Great Wolf Fun

This year has started with some fun! We went to Great Wolf Lodge! We have had this trip planned for about 9 months, so we have been counting down for a long time! We were lucky this whole trip happened, because we almost had to postpone it because we ended up getting covid during Christmas break. Fun time (not). So we were crossing fingers and luckily the timing of doing our quarantine and our negative tests showing we were good to go happened in time for us to keep our trip! We all celebrated hard! We needed it!

And as usual, Great Wolf was amazing. This is our second year going, and it won’t be the last! I love having family memories of the 5 of us doing adventures together. Those are priceless and worth every sacrifice for it to happen. We played hard!! We did two nights (we may do 3 next time) and jam packed as much as we could. We did our quests with the wands we got last year, and it saved where we left off, which was so fun! Bailey and I have ONE last dragon to defeat for the huge Magi Quest adventure, until we get to start the Shadow Quest adventure. That silver dragon has our name on it for next time 😉 The quests may have been my favorite part…and I may or may not have quested while the girls were alseep to help further their wands….haha. The girls’ favorite part was def the water park. It has a huge indoor park with wave pools and slides and tons of pools for different ages and levels and depths, and even hot tubs to warm up.
Overall it was the best trip, and I wouldn’t trade those memories with my family for anything.

Then it was back to grind with school, preschool, work, and cleaning the house and getting routines back in order haha. It was a bit of a shock that first morning of waking up at 6:30am again….But we are doing great now and chugging along. The girls are already looking forward to spring break for the next time off from school haha.

These are our Bits O’ Bertoch.

Cassie Bertoch

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Bertoch Christmas 2021

It’s that time of year! Our annual virtual Christmas letter 🙂 (You can also click the link below the pic and the pdf will pull up)

Bertoch Christmas Letter 2021

It’s been a great Christmas! Well, few actually! We had the one with my mom visiting early this month. Then we had a Friendsmas with our neighbors and exchanged gifts and played games and had some good friend time. Christmas Eve we did our traditional fondue, but Texas style this time per Adam’s idea….brisket queso haha im sure our European relatives were rolling over it, but it was 10/10 for everyone haha. And then we do the girls siblings gift opening. I love this tradition so much because they are all so excited about giving each other the gifts that they personally and meticulously picked out for each other. Melts my heart each time. And of course we had our own Christmas morning with the girlies (at 5:45am I might add…) and then later on that day we went over to Adam’s moms house for Christmas with grandma and the family! Whew! These girls are sure loved and spoiled 🙂
But the fun isn’t over yet!! We decided to do one last family fun trip before school starts back up….. so we will be going to Great Wolf Lodge right after New Years! We are all sorts of excited. This will be our second time going, and the girls have been counting down the milliseconds haha. It will be a great way to start the year 2022! Quality fun time with family 🙂
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and will have a happy new year! We usually do fondue for New Years eve as well because the girls love it so much (and I like to treat myself to some raclette cheese and potatoes…much to the nose plugging of those around me haha) and Adam and I will watch the fireworks burst around us in our neighborhood at midnight in our pjs with sleeping kiddos who miraculously never wake up to the thundering haha. 2022 is going to be great. I can feel it.

These are our Bits O’ Bertoch.

Cassie Bertoch

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6 Month Update!

Welp. It has been about six months since I have updated on here. Not because I didn’t want to though! My website plan had a cap on media upload storage, and I finally met that cap. The next step up for the upgrade was a decent price increase, so I waited until I felt the least guilty about upgrading for more storage haha. So enjoy the 400+ pictures at the end of this post to catch up the last half of this year!

I do want to share some amazing times that we have had in more detail. I have gotten lazy and mainly doing photo dumps instead of written explanations of how life has been going; and I utilize this blog as a family yearbook, so I do want to remember the details! Hopefully I will update more frequently now that I have plenty of storage, so the events of our lives are more fresh in my mind 🙂

SO! I will break it down by month haha.

