Free To Succeed Tour : Kansas City


I’m sitting on the bus watching the sunrise. Not, like, over the horizon, but over the Kansas City buildings. Cut me some slack, Internet, my sleep patterns are as normal as a hippo bathing in a fishbowl. I arrived in Kansas City yesterday and was greeted by Paul (ShowIt’s videographer) and five of his hometown friends. I can’t express how welcomed I was and immediately treated like family. Having just flown in from Philadelphia for Lauri and Mike’s wedding, I was exhausted, but ready to experience a part of the world Dorothy and Toto call home.

I won’t be blogging the wedding until later this week, but here’s a sneak peek of the fun we had…

As the tour bus pulled in front of Paul’s family home, everyone was waiting for us in the front yard. The Rogers family was expecting us and left nothing unnoticed—a HUGE Italian meal was prepared, gifts waiting to be unwrapped, and Kansas City t-shirts to be worn—but before the festivities began, Paul asked if I could take a picture of his fabulous family. It was my honor.

There are 12 children in the Rogers family, two added spouses, one amazing Aunt Jill, and a grandbaby on the way.

As a cacophony of sounds echoed through the dining room—forks clinking, laughter, talk of big trucks with knobby tires—I sat there and soaked it in. The room was brimming with love and–if one looked hard enough–could feel it oozing through the cracks in the hardwood floor. The Rogers make people feel like the world is but a single home with a white picket fence, on a shaded street, with homemade spaghetti, and enough hugs to make the soul melt.

After singing Happy Birthday to 10-year-old Joseph, we splurged on decadent tiramisu, played backyard volleyball, watched fireflies dance in the moonlight, and said goodbye. Although, now that I think about it, I should have said See you later, because I know I’ll be back visiting them soon. I don’t know when, but it’ll happen because I left a part of my heart somewhere in between the brick fireplace and Lydia’s dollhouse.