth!! But today, I am especially thinking about the family I grew up in.

My Dad was born in Ireland, met my Mom at a dance in Donegal while she was there visiting her parents (who were born there and moved back later). As the love story goes, my Dad fell instantly in love with my mom, and had to wait until the end of the night to ask her to dance because she was so busy dancing with all the other gentlemen. Seriously, my Mom was a hottie!! She was also engaged to her fiance back in America - what a player! (Uh, Mom, if you're reading this, you know what they call girls like that nowadays, right??) But back then, my Mom swears she "just dated" different guys on different nights, it was nothing special. Everyone went on plenty of dates as friends until you finally got serious with one guy.

Well, my handsome Irish Dad was so enamored by my gorgeous American Mom that he moved to the US and lived with her Aunt! Sounds stalkerish, but I guess back in the sixties it wasn't so weird?? My Dad actually knew her Aunt back in Ireland (his parents and my Mom's parents knew each other) so it wasn't that crazy, I guess ;)

(My Dad is on the right, and my Mom is next to him)

But there was still that problem of her fiance. My Dad just kept persevering until my Mom finally realized what was good for her, and broke up with her fiance. My Dad says he had to propose three times until he finally got a yes! Talk about determination! They got married when my Mom was 28 and my Dad was 26.

And got pregnant on the Honeymoon like the good Irish Catholics they were :)

Years passed and in the end, they had 6 children: two boys and four girls. I am number 5, and I was a complete surprise as my Mom was 42 when I was born, but she wanted me to have a playmate, and had my little sister two years later. How generous!!

My Dad was/is a builder and my Mom was a nurse that became a stay-at-home-mom and then a Homemade Ice Cream Shop Owner. It was a fun and yummy childhood on Cape Cod!

All of us kids are married with 3 kids each (except me who has 4!), so the "immediate" family is pretty gigantic. We also all live within an hour of each other, with many of us living in the same town!

I am always being reminded how lucky I am to:

1) Have family live so close

2) Get along with my siblings and parents

3) Have my children grow up with their cousins

4) Have 4 doctors in the mix (free medical advice!)

5) Switch "nanny" duties with my sister(s) so that my kids are well cared for while I work

6) Have grown up with such a strong work ethic (we all had to work in the shop)

7) Have lived on Cape Cod

8) See firsthand the beauty of a Catholic, NFP-using, love-filled marriage

Thanks Mom and Dad, and all my siblings and siblings-in-law, and nieces and nephews. For you I am eternally grateful!

What are you thankful for today?


  1. This is so nice Colleen. I love reading how other folks in love have met! Aren't you so happy your Dad was not going to give up?????
    They are a lovely couple and have raised a wonderful family. So, how many grand kids do they have now? 19???

  2. What a great love story your parents have. Persistant man, your dad was!Thanks for sharing your family with us. They sound absolutely wonderful. Family is a blessing to be grateful for, that's for sure.

  3. What a great story! We are blessed to be part of your wonderful family! Give our love to your folks - I miss them.

  4. Colleen... I loved this post! :) What a love story!!

  5. Wow, that is a blessing!!! Your parents look great, your dad is so tall. I wonder if your sons will take after him?

  6. Wow, Colleen, what a beautiful story. I love the thought of a big extended family. Cousins all running around together, growing up together. And all living so close to one another. That is a true blessing.

  7. what a wonderful post... and wonderful family you have!

  8. Ahh thats such an nice story about your parents! I've also been meaning to tell you that you can make your blog into a book. Go to blurb.com and it can link up with your blog then you design and order it through them. Its a huge task but its should be well worth it once they are done!! I'm working on mine now.

  9. You are very very blessed. I am an only child and also a child of divorced parents....ugh. So, YES, be thankful.

    I am also going to be 42 and having a sorta surprise baby...my 5th. What do you think...should I have a playmate for this little stinker?? My youngest right now will be almost 7 when this baby is born.

    I hope my kids will brag about my dh and me someday and be thankful. Great family.

  10. I loved the picture. Your parents look so lovely together. Happy, loving parents are one of the best gifts we can give our children, aren't they?

  11. Cool Story about the Sweeney family, good thing that your dad was persistant! Otherwise you wouldn't be here!!

    They are really cute together, I like to watch them.

  12. What a wonderful list today! I am envious (yes, envious) that you have so much family close by. My sisters (and 7 nieces and nephews) live 3 doors from each other while we're almost 4 hours away. I miss them - your kids are very lucky.

  13. This entry made me smile and made me so happy that you have such a loving family. :) Thank you for sharing.

  14. What a COOL story! Aren't you glad that your Dad was so persistent? Your parents sound like a really neat couple; no wonder you turned out so well! :) I love the part of the story that took place in Ireland. How cool is that!? So few of us know our roots, that is, where our families were before they were in America and most of us could only wish to have Irish in us (I do not). Cheers!

    And it sure is nice to have a mix of people within the family. My brother is a computer geek, another brother is an auto mechanic, my sister is in nursing school, my mom is a PA, my dad is a photographer, and we have some interesting stuff on Jeremy's side, too. I'm rambling.

    Big families are AWESOME!!

    Have a great weekend!


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