Family Fun, Milestones

Everyone Loves a Wedding Celebration…Esp. One Involving BBQ

The whole reason we drove to Kansas City, Missouri last week is because my pops got married in May, and he and my new stepmom were having their wedding celebration/reception on July 3rd. Miraculously, my five siblings were also all able to be there (albeit without their spouses and kids), and so this ended up basically being a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, all of us vacationing together as adults.

The celebration was low key but classy, held in a historic building downtown and decorated simply with white tablecloths and bright blooms at each table. The meal involved plenty of famous Kansas City BBQ and was followed up by some of the most amazing lemon cake I’ve ever had in my life.

Matt and I first met my stepmom Alecia back in December (when I was also able to take engagement pics for them), but we hadn’t yet had the chance to meet her family, especially her daughter. Talk about a fun group! Everyone was so warm and welcoming, and Raven was passed ’round and ’round the admiring crowd.
Seriously, one of the great side benefits of having a baby is that all of a sudden, you are wildly popular because of association. (No joke–it’s like all of a sudden, everyone wants to talk to us. Outside of our hotel in Colorado, we talked to this super friendly couple for almost an hour. It’s a conversation that never would have happened had we not had Raven.)
One thing a lot of people don’t know about me is that when I was 12 or 13, I worked at a reception center with my three sisters and my mom for about a year. So basically whenever there’s a wedding or any celebration that involves feeding a lot of people and setting up decor, all the women in my family go into autopilot mode to get ‘er done.
It was a surprisingly useful job for all of us to have, a fact I’m reminded of at every function like this.

And this trip to KC must have opened the floodgates of my picture-taking because you’re getting hit (again) with about a million pics. I probably should have split this into two different posts, but oh well.

 The man of the hour–my handsome daddy-o
 Matt holding down the fort as the only spouse present at our week-long sibling party

Raven didn’t quite know what to make of it all–she was both giggly at all the attention and stunned by the sheer amount of noise. Luckily, her daddy was good to find some quiet moments amidst the chaos.

They’re just the sweetest together.

Everyone queuing up for BBQ (the reason, I believe, I gained almost 2 lbs. on this trip)
 The trip was also a chance to catch up with long-lost relatives. 
I don’t think I’d seen my cousin Andrew (below) for over 10 years. 
(We also got to see my aunt and uncle, as well as meet Andrew’s wife and daughter)
Her face in the picture above gets me every time…I could just scream with laughter every time I look at it
 (Above–three of my five siblings)
After lots of introducing and chatting and eating, we hit the dance floor to celebrate. I personally only danced for all of about four and a half minutes, but I sure enjoyed getting pictures of everyone else.
That’s the perk of being the photographer–
you get to be a lot more selective about how much you participate.
Hee hee.
So glad for my dad and Alecia–
I’d say they’re pretty darn happy.
(I mean, look at that smile!)

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