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.

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  1. Cathy Crawley

    August 18th, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    Yay, Lauri’s Wedding! She looks positively radiant. The sky and the location in that shot are just beautiful. I can’t wait to see the rest. Lauri, I’m so happy for you!

  2. Linda Truong

    August 18th, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    Amazing! Really… 12 children… Amazing! I can almost hear the sounds of chatter, laughter, and foot steps… It’s so homely… I love it!

  3. Erin Gardner-Jensen

    August 18th, 2008 at 3:03 pm


  4. vanessa H

    August 18th, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    what a sweet blog!! it is a great day when you make friends that feel like family!!! cute pictures too!!!

  5. Yvonne L

    August 18th, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    Wow! It’s against all odds to have that many good looking people in one family, let alone one that big!

  6. Kenny Kim

    August 18th, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    What an aweseom family! No wonder why Paul is such a great that he is! I wish I can meet them one day! 🙂

  7. Isabel

    August 18th, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    I was there…10 minutes later! I’m still dwelling — *sigh*

  8. Kelley WC

    August 18th, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    Glad you made it safely to KC! Can’t wait to see you tonight 🙂

  9. Lindsay Kipp Photography

    August 18th, 2008 at 4:01 pm

    I love this post, the love of that beautiful family poured out of the computer screen and into my lap as I was reading your words – I love families like that and thank you for sharing a little of Paul’s family with all of us!

  10. Jordana

    August 18th, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    It’s been a little over a year since I’ve been home. This post makes me miss those big family dinners so much!

  11. nena

    August 18th, 2008 at 4:50 pm

    I just adore your stories. It makes me feel like I’m there with you! =-)

  12. Joyce

    August 18th, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    I love big families (miss my own) and I do adore seeing that they welcomed you into their own home.

    I am happy to hear that you are having fun! Great portrait of such a gorgeous family, by the way. 🙂

  13. Navy Sou

    August 18th, 2008 at 5:11 pm

    That first photo is insane! Is it moving??? Am I hallucinating? It’s that good! I love how you captured the motion! The family! Ahhh! Who can say they had a dozen of children? Now, I wonder if its really cheaper by the dozen….

  14. Katie

    August 18th, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    Jasmine, this photo of Lauri and Mikey is awesome! She looked so beautiful and Mikey looked super handsome and you certainly captured that! It was great having you there and I know they are going to be so happy with the photos.

  15. Yunna

    August 18th, 2008 at 5:46 pm

    That first image is amazing! Absolutly impressed, very memorable!!!

  16. Allison

    August 18th, 2008 at 6:00 pm

    Did Paul cut his HAIR??????!!!!

  17. cassandra m

    August 18th, 2008 at 6:13 pm

    Can’t wait to see the wedding pics of Lauri & Mike…awesome shot in the field. And what an AMAZING family Paul must have. You truly captured their spirit in your writing. They just all look friendly!

  18. heather morrow

    August 18th, 2008 at 6:48 pm

    welcome to kansas city! we can’t wait to see you guys tonight! fab images as always.

  19. Ben Watson

    August 18th, 2008 at 6:52 pm

    Awesome shots as usual!!

  20. therese

    August 18th, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    Written so nicely, you could have another career in writing..

  21. Amber Paterson

    August 18th, 2008 at 7:36 pm

    I love the movement in the first shot! I can’t wait to see more…

  22. Adrienne

    August 18th, 2008 at 7:45 pm

    That wedding teaser shot is AMAZING! Can’t wait to see the rest!! And the shots of the family are wonderful as well.. you can really feel the warmth emanating from them 🙂

  23. Alicia

    August 18th, 2008 at 7:55 pm

    That teaser pic is fantastic! On the edge of my seat to see the rest missy. And how fun are large families? Makes me want 9 kids…or something.

  24. Anne Nunn Photography

    August 18th, 2008 at 8:09 pm

    Those family shots are great! It displays the love the family shares…but I still don’t want 9 kids! 🙂

  25. Tia

    August 18th, 2008 at 8:17 pm

    Finally de-lurking to tell you that out of all of the wedding photos you have taken, this teaser one is my favorite! It’s just stunning!

  26. Jeremy Gilliam

    August 18th, 2008 at 8:18 pm

    You can’t hear me, but I am ooo-ing and Aaahhing over the teaser pic. Great job and loved seeing you guys when you stopped in Dallas.

  27. Alissa

    August 18th, 2008 at 8:19 pm

    I love the shot of Lauri and Mikey! As a blog stalker of at least a year if not more, it was really exciting getting to see you work in person at their wedding! The slideshow during the reception was especially impressive. I can’t wait to see the rest of the pictures!