July:

-The Fourth of July was so fun! Adam and I loooove going to firework shows. We used to go every year in Idaho, and we continued while in Utah and even Lubbock. We went to one a few years ago here, but the more kiddos we had and the harder time keeping track of them in the crowds made it more stressful than fun haha. But we decided to test the waters and go to a show not far from us. Was it packed? Yes. Did we have to park far away and walk a while? Yes. Were there still some stressful times of keeping track of the girls and them getting cranky? Yup. But was it worth it? YESSSS! We got there early so we could have a prime lawn spot near the firework launch area and enjoyed the live bands and playground in the area while we waited for it to get dark. Bailey and I had fun dancing to the band playing at the front of the lawn. 🙂 Luckily we also brought the iPad for chill time when it got dark before the show. Once the show started we all laid down on the blanket and just watched it above our heads. It was THE BEST! Totally worth the hour of traffic in the parking lot to get home haha. The girls couldn’t stop talking about it for weeks and it will definitely not be the last firework show we go to!

-We met my Mom and Dad in Florida! This is the first time we have seen my mom in person since before her cancer journey. Thankfully she completed her treatment and surgery successfully and as of right now is in remission and healthy and happy! It was healing to my soul to give her a huge hug and see with my own eyes that she was okay. It was a week of bliss! We split a condo on the beach and lived it up 🙂 we were able to see everyone else while we were there too! Pretty much all of my extended family on my side is in Florida except for my parents and siblings. It was a wonderful reunion and we were able to connect and see so many loved ones in such a short time. It was truly a celebration. Adam and I also celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary. 10 years! Wow how time flies! Adam and I went and got sushi at the same little dock restaurant that we went to right before we got pregnant with Bailey in 2013. It was a fun throwback. My dad also rented us an hour of jet ski time. Which, full disclosure, terrified me haha. I am not a big fan of deeper water and it took some bravery for me to ride that little jet ski sloppily along the gulf and under the mid bay bridge haha. I was pretty proud of myself! The trip to Florida was exactly what we needed to feel refreshed and ready to tackle the girls going back to school.

August:

-The girls started school! I homeschooled last year, but we prayerfully decided that they should go back to public school, and it was hard for me to send them 🙁 But they have been thriving and doing well. A bit of separation anxieties, specially after having the fear of the pandemic keeping us pretty cozy doing our own family things; so to be thrust back into hundreds of people was an adjustment. Claire continued her speech therapy through the school, and continues to make improvements and I am so proud of her! She works so hard. I have enjoyed visiting the girls at their schools for their various activities, book fairs, festivals, dazzle days, and class parties. Im so proud of them, not only for doing their best academically, but for being good, kind hearted, girls.

September:

-Sophie started preschool! She is following suit with her sisters in the high school child guidance program 🙂 She goes a few times a week and she loves it! She is so happy to have her own thing to do, and all the student teachers love and gush over her as well. I have a feeling Sophie runs the classroom haha. We have gotten into a good groove in the morning with getting the girlies up and ready and out the door for the bus and preschool drop off haha. Actually, my favorite part of the day is when the five of us are gathered at the table for breakfast for a morning devotional, song, and prayer before each heading into our own different directions. It’s a nice send off each morning 🙂

October:

-The girls all had a long weekend off from school so Adam and I decided we needed a break and spend some time with just the five of us somewhere we could disconnect from the busy world. I found an airbnb cabin about an hour away on a huge farm. All you could see for miles was nature and beauty. We had a cozy little cabin with everything we needed and we just explored and got dirty and stayed up late. One night the girls were looking at the stars and commented that they dont remember seeing them in real life before…..that’s when I knew we made the right decision haha. We searched for constellations and planets and the North Star 🙂 There were some horses and donkeys on the farm and Bailey was so drawn to them; and they were drawn to her. She has such a tender heart, and I think they can sense it. Claire is my little adrenaline junkie and was pulling G forces with Adam pushing her on the saddle swings they had there haha. She wanted to explore every inch of that farm and play in all the dirt she could find haha. Sophie hung like a champ as much as she could. She would explore and then would need some time to recoup in the cabin haha. she did love the pebbles on the rock driveway in front of the cabin haha. Overall it was a much needed getaway and a gem of a find, and it will not be our last visit!

