At Home with Kaley From Kansas

It occurred to me, as we are confined to our homes, that I never shared our home session with the very talented KaleyfromKansas. My favorite place to be is within these walls and with these people… I used to be a serious extrovert and, while my love for being around people and meeting new people has not changed, I love being home more than anywhere. Chris was home this past Holiday break and it was the most magical thing to me. The girls and I went about our homeschooling, Chris got to see what our days at home looked like, he helped me more with meals and laundry and dishes and all the things…We would all stay up late in the evenings, talking and playing games for hours. Chris and I began dating one another from home in the coolest ways! We slept in, made big breakfasts together, and the world slowed down for us so much. I remember thinking, this is all I want…I want a slow, simple life, surrounded by loved ones… And with many new emotions added to the mix, we have that again.

The Pahls Family

Such a simple moment, but something I will miss all too soon. Almost every time we go down the stairs, Frankie reaches for me to carry her down. When she first started talking and walking, she would lift her arms up and say, “can I hold you” or the sweetest little “weeach”. I think I’ll cry when the day comes that she no longer asks me to do this…

We have found ourselves in a really weird place. I remember when I was pregnant with our second daughter, Charlie. My best friend found out she was also pregnant. We were so excited and it was amazing and then a few days later…she miscarried and lost her baby. It changed my pregnancy with Charlie so much. I was so happy and grateful, but I also carried a heavy sadness, a deep grief, and honestly a tremendous amount of guilt. I hurt for my friend so much. Her suffering didn’t mean I wasn’t experiencing great joy, but it greatly altered the way I felt it or could express it. This is similar to what I am feeling now….

The Pahls Family

I am so grateful that we are home and well and have jobs that allow us to keep doing what we were doing from home. Chris is a college professor and while his days look different, he is still able to connect with his students and teach and grow, and learn along side them. I am so fortunate to bring home a little income through sharing our days and partnering with wonderful companies. I feel so weird in this. I look around and see so much chaos, but all I feel is peace. I find peace in knowing we are all experiencing this together, that we aren’t in control, that tomorrow is not promised.. and then I feel weird, and almost guilty, for feeling peace in these things. I feel what I felt with Charlie. I would look down and see my belly and feel her kick and my heart would swell… and then it would sink… I am so happy for what our family is getting to experience. The peace, the joy, the stillness…But then I look around and am met with mourning.. and I have to mourn with those who are mourning…I don’t know how not to. I am hurting so badly for our friends and family and all of those who are being affected negatively by this strange virus and this new normal. I don’t want people to be sick or full of fear.  I don’t want people to have to suffer. I am aware of my privilege more than I ever have been. I have gained many new perspectives that grieve my heart. But, even in the mourning, I can’t help but see so much hope. I see the rainbows painted on windows and bears on porches and I can’t help but feel so much hope.

The Pahls Family

I went to the grocery store and saw the empty shelves.  I went to the Post Office to find barricades made of boxes and plastic sheeting to separate customers from employees. I feel the weirdness. That, ‘is this really real life?!’ feeling… BUT, my friends and I are fasting and praying with one another and texting deep stuff along with the best memes of our lives.  I am feeling a deep love and appreciation for my friends in a whole new way; a deepening love for their spouses and children and my spouse and our children. Our family feels more glued together than it ever has been… What strange emotions to process…

The Pahls Family

I don’t know what the future holds. I don’t want to or need to know. For now, I am choosing to focus on right now. I am choosing gratefulness and joy and trying to be the peace amongst the chaos. I am enjoying every moment with Chris home and this stillness we get to have with the girls. Life seems to be on pause, or in slow motion at least… I know life is weird, friends… Like, this is real, real weird. Have I mentioned how weird this is… But for real, I hope you find yourself full of so much peace and hope right now. We are all in this together, friends!   With that being said, here are some moments that I am so grateful to have been captured. Thank you so much, Kaley! Little reminders of the beauty that lives in the simple moments at home, whether we’re quarantined or not.

The Pahls Family

Just as Ada grew out of the coloring on walls stage, Frankie joined in. I’ve painted our hallway 3 times since living here because of it. And I’m totally ok with it. In fact, we gave Frankie a yellow colored pencil to color away because I genuinely don’t want to forget these sweet creative installations that have filled our home through the years…

The Pahls Family

Kaley did such an incredible job capturing us in an organic way. She prompted us and I was happy to go with any of her creative idea because, if you’ve seen Kaley’s work, you know you can trust her to create magic!!

