There Will Always Be More Good

So a ton has happened since my last post in March. As you’ll be able to tell from the plethora of pictures at the end of this post. The most important thing to me on this entire planet is my family. When I think of what my purpose is in life and what I want to spend my time doing, it is with them. I am just sitting here, and as I was going through and collecting the batch of pictures to attach to this post, it reminded me of so many fun memories, just in the last couple months! One thing I am very thankful for is the fact that both Adam and I love to create experiences and memories for our children and family together. We like to do experience based gifts and celebrations. It is my favorite. Not everyday is a grand event that we knock out of the park of course. But I am so thankful to be able to have those days where my kids go to bed with a smile from a day full of fun; even if that is simply from playing in the backyard with our little pool.
There is so much hate and confusion in this world. It feels unavoidable at times, and I wish I could shield my girls from it forever. But with the hate and confusion, there is also so much good to be found, and good people to meet and befriend. Bailey asked me a few weeks ago if there would be mean people at school when she goes back this fall. And I thought for a minute, deciding how I wanted to go about the answer, and finally I told her that yes, there would be mean people here and there at school. But to remember that there will always be more kids that will be kind. And it was a good reminder for me too. That while the media can at times make it feel that the world is more bad than it is good, I know that there is so much more good that we dont realize. Right around us. In the hundreds of times we have taken the girls to a park or where other kids are playing, we have only encountered maybe 2-3 kids who weren’t kind, compared to the hundreds who were loving and friendly and wanting to play. This gives me hope. And with how the world has been in the last 18 months, I could use some hope.

I have had hard times and really sad moments in the last few months. But when I look at it as a whole, there is so much more fun and happiness and joy. So while I have always felt it is important to show a balance of real life, I really want to highlight and focus only on the good in the last few months. I need the hope, joy, and goodness to become the bigger focus for my mind.

So in no particular order, I want to just mention some really amazing moments we have experienced since March.

-Sophie turned 3 and we celebrated by going to the beach in Galveston with family.
-Claire turned 5 and we celebrated by going down south to a wonderful place with a fun dolphin splash pad called Clear Lake Park.
-Bailey turned 7 and we celebrated by going to Moody Gardens and her favorite restaurant Rain Forest Cafe.
-The girls had a big combined birthday party where we rented out the whole trampoline park. It was the best ever.
-Claire finished her preschool program at the high school and it was so wonderful seeing her grow and learn and I have such gratitude knowing she will be ready for kindergarten this fall.
-Houston Zoo visits and carousel rides and train rides.
-We found a new park we love in Katy with a fun train theme.
-Bike riding and picnics.
-We have continued to have our Fun Friday tradition even though we are no longer homeschooling and it is summer time. We have created and/or decorated: cupcakes, cake, muffins, lemonade, cookies in fun shapes, popsicles, cookie dough balls, homemade ice cream and more to come!
-We washed the car outside in the sunshine, and also played in the rain together.
-We have started going to matinee movies and enjoying the AC during the heat of the summer with a fun big screen.
-We finished our reading rainbow and reaped the rewards! Including camping in the huge tent in the living room, bike ride, going to their favorite parks far away, new books, and ice cream!
-We started Sophie’s 1001 books before kindergarten tradition that we completed with both Bailey and Claire. As of right now we are almost to the 500 books milestone.
-Starting new experiences: Bailey did a basketball clinic, and her and Claire are doing a gymnastics summer class. Both of them are loving it and it has been teaching them good lessons of overcoming fears and building confidence.
-My sister Celine and my brother AJ visited a few weeks a part from eachother and helped lift my spirits, they showed love to my children, gave us all love and time, laughs, and much needed memories.
-We visited temple grounds again and it felt so wonderful to be closer to the Lord and feel extra spiritual upliftment.
-I love seeing the girls different creativity shine through their coloring pictures, block building, Minecraft world building, stardew valley farming, fort building, pretend play, and their games outside.
-My mom completed her heavy chemo regime, successfully removed her awful cancer through surgery, and she is almost through with her radiation treatment, so close to recovery!
-My brother Danny is in Chile now for his mission. He made it safely and is spreading the good word to those who he is able to reach while the country is still in covid lockdown, and is doing it with a smile. An example to me. His weekly calls to the family brings happiness, specially seeing everyone come together virtually for it. Helps me forget we are all thousands of miles apart.
-Many many fun pool days spent at Stacey’s enjoying sunshine and cousin time and fun flips and jumps into the pool and good food together. The girl’s love spending time with their cousins and we are so blessed to live close enough for them to build a good relationship with them.
-Fun play dates with our wonderful neighbors who live a stone’s throw away from our front door. We could have never gotten through the last year of quarantine without having our own pocket of normalcy together at home.
-Austin and Rhuvana both visited, Austin and Adam went to a fun car show (much needed bros date for Adam, who is surrounded by girls haha) and I enjoyed quality time with Rhuvana and our many deep meaningful conversations.
-Library’s have opened back up and the joy of bringing home a huge stack of new books to read makes us all so happy.
-Triumphant moments of mastering: putting on clothes, shoes, brushing teeth, buckling in car seats, unbuckling in car seats, working through hard emotions successfully, and conquering difficult speech sounds.
-Tea parties and toothless grins and flower picking and dandelion wishes and bug collecting and spa days and nail painting and Bailey/Claire/Sophie cuddles.