-Halloween was so fun this year! I finally got my dream family costume. Ever since I found out Sophie was going to be my third girl, I knew I wanted to have a PowerPuff Girl theme Halloween. I was a HUGE powerpuff fan as a kid and have so many fond memories of watching it with my siblings, particularly at my nana’s house late at night while listening to all the grown ups talk and laugh on the porch. 🙂 So I have waited YEARS for this dream, and this was the year! It did take a little convincing, but eventually they were all on board, with promises that they could pick any costume they wanted next year if they would indulge me haha. I created their masks with felt and hot glue and many hours of cursing myself haha. But I am happy with how they turned out! I sewed some t shirt dresses and some sashes and BOOM! My own little power puffs 🙂 Adam was the Professor and I was ms Bellum. We had our ward trunk or treat and did our tradition of making an icky touch box haha. Its always a hit; the teens actually usually had a harder time than the kids haha. It was a great night. And then we went trick or treating in grandma’s neighborhood with the cousins on halloween itself. The girls had a blast!

November:

-Sophie finished her 1001 books before kindergarten challenge!!! We did this with every girl when they were 3 🙂 We did our tradition of an ice cream treat after each 100 books, and it was a celebration to add all of her pictures to the wall and finish up the challenge for the family. Ive really enjoyed doing this challenge with the girls. And I loved watching Bailey and Claire read to Sophie and be a part of it as well. Full circle. Im trying to not get out of the habit of reading so that my girls can continue to love books. (I can’t wait to maybe be able to do this challenge again when I am a Nana for my grand babies!)

-Friendsgiving/Thanksgiving! We did our annual Friendsgiving with our neighbors next door. I can’t be thankful enough to have best friends live 20 feet from our front door. And for our kids to be best friends. I love that Tara and I never have to leave our doorway as we send kiddos to each others houses for playdates. For Friendsgiving we usually schedule a day where we all can make it, and we just bake and cook all day while the kids play and enjoy and the adults hang and talk, and we sit down for the best meal ever and toast to friendship. I love it 🙂 Then for actual Thanksgiving this year Adam and I decided to try something different. We still had the Moody Gardens family membership that my Mema and Pepa gifted us last Christmas (which has been AMAZING! the gift that kept on giving! Gave us many fun excursions, and much needed time away during the pandemic) but it was expiring soon, so we decided to have one last trip. So we booked a hotel at the moody gardens resort the night before thanksgiving, explored the pyramids, saw as many 3d iMax films we could, and then did the mile long festival of lights 🙂 It was a perfect day! We woke up and had so much fun that we decided to add another night so we wouldn’t have to check out before our Thanksgiving buffet in the big ballroom. It was soooo good!! a bit fancier than I was used to, and I felt slightly self conscious with our crew haha but it was all delicious and beautiful and we all left stuffed to a brim! We went back to our room and napped before enjoying more movies and pyramids and family time. It was a fun trip. The girls didn’t want to leave haha. We will probably never have this opportunity again, so we knew we had to take it when we could, and we definitely dont regret it 🙂 I am excited to see what we end up doing next year haha.

December:

-My mom came to surprise the girls!!! I didn’t tell them she was coming, but she decided to do a little quick weekend trip to celebrate an early Christmas with them. Their reactions getting off the bus were priceless 🙂 We jam packed the weekend with some quality Nana time and lots of fun Christmas activities! I miss my mom so much. She’s one of my favorite people in the whole world, and I know my girls feel the same. My mom has a way of making people’s love cups full in such a personal way. Im so thankful that even though she lives far away, that my girls are still so close to her. I will try to FaceTime her and my phone will get taken for some alone time talking to nana haha I have to get in line! I am excited for when my mom comes back for spring break 🙂

I know I have left out so many wonderful details of the last 6 months, so please dont be offended if you haven’t been included! There are also plenty of pictures that capture all of the day to day things we did as well 🙂 (I have no idea what order they will all be shuffled in…so good luck haha)

There are many more things for us to look forward to as well! Tomorrow is the last day of school before the Christmas break and we are all looking forward to some quality family time without school routines 🙂 We have Christmas and family time and relaxing; plus we are going to Great Wolf Lodge again at the new year and we can’t wait!!

I feel so blessed. Until the next update 🙂

These are our Bits O’ Bertoch.

Cassie Bertoch