One day last Spring while backing my minivan out of the driveway for the 9th time that day I heard our sweet neighbor Dan across the street yell - "I get tired just watching you people come and go!" I laughed and waved and away we went out of the subdivision. I love that he said that about us. I don't mind that people think we're busy, or too busy. I would rather be busy than bored. You only live once and I'm gonna cram as much fun crap as I can into it, and my kids are coming along for every single bit.
One night you're doing your homework on the set of a music video, the next night your pig is on every local news station because he pooped in the Blues' locker room. When you're a Manno kid you are never sure what's coming next.
We have our quiet times too; days with nothing to do, 5 minute snuggles with each kid at bedtime to talk about their day. But for the most part us Mannos are on the move, and we like it that way. Because above all else it means we are always together.
When I sat down to write my 10 favorite events of the year I was so overwhelmed with fun stuff that I just couldn't narrow it down and ended up with 12! So blessed that God let us fit this many cool things into one year. So here are my top 12 Manno Moments from 2015!
I'm addicted to the creative process, in all forms. Having an idea in my head and watching it come to life is one of the best feelings in the whole world. In 2016 I produced my first music video!!!! I had a great team and an amazing band to help it come to life. Last I checked it was at nearly 20,000 views. Clockwork has some big changes/announcements coming down the pipe soon. I've been quiet about them for a reason :) It should be a pretty cool 2016 for them too.
Click play to watch the entire video below.
11. I started a dance class with total strangers.
I was tired of never doing anything for myself, I was tired of flaky friends, cancelled plans, and relationships that only existed on social media. So I took a grown up dance class, by myself, with total strangers, and it was hands down my favorite hour of the week every week! I can't wait to put my dancing shoes back on and see what awesome routines our teacher has in store for us in 2016.
Here is a quick glimpse and me and the ladies busting a move. If you're local and want to learn more about the Dance Class give Just Dancing West a call XOXO!
10. The little girl who grew up with a ghost.
I met the family of the man that was murdered in my childhood home. We were the first homeowners to move in after his death. His name was Steve, and I saw him many times when I was little. This was a chapter of my life I always assumed would be left unfinished. I never thought I would have the guts to reach out to his family, but I did. The family was wonderful and it was a very therapeutic experience. I talked about it on my radio show and you can hear that here.
9. Country Star Joe Nicols sings a song to Luci from the stage.
"Where's the photographer's daughter...little Luci...there she is, here's your song baby" - Joe Nicols
I've always told Luci that the song "Give me that Girl" by Joe Nicols was written for her, I've sang it to her since she was baby. It was a total coincidence that Joe Nicols was hired to play for a Mike Matheny event I was shooting.
It was a total coincidence that we had severe weather that day and the tournament stopped for about 90 minutes allowing me the time to sit with Joe and tell him about that song and what it meant to me.
And it was another total coincidence that our babysitter bailed and Jimmy had to drop the kids off to me while I finished up shooting the event, thus leading to Luci actually meeting Joe Nicols so I could show him the little girl I'd been singing his song to all these years.
When he took the stage later that night I had no idea he was going to dedicate that song to her. He probably talked to 100 people that day. I cried, she cried, and I'm pretty sure my heart burst into a cloud of red confetti. He will never know truly how much that meant to her. Maybe it wasn't coincidence after all but totally and completely meant to be.
8. Our last baby left the nest.
Goodbye preschool, hello Kindergarten.
I'm not going to elaborate on this one too much because I'm not exactly having the easiest time with it :( I try to remember no matter how many babies I have I will always want one more, and I know God doesn't want me to be the mama of 100, I'm just wondering when this is going to get easier.
7. Shooting at Spring Training with the Cardinals/Rocky's commercial.
In March I flew down to Florida to shoot the St. Louis Cardinals Homers 4 Health campaign.
I was a newbie - so they gave me the least important job! LOL! I was in charge of the B-roll footage, which also ended up being all of the blooper footage. So most of my stuff didn't make television, but everything you see in this blooper video below, I'm behind the camera :)
On that same trip, our son Rocky threw out the first pitch at a Spring Training game. The Cardinals used that footage in another commercial and his baseball buddies thought it was pretty cool. He also got to hang out in the dugout with the players before the game. I have a lot of cute pictures but this one was probably my favorite.
Here is Rocky in the commercial.
