~ Katie & Chris Hasse ~ Kelly Manno Photography

Last year,  on a hot summer night,  Katie thought her Dad scored some awesome front row tickets to a Cardinals game.   At the bottom of the 3rd inning her Dad got up to hit the concession stand only to be replaced moments later by her adorable boyfriend, who wasn't suppose to be in town,  and a gorgeous diamond ring in his hands.   Just when she was about to call her family to share the good news of their engagement she looked into the outfield to see they had been watching the whole thing. 
This has to be the cutest proposal story I've ever heard.  I stole the proposal photos from her wedding website to share with you guys.   Their wedding day kicked off on April 12th,  just as the Magnolia trees were blooming and the weather was absolutely spectacular.   Had so much fun with these two,  their wedding party,  and their awesome families. 

~ Dear Diary ~

Last Thursday morning my 6 year old, Luci,  marched out of her bedroom and announced she had "started a diary" she was keeping in her bedroom and no one was allowed to read it.

Naturally,  I respected her privacy   found the diary,  read the diary,  took a picture of the diary,  texted it to my husband, then posted it on my public blog.

Page One.

Translation :  My 1st kiss was from TJ and Aiden is my boyfriend.

What?!?!  Kissing?!?!  Boyfriends?!?!  Did I mention she is 6?   Convinced I was raising the "Floozie  of Kindergarten," I quickly sent it to my husband via text.   He did nothing to calm my nerves...he may have even freaked out more than me. 

I paced in my kitchen,  contemplated writing Dr.  Phil to schedule an intervention, and then tried to remember my days of diary writing,  I was a pretty good kid and I don't remember writing about boys like this.  I had to find out so I started digging in my basement and I hit pay dirt.  Yes folks, I found my Junior High diaries.  I nearly spit out my breakfast reading them, as a matter of fact...I don't know if any human has ever physically snorted out a cheerio, but I promise you I've come the closest.

Now before I reveal the diaries first you need to get to know me,  Kelly Manno the 6th grader.  First of all I wasn't Kelly Manno, I was Kelly Sumpter, a name that half of the people in Granite City, Illinois still call me. 

That's me on a typical weekend night.   Teasing my best friends hair with a pick,   I see 4 bottles of hairspray (counting the one on the floor) and at least 2 curling irons.   You see those things behind me? Beauty Pageant trophies…yes, I was won every ridiculous mid-west pageant I entered.   Miss Heart of the Midwest, Miss Lilly of the Valley, Miss Illinois State Pro-Am...   I held all those titles and more.  I thought I was on my way to Miss America.  But my career was short-lived when I hit Junior High and realized the burnouts will kick your ass for doing stuff like that.  So the trophies went in the attic and the crowns got tucked away in shoe boxes.

See those pink walls?  I had the best mom ever, who would let me do whatever I wanted with my room.  She always encouraged me to be creative, so when I wanted my room to match my favorite drink, Vess Cream Soda, she made it happen.  So we sat together one night and did the whole room.  I remember turning various kitchen cups and bowls upside down to trace the bubbles. 
I am so lucky to have these pictures of my room.  I documented everything, even way back then..
Hot rollers, stonewashed jeans and nintendo.  A late 80's trifecta. 
In 6th grade, I was in love with a boy named Aaron Meyer - he was the Catholic school equivalent of a "bad boy," he had a mullet and was in trouble with the nuns at least once a week.  My mom did not approve of him.  Reading below I can see why.  I'll translate all of these below in case you can't read my handwriting…


Dear Diary,

Today was fun.  We had our school skating party.  I skated with Aaron, he is a babe.  I want to go out with him but he is going out with Jamie Wallis.   I'm scared to tell my mom I like him cause she'll yell at me.  He said he was gonna french me but he didn't thank God because I didn't want to I knew it would get back to my mom.  But I sorta wanted him to kiss me but not the french and not at the rink cause everybody would see.   Just a little peck would be fine.  Tracie said she wanted to french with Buddy bad because she never has frenched before but neither have I,  who cares.  I hope Aaron doesn't get an earring I hate earrings on boys.  If you get it in your right ear that means you're gay,  at least that is what it means.   Aaron is still a babe,  I've been trying all night to call Q 106.5 to dedicate a song to Aaron but no luck.   Well I'll try again tomorrow. 

