After a two year hiatus from this site, blogging, and posting to various places for photography I am easing back into things.

This story begins two years ago where many great adventures begin… Independence, MO.

In the first week of June 2017 the Tholen family packed up all their worldly belongings, and two adults, and a newborn, and a two-year-old, and moved east to Washington, MO. It’s a wonderful River town (on the Missouri River) of about 14,000 people. The move was spurred by an exciting job offer. Pam became the principal of the high school she graduated from just 15 years prior. So the move home for her and our family was a tough decision, but really a no-brainer.

I’ll spare you all the details of the last two years, but we now have a 4 year old and two year old - pictured here:

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Pam is about to start her third school year as principal of St. Francis Borgia Regional High School.

I am about to start my third year at Union High School (just a few miles down the road) as an Instructional Technology Specialist who also teaches a few classes… including Leadership Class, which has been a long time dream.

The littles are awesome and take up a lot of time that was once dedicated to posting here and photography and a bunch of other stuff that is way less rad than hanging out with them. But I hope to post a little about them and our family adventures here. I have some recent practice with video editing so I’m thinking we will try to get that here every now and again. There, I said it, now I have to do it.


Looking back

Life is changing for this guy.... quickly.  2 kids, 2 new jobs, we sold our house, and bought a house.  It helps me to look at it all as the 'turning of a page' or a 'new chapter' or some other literary placeholder for reality.  But the truth is, it's tough, and confusing, and sad while also exciting.  Leaving Fort Osage really still hasn't sunk in despite daily reminders.  It's as much my home as anywhere I have ever lived.  I've laughed and enjoyed spending time with thousands of people in the past decade+.  

9 years ago - on this date - something pretty big happened that I will never forget.  I feel like it really symbolizes all the great things about my life as an educator, stuco advisor, Fort Family member, and human. 9 years ago today is the day that we had a benefit for my best friend, Tony, after his life-altering/threatening car accident.   (For that story read here) My calendar originally had me working a Fort Osage Student Council highway cleanup.  The date we needed to have this benefit conflicted with the highway cleanup so I wouldn't be able to help sponsor the event at Fort any longer.  For one reason or another (not sure the reason, my attention was on this benefit) the highway cleanup got cancelled... possibly due to low supervision availability.  

The event was running smoothly - pancakes were being served to the masses - and all of he sudden a group of Fort kids show up.  They've never met Tony.  They only know that it was something important to me so they showed up, donated money, ate pancakes and made sure to show support for me.  In a day full of overwhelmingly positive emotions - this one stuck with me.  They all lived a half an hour away and had probably never been to Odessa.  Awesome people.  Just awesome people.  I have no idea if any of them have ever even thought of this since, but I'll never forget how incredible it was and how indicative this was of what true community is about in a school.  This is one of many ways I'll remember Fort Osage.  

Faces of Fort

Faces of Fort

Tick tock

Tomorrow is March 20th.   That date never really meant much to me but 8 months ago or so I was told that was the due date of our second child. That's pretty rad news. Well, now that day is tomorrow. AHHHH!  It's really not all that scary, but it is exciting and I am very ready for it to come and go without any hiccups. 


These two gals get a brother/sister/son/daughter tomorrow, and I think that's what I am most excited about.  Being a husband and dad to these cats is what I was born to do.  

So here's to the next chapter!  (Check back in soon)

We are ready to be a family of 4! 

We are ready to be a family of 4!