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! 

Betsy.... gamechanger!

If my daughter is ever in a relationship like I have with this website.... I will not be pleased.  I am quite neglectful when it comes to this page, but oh well.   I am back, and accepts me with open arms because that is our dynamic.  

Pam and I had a kid!   Betsy Kay Tholen was born in February and has changed everything.  I feel like I am in a new club now that has a shared experience of trauma, joy, fear, excitement, nervousness, stress, but mostly total LOVE.   If you'd like to see some picture of her I'll give you some options. #dailyBetsyfix on instagram or facebook is a good place to start.  I also bought her name as a domain because of some sort of tech geek nesting instinct.  It wasn't the only one I bought.  It's like a weird tech land grab... hard to explain.

Seven and a half weeks have now passed and Pam went back to work today.  I am taking the next couple weeks to stay home with Betsy and have a few goals for myself when I am home.  One of which is to chronicle our days on this site, because I actually have something to write about.   I also discovered an old pal who has been writing a blog and I'd be lying it I didn't admit that it sparked this a little as well.  Nicely done kimBERLY. 

Day one of this experience is today.  Pam got off to work and I didn't get washed over with nearly as much panic as I thought I might.  I have changed some diapers, fed the little lady, played with her some (although I am likely just entertaining myself), and TRIED to get a few things done.  Not much extra time really.  I just put Betsy down for a nap and should probably be using this brief time for a shower or other things but here I am.   

More on this later.....


Summer break (Day 1)

There are many awesome perks to the teacher life. I thoroughly enjoy the people I work with, students and staff. Every day is a bit of an adventure and my hours are fairly predictable. Summer break is also a perk and a bit of a necessity for general sanity. I did some counting and figured out that I have 75 (a nice figuratively round number) days of summer break. Those days start today. Let the adventures begin!
My day today includes photographing a wedding (pictures will show up in a week or so) in the Washington, Mo region.
Life is good.