First off, I have NO idea what happened to my last post.  It vanished without a trace.  Then my blog just stopped uploading pictures.  So I stressed about it for a few days, but then we figured out how to make it start uploading pictures, but I still have no idea where my last post went.  So rather than stress about that, I’m just going to leave it as is and move along :-)


Labor Day weekend…..CRAZY!!!   Everyone one in the family came home (29 people) and we were planning on doing family pictures that weekend.  In order to keep everyone happy and not overwhelmed, we had decided to do some Friday evening, Saturday morning and then some on Sunday.  I was even having my friend Lindsay (surely you know her by now) come up from St. Louis to help me.  I knew what I wanted to do and I knew I could get the camera all set up on a tripod with a remote, get the settings all ready to go and place everyone, but I wanted Lindsay to be the one pushing the remote.  I knew she would be able to tell me if the focus had changed, if someone needed to move, if the camera needed to move, etc . So on top of that, we had some awesome family friends helping us out with getting the kids attention, giving them bribes and keeping their faces clean.   With all that combined….it somehow worked and worked well :-)    But…………………we did not get there without some drama, ha!

I got into town on Thursday morning and immediately started to unloading, sorting, wrapping and placing all my bribes I had made for everyone.   I had gotten the older kids Dollar Spot presents and wrapped them up in wrapping paper that went with each kid.  For example, Jackson had bright blue, Ellie had bright pink, Briley had Lime Green (very Briley), etc.  So the plan was to let them each pick out one of their wrapped presents at the end of each picture set (we had 4 sets in mind) IF they were good.   At the end of the each night, they would get to open all the presents they had gathered.   Then I just gave the younger one’s little beach balls and play dough.   For my siblings, I gave the girls little fun make-up packages and Lime-Ritas.  For the boys, I gave them beer and cigars, ha!!!!   Sounds like it would all work, right????

Well….after a huge drought ALL SUMMER, flipping hurricane Issac decided to show up just in time for family pictures.  I just kept ignoring it, but it made it up to Kirksville just in time for Friday evenings pictures.   We thought we could go ahead and try and squeeze in just ONE picture during the breaks in the rain, so we went ahead and got everyone dressed, all our help showed up and Lindsay made it to town after just BARELY making it out of St. Louis with all the tornado like weather they were having.  So we’re all sitting around, watching the radar and just waiting for that little patch of no green to make it over Kirksville and  i t    j u s t    k e p t   r a i n i n g   h a r d e r.   By this point, I just started passing out beers and Lime- Rita’s to attempt to make everyone happy before we called it quits.   So Day one……lots of rain, Lindsay risked her life flying in that horrible weather in that freakishly small plane, no pictures, guys drank all their beer and the kids were wondering when they were getting their presents………………FAIL!!!!!    We then see that it’s supposed to rain all day Saturday as well, so it was looking like we were just going to have to do all the pictures on Sunday, which totally is the exact thing I didn’t want to do because I knew it would be too much for everyone.

So Saturday rolls around and of course it’s raining.  I was just kind of annoyed the whole day.  Everyone was home, we had so much we could be doing…..and it’s raining.  Kaitlin & Amanda took me to get my nails done for my birthday, which I thought was odd seeing as how it was over a week away, but I went anyway.  So while we’re sitting there, I notice that it’s stopped raining and had been done for about 2 hours.  I really wanted to try and get just the pictures in front of the house done.  No one had to drive anywhere, it would be super quick and we could check that one of our lists.  N0t kidding-  NONE OF THEM would really give me an answer.  It was like they were just ignoring it and hoping I would stop asking.  So I moved on!   A few of my friends wanted to take me out for margaritas for my birthday (which again was over a week away, but oh well)  so I decided to go ahead and get ready for that.   My hair had been rained on off/on that day and it was just gross and I didn’t want to do my makeup, so I just put on a new outfit and called it good :-)   Mandie picked me up to go meet Tab and Tish up at La Fuente and as i was walking out the door, I begged everyone to have the kids ready to AT LEAST do some pictures of just the kids when I got home.