As if talking about wanting to "french" boys wasn't bad enough,  I also had a very sophisticated boy-rating system of my crushes.   Complete with a 3rd column charting whether each boy had moved up, down, or stayed the same than the previous month.    Poor Aaron- Matt Wilson came into my life and Aaron's rating went from a 10 to a 2 in one month.   I'm sure he was devastated.   

Half the boys on that list are my Catholic school classmates, the other half didn't know I existed.   Seriously, I'm embarrassed for myself.   They are older boys I must have known through soccer or the pool,  but I promise they wouldn't have given me the time of day. 

Meanwhile,  my mom thought this was an appropriate pose for an 11 year old.   No wonder I was trying to "french" boys.  Nice loafers. 
Bubble necklaces were bad ass.
The diary entries only get more ridiculous…At this point Aaron was my real boyfriend and we held hands for the first time on the bus on the way home from a field trip.


Dear Diary,

I'm in love.   Aarons a babe.  I still remember the time we were on the bus,  I wish it could happen again.  Today Aaron said he was mad when he found out I wasn't in his class,  but I'll admit I wish Aaron and Buddy were still in my class.

Translation : 

Dear Diary,

 Aaron keeps mouthing the words "I love you" and I want to say it back,  but I'm not a prissy butt.  I feel kinda bad that I gave Danny a bloody nose and lip but he deserved it cause I'm not his honey,  maybe I would have felt better if I would have kicked him in the balls.


Dear Diary,

Today I broke up with Aaron,  and I swear,  I don't understand boys.   once they break up with you they hate your guts.  I might be going for Buddy or Matt.   They're both pretty cute.  P.S.  I love Matt a lot and I don't know how to tell him. 

And then the love triangle starts…


Dear Diary,

Tracie loves Matt,  and it's so hard to keep it a secret but Oh Well I have to.  Tracie, me and Sara are writing to NKOTB I don't think she wants to tell me their address because she wants it to just be them.   But as I always say "you can't count your chickens before they hatch" My Grandpa looks silly cause he has a silly hat that sticks up into the air.  From now on I am going to try to remember not to write Dear Diary and from Kelly because I want it to keep going.

"You can't count your chickens before they hatch"? - What the hell am I talking about??  That quote doesn't even make sense there?   I obviously had no clue what it meant but heard it somewhere and wanted to use it.

I was so mad at my friends Tracie and Sara because they found the address to the NKOTB fan club in the back of a magazine and wouldn't tell me what it was.  Oh the drama of 6th grade…

And here I took a break from the boy drama,  to complain that my parents hate me because their feet are too sore after work to take me somewhere fun.  "I guess I'm suppose to feel sorry for them" - my poor parents and brother.   I needed and extra ordinary amount of attention.

Okay,  there are about 30 more pages of these but I think I've humiliated myself enough for one day.  I hope you enjoyed this post.  If you're laughing along with me it's because you probably had a diary that looked just like this 20 years ago.  

I'm gonna let up on Luci… After some investigating I found out TJ only kissed her on the cheek and the hand.   And after reading the crap her Mother wrote, I don't have a lot of room to criticize her.   But maybe one day I'll teach her my awesome boy-rating system.

~ Cue the Sh*t-fit ~

So I gave up Facebook for Lent,  yes,  I'm sure Jesus is super impressed…during that time some funny things happened that I wanted to share but couldn't,  one of them being the most epic public sh*t-fit you've ever seen by this darling.   More on that in a minute...
Sometimes I need to do a better job of remembering I have 2 very different girls,  I fall victim to the prey of a busy schedule and it's easier,  for my sake,  to just throw Libby Lu in whatever activity Luci is doing because they happen at the same time.