6. We bought a PIG
I don't think Piggy Smalls needs any introduction here. He's my homeboy and our gangsta pig. He likes to ride shotgun in my car to pick up the kids from school. Here are some photos the first week we had him. Now he weighs 50 pounds and likes to scratch his ass on my bedpost at 5am every morning. Not so cute, but still my homeboy. He will be 1 year old this month, and yes we are totally having a pig birthday party.
After 2 years of begging us to "get her into acting" we finally did. Luci signed with a talent agency, got her Missouri children work permit and officially started working in 2015. I don't know the first thing about being a actress mama. I like hockey sidelines, in hockey if you're pissed you yell. But apparently telling a casting director to "get their head out of their ass" when they don't choose my daughter is frowned upon....so I've got some work to do, but I'm learning :)
Luci is so good at her job, you should see her on set, she has more patience and poise that most grown ups. She is saving all the money she earns working to spend a semester in Hollywood in a few years. I wish I could share more of her work here but there are different rules for each job she gets and I don't want to break any of them. But you will definitely be seeing more of her face around St. Louis in 2016.
5 b) Luci's talent show
This is sort of an extension of her getting into acting. I don't know many 7 year olds who have the guts to sing in front of their entire school and their families. Let alone the way she did...ripping of her dress and shaking what her mama gave her. We warned her that if anything went wrong to just keep going. Thank God we did because her microphone stopped working halfway through. She didn't blink an eye. The minute she got off stage all I kept saying was "I love you so much, I love you so much" - she got second place. But she will always be first place to her family. The video doesn't show them well but her Daddy is playing guitar on the left and her brother is playing drums and sax on the right. You can see them in the end. They were her "hype-men" a la Flava-Flav.
This story truly came out of nowhere. What are the chances that we would have a pet pig AND the Blues would adopt a bacon related rally cry at the same time? Well, if you're a Manno, those chances are pretty good and it was a slow news week. So our pig taking a dump in Coach Hitchcock's office was the leading sports story on every local station and many national ones as well. Click the picture to see the video.
3. Libby Lu's Viral Video
Libby Lu made her national television debut. She yawned twice and fell off the chair. It was spectacular. Libby Lu is the shyest of all the Manno's, I wouldn't even really call her shy she just doesn't ever need to be the center of attention or crave any sort of spotlight unlike the rest of us media-whores.
So imagine our shock when she was the one that ended up with half a million views on a viral video.
She won the hearts of hockey fans ever with her reaction to the trade of St. Louis Blues player T.J. Oshie. She locked herself in a closet and cried. I took a video and sent it to my husband and by the next morning it was everywhere...literally...she was trending on Twitter. We tried explaining to her Maw Maw what a big deal it was to trend on Twitter but that went over like a lead balloon.
That was followed up by T.J. Oshie calling her live on Sports Center where she got to ask him anything she wanted. Her two questions were:
1. Do you have a swimming pool?
2. Does it have a diving board?
Then she got bored, yawned twice, and fell off the chair. Because she's 5 and has the attention span of a chipmunk.
A few days later the UPS man came to the door with a huge box for Libby Lu, it was from T.J. Oshie. He hooked her up with tons of swag, including a handwritten note that I put in her baby box as a keepsake.
He was so kind to her and we are excited to cheer him on when the Capitals come to town to play the Blues in April.
2. NBC Best time ever- with Neil Patrick Harris
Instead the joke was on me, and I was the butt end of several jokes on the season finale of "BEST TIME EVER" - sadly the show has been cancelled and the link to the show was taken down.
Click the picture below to see a local show I did about it. I have the full episode in my DVR, I will get it up on youtube soon.
1. The Kelly Manno Show
If you watch any video on this blog post make it this one. You'll never look at a stuffed banana the same again.
The Kelly Manno show had been living in the back of my brain for several years, it just took me a while to get the balls to actually put the wheels in motion. A new show posted here every Monday morning...it's a little mix of everything. My love for everything pop culture and sports, my obsession with 90's rap music, and tell funny stories about my kiddos.
Me and Producer Gary at a podcast seminar after some of our first shows.
This blog makes us look pretty interesting, but our closest friends will tell you that we are painfully average at the same time :) Thanks for reading and letting me share our stories with you in 2015. If like what you see share this post with your friends on Facebook. If you want to hang with us in 2016 just keep an eye on this blog or look for me on Facebook or Instagram.