The Pahls Family

 

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The Pahls Family

I don’t ever want to forget the sound of their feet running up and down these stairs. The giggles as we chase on another or play hide and seek… Those sounds are so special to me!

The Pahls Family

The Pahls Family

We have a balcony off of our bedroom. The girls have always thought it was the coolest thing. Sometimes, the magic and glory seems to sometimes become less as we age.. But the girls have brought so much magic back into our lives! I never would have thought to do photos our here, but I am so glad Kaley did!

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The Pahls Family

I look at this photo and want to scream the word, REDEMPTION! There are so many parts of my past that I thought would define me and prevent me from having the dream of a loving husband or family or any of this… Man, grace and healing and forgiveness and redemption are words with so much meaning for me!

The Pahls Family

Dance parties are a huge deal in this family! We have them several times a week and we can get pretty into it. Kaley put on the new Aladdin soundtrack and we just did our thing. The sun shining on us, dancing in the breeze… It was magic!

The Pahls Family

The Pahls Family

Frankie and Ada loves pretending to be puppies. Recently I’ve joined their puppy crew. Frankie pulls on my belts and belt loops and says, “come here mommy puppy”. More magic.

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The Pahls Family

Did you guys know I was told I most likely wouldn’t be able to have children? I went through a season where I felt devastated at the thought of this. We have 4 incredible promises reminding me of God’s goodness and faithfulness.

The Pahls FamilyThe Pahls Family

The Pahls Family

Chris’ sister made the girls the most incredible food for their kitchen play set. She is one of the best gift givers and most talented people I have ever known! She is such a blessing and blesses these little ladies with absolute treasures!

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The Pahls Family

When Norah and Charlie were younger, we had picnics and snacks out here several times a week. We actually locked ourselves out one day and I yelled at a neighbor, whom I had never met, and asked her to come walk into our home, make her way to our bedroom and let us in. She kindly did and I am grateful for a neighbor like her.

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The Pahls Family

Thumb wars are a new favorite game in this home!

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The Pahls Family

Find you a man who plays with your kids… Like builds blocks with them and reads books, and has dance parties, and jumps with them on the trampoline… Not because they feel obligated… but because they love their children and are happy to be with them in their element.

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The Pahls Family

This wardrobe is SO special! Like, the story of getting it literally changed my life and faith. I will share about it in detail later, but it is another reminder of God’s faithfulness in my life.

The Pahls Family

The day I weened Frankie I had to leave the house. Weening was so hard for me this last time emotionally. I didn’t want to but knew I needed to. Ada and I went to the thrift store and on our way out, after not finding anything, she said, “mom, can I please have that toy?” I looked over and saw this beautiful buggy that instantly reminded me of being her age living in Germany… and $3 later she was ours! It’s so special to us!

The Pahls Family

The Pahls Family

Oldest and youngest. The moment Norah and Charlie learned to read, they became better teacher than me I think.

The Pahls Family

The Pahls Family

I went through a stage where I thought bonnets were hideous. Man, I was SO, SO, SO, SO SO, SO, SO, SO, SO, SO wrong!!!!

The Pahls FamilyThe Pahls Family

The Pahls Family

Be right back… this photo makes me need to go kiss this guy.

The Pahls Family

The Pahls Family

This is going to sound super dramatic but… I had been wanting photos done with Kaley for a long time.. but it just never felt right. I had a few larger collabs happen so we had a little extra monies and Chris asked what I wanted to do with it. We could use the money and celebrate, maybe buy something special, or even invest it…  I feel like like we did all of that. These photos were a bit of a celebration for me. I had just lost 60 lbs and for the first time in a long time I felt like myself. These photos feel like a major investment in something so very special. 

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The Pahls Family

The way Kaley captured small details of the girls and our home….. SO GOOD!!!

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The Pahls Family

baby thighs and tippy toes… 

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Clothing Resources

Tights: RyleeandCru

Norah, Charlie, Ada’s dresses + Frankie’s Romper: TheSimpleFolkCo

Ada’s Dress + Frankie’s Bloomers: Minimom

My Sweater:Sezane

My Jeans: Madewell 

Charlies Bows: ShopAcre 

Frankie’s Bows: KDBird