Free To Succeed Tour : Kansas City

’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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Kristin - Gotta love big homeschooling families! The Rogers are such a neat family.   08.22.08 - 8:24pm
ashley Brockinton - These are so fun and wholesome. I can tell you really captured who they are and what the love they have for one another.  08.20.08 - 7:56pm
Gretchen - Gorgeous photos!  08.20.08 - 4:35pm
joyful weddings & events - And I thought my family was big! So fun! Now I know why Paul is such a cool guy.  08.20.08 - 2:04pm
Natarsha N. Wright - Wow! What a big & beautiful family...Full of life!  08.19.08 - 11:25pm
Annie - The wedding photo is absolutely fantastic!!! You are always able to amaze me with your work!  08.19.08 - 7:40pm
Katherine Bowman - Jasmine, that wedding photo is BEAUTIFUL!!!!!! I love the location!  08.19.08 - 5:29pm
Teri Eddy - love it!  08.19.08 - 1:50pm
Heather Thorne - 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!  08.19.08 - 1:13pm
Paper Monkey - You have the greatest descriptions! That's what makes reading your blog so enjoyable! Keep up the good work! :)  08.19.08 - 1:06pm
claire - 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!  08.19.08 - 7:54am
Bobbie - 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.   08.19.08 - 6:53am
Tunji Sarumi - This is super COOL  08.19.08 - 6:44am
Kevin Keith - 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!  08.19.08 - 5:30am
kymberli q. - 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? ;)  08.18.08 - 9:55pm
Heather Cole - Jasmine, 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.  08.18.08 - 9:51pm
Linda Morgan - 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!!!  08.18.08 - 9:42pm
Ashley - That sneak peak photo is killing me!!! I gasped when I saw it and immediately wished I was there!  08.18.08 - 7:49pm
Dave McLaughlin - They could also be called the "footless" Roger family  08.18.08 - 7:19pm
Lydia - 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!  08.18.08 - 6:31pm
Lin - 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  08.18.08 - 5:43pm
Karen - Can't BELIEVE you are in KC right now! Sad I had to leave last night!!! Rock it!!!!  08.18.08 - 4:16pm
Jeremy Arnold - 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.  08.18.08 - 1:56pm
Cassie Schott - 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! :)  08.18.08 - 1:37pm
Alissa - 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!  08.18.08 - 1:19pm
Jeremy Gilliam - 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.  08.18.08 - 1:18pm
Tia - 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!  08.18.08 - 1:17pm
Anne Nunn Photography - Those family shots are great! It displays the love the family shares...but I still don't want 9 kids! :)  08.18.08 - 1:09pm
Alicia - 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.  08.18.08 - 12:55pm
Adrienne - 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 :)  08.18.08 - 12:45pm
Amber Paterson - I love the movement in the first shot! I can't wait to see more...  08.18.08 - 12:36pm
therese - Written so nicely, you could have another career in writing..  08.18.08 - 12:20pm
Ben Watson - Awesome shots as usual!!  08.18.08 - 11:52am
heather morrow - welcome to kansas city! we can't wait to see you guys tonight! fab images as always.  08.18.08 - 11:48am
cassandra m - 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!  08.18.08 - 11:13am
Allison - Did Paul cut his HAIR??????!!!!   08.18.08 - 11:00am
Yunna - That first image is amazing! Absolutly impressed, very memorable!!!  08.18.08 - 10:46am
Katie - 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.   08.18.08 - 10:28am
Navy Sou - 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....  08.18.08 - 10:11am
Joyce - 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. :)  08.18.08 - 10:03am
nena - I just adore your stories. It makes me feel like I'm there with you! =-)  08.18.08 - 9:50am
Jordana - It's been a little over a year since I've been home. This post makes me miss those big family dinners so much!   08.18.08 - 9:15am
Lindsay Kipp Photography - 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!  08.18.08 - 9:01am
Kelley WC - Glad you made it safely to KC! Can't wait to see you tonight :-)  08.18.08 - 8:47am
Isabel - I was there...10 minutes later! I'm still dwelling -- *sigh*  08.18.08 - 8:28am
Kenny Kim - What an aweseom family! No wonder why Paul is such a great that he is! I wish I can meet them one day! :)  08.18.08 - 8:26am
Yvonne L - Wow! It's against all odds to have that many good looking people in one family, let alone one that big!   08.18.08 - 8:25am
vanessa H - what a sweet blog!! it is a great day when you make friends that feel like family!!! cute pictures too!!!  08.18.08 - 8:10am
Erin Gardner-Jensen - I AM SO EXCIED TO SEE YOU SPEAK TONIGHT!   08.18.08 - 8:03am
Linda Truong - Amazing! Really... 12 children... Amazing! I can almost hear the sounds of chatter, laughter, and foot steps... It's so homely... I love it!  08.18.08 - 7:58am
Cathy Crawley - 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!   08.18.08 - 7:56am