About one year ago Luci (her older sister) started figure skating.  She fell in love with it.   She loves to perform and her dance class only had one recital per year and that just wasn't enough,  so we quit ballet and went with skating.

Figure skating has been a perfect outlet for Luci because she can do as many shows and competitions as she wants.  

At her first figure skating competition and she won first place!   The other 3 girls who skated before her ALL skated to Disney songs,  so I was a little worried knowing she was going to go out there and shake it to Pharrell Williams - but she did really good.   She had the crowd clapping' and a smile on her face.  Luci loves the being center of attention and she's great at it. 
This time around,  I signed Libby Lu with Luci for skating class because their age groups skate at the same time.   They had an end of the year show last weekend.   The theme was the Olympics and each performance was a nod to different countries.

Luci got Canada,  and she skated along proudly to some weird Canadian song I hope I never hear again.  Things went off without a hitch. 

Libby Lu got Japan,  hence the Kimono belt and hat.   I was a little worried about Libby Lu and her performance because she is a bit of a free spirit and not exactly a performer.  But my husband said she did awesome in the dress rehearsal,   knew her routine well,  and since she is only 4 her coach gets to skate out there and do the routine with her.
(Photo courtesy of Brentwood 40 South News)

Libby Lu's name was announced on the microphone, as she skated out from the big red curtain she looked happy and smiley so I wasn't really worried.

She takes her starting position,  the music begins…. and cue the Shit-fit. 

Yes,  a Shit fit of epic proportions,  at center ice for the whole crowd to see,  set to the sounds of some beautiful Japanese string quartet. 

Now you should know that a figure skating audience is a lot like a bowling,  or a golf crowd.  They sit fairly silent, with the occasional organized gasp when someone falls,  or the polite golf-clap to reward a well landed jump, …so not exactly what I'm used to but I'm learning.

We've all seen the dance recitals where one little girl is too shy to do her routine,  or goes off the script and does her own thing.  But this was different.  Libby Lu lost her mind out there. 

Turning her back to the crowd, crossing her arms,  stomping her foot,  flailing her arms and skating for her life to escape the grasp of her desperate coach.   Everytime her coach would catch up with her and try to guide her back to the routine it was like watching one of those Alligators with a rope around it's neck going into a death roll. 

At one point my husband hauled ass from our seats in the bleachers, to the open door on the side of the rink,  just incase the teacher needed help getting the little a-hole off the ice. 

It was 2 minutes of sheer chaos.  All while the orchestra music played triumphantly in the background. 

It was like watching a train wreck that you couldn't take your eyes off of,  except imagine your own little evil spawn driving the caboose.  

Thankfully the audience went from complete horror and confusion to hysterical laughter.   Which just gave her brother and sister the green light to hoot and holler and cheer her antics on.

Have you ever seen the end of the movie "Little Miss Sunshine" - where the little girl starts her stripper routine and the family goes from being completely embarrassed to joining her on stage?  Yeah.  Pretty much like that.


Those 2 minutes seems like 2 hours.  

When she was finally carried off the ice the only explanations she gave us was "They played the wrong music" and "I wanted to do my other moves" - I didn't argue with her,  she is 4,  so I gave her a hug,  asked her if she had fun,  and then bought her some popcorn.

We drove home in silence,  except the pouring rain on the windshield , completely exhausted from our long day.   I thought our embarrassment would be contained to the people who were within the walls of that ice rink,  and my mom,  who I called to tell of our horror.

So imagine my surprise the next day when this was in the local Brentwood news publication.

Yeah,  here is a close up of that.

 Oh Libby Lu,  you have a personality as wild and crazy as your hair.   You are bossy and loud,  stubborn and impatient,  and just when I'm about to lose my cool with you,  you do something completely hysterical,  and usually inappropriate,  and I fall in love with you even more. 

Someone once said to me "You parent the child you have,  not the child you wanted" - I don't think you are going to be a performer like your sister, and you don't ever have to be.  I love you so much. 

Our Sponsors

Designed by FlexyCreatives