Side note:  you can NOT go to La Fuente and not see at least 3 people you know.  It’s not possible.  You would think that after ALWAYS running into people when I’m there, that I would actually try and look cute when I went up there.  But no :-)  So we sit down and I notice one of my St. Louis clients sitting at a table!?!?!  It was athis little guys family :-)

so I waved to them and we chatted for a bit and before you know it, Aaron (the younger one) has decided he wants to sit at our table, ha!  So he squeezed in with me an Tish, started eating chips and salsa and listening to our girl talk over margaritas :-)    You definitely had to be there to understand how funny it was, but it was great!   he didn’t really want to talk to us or anything, just wanted to sit with us and listen.  After his food came, his mom had him come to their table and eat, but before long he was back over at our table.  I asked him if he ate his cheeseburger and his response was, “no, but I licked the bun.”  hahahahha!   I think I saw like 5 people I knew up there that night.  Actually- I got up to use the restroom and ran into even more people on my way there.  Once I got back from the restroom, Tab was like “Jon just called and he needs me, so Tish and I have got to go.”   and then Mandie chimed in with, “Yeah, I need to go pick up Lucas to.”   I was just kinda like, “ummmmmmmmmm okay”  I was totally confused because we had JUST ordered a 2nd pitcher of margaritas.   So Mandie is driving me home and she mentioned something like, “I was wanting to talk to your sister about what stuff is required for newborn twins” because she has a family member that’s having twins and she was wanting to know what she could get them as a gift.  So she parked the car and was walking towards the house with me and as we got to the porch, through the door I notice one of my little sisters friends standing there and smiling at me really big, then I noticed Lindsay standing on the stairs with her camera pointed at the door and then I saw a sign that said, “Happy Birthday Miss Prissiness!”  andddddddd everything started to make sense :-)  ahhahahah!    I walk through the door to a house full of friends, family and close clients!!!    I just kept saying, “this is insane!!!”  and praying I didn’t drop the f-bomb or anything when I walked in the door.   I couldn’t exactly remember what my reaction was :-)

The theme was absolutely perfect for me!  Pearls & Bowties :-)   I usually only where pearls and I love it when boys where bowties!   Seriously- cutest party I’ve ever seen!!!!!   Detail after detail after detail.   Apparently this had been months in planning and quite the secret mission.  I’m at my parents house all the time and I’m nosy with my family….so it’s beyond me how they pulled this off.   They had it all planned for outside in the backyard, but the rain forced them to make last minute changes.  Not joking- they had spent weeks setting stuff up out in the backyard  when I wasn’t home, taking pictures of it and then taking it all down.   They were wanting to have pictures for people to reference to when they were setting up on the actual day of because they knew they wouldn’t have a ton of time between me leaving to get margaritas and me coming back.   Allison had made a number of excel spreadsheets with everyone’s “tasks” on different days.  They had to hide all the decorations from me, they had to make sure they didn’t accidentally put me on one of the MANY emails that went back and forth about the party, they had to make sure to download and then delete the “mock set up” photos they had been taking, etc.   I guess that morning they were all up earlier, doing stuff and then once I got up a little after 7:30, they all kinda stopped what they were doing pretended like they had just gotten up.   Which now that I look back, I did think it was wierd that Jared and Zane were already dressed, but it turns out they had gone and gotten all the beer or something like that.  I know Ryan had made a bunch of cookies on Friday night and I guess they were kinda worried that I would ask why….but no….I just ate them and didn’t ask questions :-)   The next day I was wondering where all those cookies went, ha!   I guess they had also been doing a lot of stuff out at the pool house as well and I wandered out there Saturday afternoon and it just so happened to be while Caroline was cooking some sort of dip for the party.  She later told me that she was freaking out when she saw me walking towards the pool house, ha!   She played it off well though.  When I got out there I asked why she was cooking out here and she said it was because mom didn’t like the smell of the dip she was cooking, so she made her go out to the pool house.  I bought it :-)

From what I’m told, while I was getting my nails down, they were bringing in props and decorations and deciding how they should set it all up for inside.  They had Kaitlin text them while we were on the way home so they could put everything back to normal.   Then that evening, as soon as I got into Mandie’s car…..it was a mad dash.  They had parked a UHaul up the street and they raced that down to the house, unloaded all the tables and chairs, took all the furniture out of the living room and into the Uhaul, brought in all the tables and chairs, busted out container after container of decorations, our neighbors ran across the backyard and into the house to start helping, etc.   Then I guess Zane saw my car coming down the street and FREAKED OUT.  He came running into the house saying, “she back!  she’s back!!!”  and people started throwing stuff under tables, in closets, drawers, etc.  Our neighbors took off running back across the yard and just about that time……they realized it was just Allison moving my car, hahahahhahaha!!!!!   I also heard that Rick Hale saved the day with the tablecloths.  Sunbrite had accidentally sent us rectangle table clothes and they had ordered round.  Somehow, Rick had a key to Sunbrite and knew the owners so he called them up and they told him to go ahead and go inside and pick up some round ones.  How crazy/lucky is that??

I don’t think I’ll ever hear all the stories and know about all the little details……..but what I did get to see and did get to hear about was just over-the-top, way too sweet, way more than I deserve and way too cute!   I don’t know how I will ever thank any of them enough.  It’s kind of overwhelming just thinking about it :-)   This just confirms what an absolutely amazing family and group of friends I’ve been blessed with!!!