It has been a great couple of months. And we have many more wonderful things to look forward to in the last half of the year. I know that good will persevere over evil. Through Jesus Christ and His strength. The goodness in the world may not be as loud as the awful things that do happen, but it brings me comfort knowing that I can go out into the world around me and encounter real goodness and good people and good experiences.

I am very blessed and thankful for my life and my family. I don’t deserve any of this, but I will gladly enjoy it.

These are our Bits O’ Bertoch.

Cassie Bertoch

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Texas Freeze and Memories

2021 has proven to be quite an adventure already. In February Texas hit a major cold snap that resulted in power losses, icy snowy roads, water shut off and pipes bursting and cold cold temperatures. We were very blessed that we weren’t one of the many who had to deal with broken pipes and water damage. We did lose power in our house at 2:20am and we brought all the girls into bed with us to get cozy and warm. When we woke up after very little sleep, we packed up and camped out for the next four days with Adam’s parents where they had a generator and running water. Ally/John and their family were also there. It was a such a blessing because when we went back to check on our house, it registered at 48 degrees inside! The girls were so excited to have a cousin family sleepover and to play out in the freezing few inches of snow haha luckily they didnt really feel the gravity of the situation. But we were able to enjoy Minecraft parties and adult evening fun; I am thankful for the quality family time 🙂 I am thankful for neighbors who were safe and keeping an eye on our house and letting us know when the water and power was back on. Although my heart goes out to the many people who were not so lucky as us. Praying that everyone can have their homes repaired as soon as possible! 

While 2021 has been a bit crazy, we have still been blessed with fun family times. We surprised the girls with a trip to the Great Wolf Lodge the beginning of Feb and it was so amazing! A much needed family vacation with each other full of fun swimming and magic. It has become a new tradition 🙂 We had planned it a year ago and have been saving, and we were worried it wouldn’t happen. Which is partially why we kept it tight lipped, but it was thankfully open and it was the best watching the girls’ eyes get wide with excitement when we packed up and left. No matter what is happening in the world, having quality time as a family will always remind me of the good. I have loved watching my kids grow closer in their relationships and bonds with each other and I am going to miss them when they go back to school this fall! 

As we start our birthday season this month with Sophie turning 3, I am hopeful and prayerful that the rest of the year will improve as the vaccines continue to become more readily available and as life slowly starts to open up and become hopefully more “normal.” 

However, regardless of what the new normal becomes for the world, I know that as long as our little family of 5 is together, I have everything I need. 

These are our Bits O’ Bertoch

Cassie Bertoch

 

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Closing out 2020

I know we are already in the new year, but I wanted to close out 2020 with our late annual Christmas letter (if you click on it, it will open larger to read it easier)

and the left over pictures from December to show some of the wonderful memories we have been able to make in the last month of 2020.

I don’t know what 2021 will bring, but I do know that I have the ability to make it a good year no matter what is going on in the world, and that is what I am choosing to do. God Bless.