  28. Cassie Schott

    August 18th, 2008 at 8:37 pm

    WOW! You never cease to amaze me with your ability to tell a beautiful story – with both your pictures, and your words! I CAN NOT WAIT to hear you speak in Chicago tomorrow! 🙂

  29. Jeremy Arnold

    August 18th, 2008 at 8:56 pm

    Welcome to KC! Can’t wait for tonight!!!

    Oh…and if you are going to eat BBQ…Make sure you go to Oklahoma Joe’s. Best BBQ in Kansas.

  30. Karen

    August 18th, 2008 at 11:16 pm

    Can’t BELIEVE you are in KC right now! Sad I had to leave last night!!! Rock it!!!!

  31. Lin

    August 19th, 2008 at 12:43 am

    Aww. What hospitality! BTW, I love that first photo. I would love to have you shoot my vow renewals in Yosemite one day. <3 <3

  32. Lydia

    August 19th, 2008 at 1:31 am

    Ahh, I love big families and hope to have lots of children one day! Until then, I’ll continue to struggle to get my pictures to look 1/2 as beautiful as yours!

  33. Dave McLaughlin

    August 19th, 2008 at 2:19 am

    They could also be called the "footless" Roger family

  34. Ashley

    August 19th, 2008 at 2:49 am

    That sneak peak photo is killing me!!! I gasped when I saw it and immediately wished I was there!

  35. Linda Morgan

    August 19th, 2008 at 4:42 am

    What an amazing evening. You inspired me in so many ways. Never imagined we would meet you and take pix with you and that you would listen to our stories. You are so real. Prayers for continued safe travel. KC photographers love you!!!

  36. Heather Cole

    August 19th, 2008 at 4:51 am

    It was an absolute pleasure to hear you talk tonight about your business, your brand and even better YOU. I love how you K.I.R. in every aspect of your life. You have inspired me more than you’ll ever know. Love you.

  37. kymberli q.

    August 19th, 2008 at 4:55 am

    Ahhh, his family is precious! I love your "hippo in a fishbowl" analogy! Too funny! Oh, and of course the wedding image is amazing – but what’s new? 😉

  38. Kevin Keith

    August 19th, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    Jasmine you ROCK! It was a great to finally meet you in person. Funny how I felt like I knew you already:) Great to hear you share how you have branded yourself over the last couple years. Check my blog for some pics of you in action:

    KEEP IT REAL! Amen!

  39. Tunji Sarumi

    August 19th, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    This is super COOL

  40. Bobbie

    August 19th, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    Jasmine I LOVE the wedding picture!!!!!! Amazing! Gorgeous! I cannot wait to see the rest of them! And Paul’s family looks and sounds amazing. I have a huge family myself so I can relate to how great it is. Love the pictures.

  41. claire

    August 19th, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    Thank you so much, Jasmine! You are such an inspiration to me. Last night was soo eye-opening and motivating… and very much a turning point and LIFE CHANGE. Thanks for Keep’n It Reallllll. YOU ROCK!

  42. Paper Monkey

    August 19th, 2008 at 8:06 pm

    You have the greatest descriptions! That’s what makes reading your blog so enjoyable! Keep up the good work! 🙂

  43. Heather Thorne

    August 19th, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    What a great post! You made me really miss Kansas City – lived there for two years and met my husband there. Did you know it’s the "City of Fountains"? 🙂 Can’t wait to see the rest of your wedding images too. You’re amazing!

  44. Teri Eddy

    August 19th, 2008 at 8:50 pm

    love it!

  45. Katherine Bowman

    August 20th, 2008 at 12:29 am

    Jasmine, that wedding photo is BEAUTIFUL!!!!!! I love the location!

  46. Annie

    August 20th, 2008 at 2:40 am

    The wedding photo is absolutely fantastic!!! You are always able to amaze me with your work!

  47. Natarsha N. Wright

    August 20th, 2008 at 6:25 am

    Wow! What a big & beautiful family…Full of life!

  48. joyful weddings & events

    August 20th, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    And I thought my family was big! So fun! Now I know why Paul is such a cool guy.

  49. Gretchen

    August 20th, 2008 at 11:35 pm

    Gorgeous photos!

  50. ashley Brockinton

    August 21st, 2008 at 2:56 am

    These are so fun and wholesome. I can tell you really captured who they are and what the love they have for one another.

  51. Kristin

    August 23rd, 2008 at 3:24 am

    Gotta love big homeschooling families! The Rogers are such a neat family.