Denver Family Photographer, The Thole Family

Life is pretty chaotic isn’t it?  We rush to school drop off, swim lessons, dance, soccer, then there’s keeping the house clean and not buried under life, keeping the kids healthy, and of course maybe spend some time with the husband that’s more then two passing ships in the dark.

Even if you think you have a couple days with nothing on the schedule (hello spring break!), somehow those days fill up with life.

I’m starting to come to the conclusion that life is just busy.  BUT we can embrace this season as it is.  There are still moments and things our kids do that light us up!

The games they play.  The things they do.  The kisses and unexpected hugs they give.

That’s what we live for.  That’s what we want to remember.

This is the Thole Family story.

I want to remember how easy and fearless the kids were able to love. That simple words and holding on tight could cure everything. that I could still function when nothing about my day had anything to do with me. Working out was to have enough energy to keep up with them, drinking coffee was to give me a jumpstart to do enough in a day for them, even if it meant that i had the energy to do the laundry so they had underwear the next morning. I drank wine so i could decompress from them. I hope that i can always see the world through their eyes. This age of exploration is the best. I personally am learning so much from all of their questions and so i hope i can hold onto the determination to question everything. I want to remember how hard this time is. That its a constant battle to feel content in what im doing as a parent. That reguardless of how hard it is every single day, I want it everyday. but that its also huge for me to not lose myself, finding balance in the madness. The feeling of feelings, so many feelings. multiple feelings being expressed every minute of every day and how we manage it all to come together as a family and keep each other happy. we are a tribe right now. we are the most important thing to each other. and it will only become more distant as they grow and move on to friends and lovers. which will be amazing, but right now… its us. 

Camden: compassion. He loves so deep. he cares about people, really cares, to the point a kid hurt his ankle in soccer during recess and he told the kid to punch him so that he could take the pain. He cares so much for me (mom) that when josh leaves for the season he makes sure to give me forehead kisses and hugs any chance he gets. his sensitivity gets the best of him sometimes but it truly comes from a great place. he acts like a spoiled little monster as well, don’t get me wrong, but he would do anything in the world for someone else.

Harlow: She is strong willed, yet nurturing. she can hang with the boys and their rough side but she also loves sitting on the sidelines feeding her “baby” and cheering them on. she isnt a follower, nor a leader, she does what makes her happy with her little imagination. she can entertain herself all day in her own little made up world, a little world that is always changing. Sometimes about babies, or sports, or science, or ninjas. 

Maxx: when in doubt make a funny face and say hello to everyone you meet. He does not have many words, but it doesn’t  hold him back from socializing. wherever we go he goes out of his way to entertain those around him. “hi guy” “ball high” i maxx, harlow, bobo (camden)”. followed with a funny face or dance move. Without music he dances to his own beat. He might not be able to keep up with his siblings just yet but he makes his presence known and keeps everyone laughing, even if your the homeless guy on the corner, your still “my guy.” I love how he sees each person as someone he should know and be friends with. and really, he had a homeless guy on the corner when we lived in toronto and he would have a little convo with him everyday!

What’s your greatest challenge in parenting right now?

Not loosing patience. They don’t understand the end of my fuse. Finding the balance of letting them become their own person while directing them to how i wish them to see the world. giving them enough experiences for them to figure it out instead of being told. to get out of my own comfort zone so they don’t become trapped in one. There is only so much time that they are only ours to show them as much as we can. expose them to culture, to society in all its forms, to help them understand respect of themselves and others. With school becoming part of our life, im starting to see the importance of how i handle friendship situations and how they come off to other people.

The day I had to leave the hospital on the upper east side in New York City and the nurse walked me to the door and said ” good luck” and I realized its up to me. Yes my husband is present, ( although he left for 10 days the day after I had camden, before i even left the hospital) and yes my mom ( role model) was there. But Its me. A book cant see my life and tell me what to do, a blog cant, an article cant, a friend cant. No one knows but me. And that i had to take that on and trust myself and my decisions. And that the kids want to hear it from me, they trust me, that want approval from me. I cant tap out. sure i get a sitter to take over but I want things done my way, I realized that i have to be confidant in what i believe in because I do know my kids the best and its ok to make mistakes. The kids and I have gotten really good at learning together and that I do have to admit my mistakes to my kids sometimes. Live and learn is a great saying!

I love that i have my own little squad, we travel through this life together, teaching each other so many things! I learn from them in watching their perspective on their surroundings. I learn from myself when i have to answer their questions. I have been so fortunate to be able to stay home with them and as it is the damn hardest thing ever!!!!!!! it gives me such purpose, not only to do all i can for them but it has opened my eyes to want to do better for whats left to their generation. I had to realize its up to me and the “parent” generation to leave this world a better place for them. protecting civil rights and the environment.

I want them to know, they are important to this world, and to hold onto their instincts. to follow their dreams because they played hard with the biggest imagination and to use that to accomplish everything they can dream into the future. That we did the best we could and there were probably lots of instances we could have done better but we were all learning. that they were loved with every inch of feeling inside of me and their dad. That they stay true to themselves. we had so much fun and I felt so full no matter how many times a yelled and cursed, i love this life more than anything!

Thank you Kathryn for your honest words and the beautiful light you cast into this world.  You’re a rockstar mama to those three kiddos!

This session was part of the Saturday Morning Sessions.  If you’d like to know more about telling YOUR family story, email me rachael@rachaelgracephotography.com

Or click the investment page HERE.

xoxo – Rachael

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