I have to explain the cupcake toppers……I have certain things I say on a regular basis, things that are just kinda odd and I have no idea where they came from, but they pop out on occasion.  If I’m messing with you, I call you a hooker.  If I’m surprised, I say “holy crap!”   I say things are “too stinkin cute!”  and I ask people if they’re on crack if they say something ridiculous.  I think this was the favorite part of the party for most of my siblings :-)





















































































See????  Cutest party ever….cutest family ever :-)    THANK YOU SO SO SO MUCH to everyone in family, all my friends and to anyone involved in making that whole thing possible.   It was absolutely perfect for me, I LOVED it and I just kept saying, “this is insane!”  :-) 

So after that little party everyone was a bit tired, but since it rained all day Friday and Saturday, we really had no choice but to get going on pictures on Sunday morning.   Remember, I was wanting to spread it over the weekend so we didn’t have a bunch of crabby pants kiddos by the end of it, but that was no longer an option and we did end up having crabby pants kiddos at the end :-)    BUT they made it through pictures thanks to a lot of bribes, a lot of candy and a lot of entertainment courtesy of our family friends, Kathy Powell, Teresa Hale and Tiffany Labeth.

Here is a mixture of getting ready, blooper, just for fun and actual final shots :-)




































Then everyone left and it was sad :-(

I actually stuck around because I was told I needed to stay and help babysit the Farwell kids.  Ali & Andrew went to Seaside for their anniversary, so they kids came to my parents house.  We got them Thursday morning and I think Ali & Andrew get back late tonight.  Needless to say, it’s been a very entertaining long weekend :-)  We got to celebrate grandmas birthday on Thursday and in true grandma fashion she didn’t let anyone do anything for her.  She made her cake (because she didn’t want anyone making a mess in her kitchen) and she made her dinner (even though I told her that her and my dad needed to go to Pear Tree and I would watch the kids) and she had the twins by herself for most of the day because I was running the older kids around to all their events.  I think the highlight of her day was getting these Minnie Mouse ears from Caroline :-)

 They kept her company while she cleaned up her cooking stuff :-)  See…..she seriously refused to give herself a break on her birthday.


The twins have been pretty cute to watch :-)  Ali joked that since they were spending the week with papa, they will have moved onto table food by the time she got back.   She was correct and I’m pretty sure these boys aren’t going to go for baby food too much longer.  Papa has introduced them to cheesy potatoes, green beans, ice cream, baked potatoes, pancakes, TINY bit of chicken, etc.  You know….the usually stuff you feed 8 month old babies :-)   BUT I’m pretty sure that’s the reason those two (along with all the other grandkids) LOVE LOVE LOVE their papa and get so excited when he’s around!


 What????  Papa’s not feeding us the ham steak….just the other stuff :-)

 They love to wave at people walking by :-)

 They LOVE to be in the room when papa’s working

 This little guy is also VERY entertaining!  He went to Walmart with my mom this morning and when they got back, I came running to the house yelling, “Hissy, Hissy!!!  I got your a surprise!!!”   then he held up the bag of mini peanut butter cups and informed me that he got me those and we were going to share :-)

 He also thinks grandma’s visor is pretty darn cool, ha!




 My mom is anti- me being in St. Louis on my birthday, she would rather have me home, so I’m sticking around till this evening, squeezing in a birthday dinner and then hitting the road :-)  I have a busy week of shoots in St. Louis, followed by another little birthday celebration and more shoots over the weekend :-)

I also have a lot of sneak peeks to post on here (some are already on Facebook and some are not) but this post got out of control, so I’ll post those later this week!

Happy Monday!!!!  and enjoy a margarita today in honor of my 30th birthday, hahhahahaha!  :-)


  1. Kathy says:

    Great party, great pictures, great family and great friends – what more could a girl ask for!!! Happy Birthday, Lissy!

  2. Lori says:

    Wow and Happy Birthday!! It is fun looking at the amazing job your family did, and at the funny pictures of kids being kids!

  3. Kelly R says:

    Looks like you had a great party! Great pictures. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Julie says:

    …and a fun time was had by all! What a great party, Lissy! I do hope you have a wonderful day today!

  5. Kimie Crews says:

    Your party looks amazing and so fun! So thoughtful of everyone. The family pictures look great, but I have to say the one that stole my heart was the little girls in their tutus. Love it.

  6. Sara S. says:

    What a fun weekend! It’s always fun when we get to celebrate such an awesome gal!

  7. Diane says:

    After I originally commented I seem to have clicked on the -Notify
    me when new comments are added- checkbox and now every time a comment is
    added I receive 4 emails with the same comment.
    There has to be a means you are able to remove me from that service?
    Thank you!

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