Category Archives: Life

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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Nearing the End of 2020

These last few months have felt like a test of patience and faith.

I have been pleasantly surprised with my adventure with homeschooling with the girls. I am lucky in the fact that they are eager to learn, so it doesn’t feel like a chore and dragging them to the table.
Bailey is in first grade, so we are working on reading and sentence structures and time and money and basic math. She is an avid reader, and I keep a reading log of the books she has read so far during her daily reading time, and each time she finishes a sheet, it makes my own book loving heart so happy! I am also so proud of her and the work that she puts into her education. She yearns to learn and understand. I am thankful for the flexibility of taking breaks when brains start hitting the wall, and I have learned when she starts to hit that wall. It has brought us closer together, and I know she loves the one on one time I (try my best) to give her each morning. She is maturing and has grown so much emotionally and spiritually and physically. She has such a pure kind heart that is a gift she was born with. She has an obedient nature, and I feel lucky that at this stage I don’t feel like I have to worry a lot about her, I can trust her judgements. She has such a fun sense of humor, and plays so well with her sisters. She also loves to play Minecraft with her Dad. She’s our little gamer. Her and Adam have built worlds full of houses shaped like candy canes, bee hives, temples, pumpkins, flags, animals, christmas trees, and aquariums and lava volcanos and gardens galore! If you can imagine it, they can create it! I love it!

Claire is in Pre-K, so we have been working on tracing words and sounds and recognition, as well as some basic math and counting skills. She also loves to learn and she puts in the effort. Claire will sit and work on a concept or letter until she figures it out. She has the patience to sit in the difficulty. She has now also started preschool with the high school program she did last year. We felt that since it is only a couple hours a week, the masks wouldn’t be too hard for her, and it would give her some classroom experience before she potentially goes to full time kindergarten next year. She loves it. And she is thriving. She is so creative. She colors elaborate, beautiful pictures, and is really proud of the fact that she can write all of her families names! She lives in her own little world sometimes and will create these elaborate stories and playtimes. She particularly loves playing Mommy, and I often find her little baby dolls or stuffed animals tucked into makeshift beds in various places in the house. It’s the most adorable thing ever haha. Claire also started speech therapy in October because I felt she could use some help, and I am very thankful I did because she definitely needed more help than I knew how to give her. Her speech therapist is amazing and Claire puts in 1000% of effort in each session. Claire is an inspiration for me in dedication and hard work. When she is on her own, without knowing anyone is watching, she will work through the mouth exercises and letter sounds she struggles with. She wants to be heard and understood and I am so glad that there are people who are trained in helping people to communicate more effectively. I am excited to see where she will be this time next year 🙂

Sophie is our spunky bundle of fun. She loves to be at the table when I’m teaching the girls and will play with play doh or the math blocks, or write gibberish with a pencil on paper to feel like she is doing school too. Her favorite days are Fun Friday’s because we usually do Bingo with lifesaver gummies and create fun crafts 🙂 She understands so much from being around her sisters, and will play pretend with them and follow their rules for the game (for the most part haha). She is now fully potty trained! My last one! No more diapers or pull ups! It’s glorious. She loves being independent and doing things on her own. She loves to build blocks and will create endless “cakes” to sell in her little shop haha. She loves playing tea party and cafe with her sisters and playing with the nativity sets we have around the house right now. She is my last baby, and watching her grow is bittersweet. I love every stage her and the girls are in right now,….but knowing that my baby is getting bigger and bigger is tough on my momma heart!

We are in a good routine with schooling and schedules and it’s been nice! I have my little school nook corner at the kitchen table, and I have a bulletin board that I call the “Wall of Fame.” The first couple months I used it as a trophy wall to showcase the things the girls have done 🙂 And then in November I decided to do a thankful tree, where everyday of the month we all wrote down 1 thing we are thankful for, and 1 person we love on heart shaped leaves. It became quite the fluffy beauty by the end of the month! And I feel it brought a sense of love and gratitude in our home from focusing on that each day. 🙂 Now that we are starting December and the Christmas season, I made it a Light the World calendar that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints do each year. I tweaked the activities to make them something the girls can do, and we will do one each day of the month. Light the World is a program that focuses each day on Christ and becoming closer to Him this season. Here is the link to the website that explains it if anyone is interested https://www.comeuntochrist.org/light-the-world-2020 .

Something that has been rough for me is the fact that my Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in October. It blind sided everyone and it took me a bit to wrap my head around it and accept it, but I have faith that she will be okay. She is a fighter. I need her. My girls need her. The first night she told me, when we weren’t sure exactly how far along or what the plans were yet, and it sent me into a spiral. Im only 30! I cant lose my Mom! I slept in my girls room that night and listened to them breathe while I silently cried and thought about all of the potentially missed memories and advice, and my fear that I could one day die young as well since it could now run in the family (my nana had breast cancer too). It definitely helped put things in perspective for me and in what truly matters in life. FAMILY. Luckily her doctors are very optimistic. It’s an aggressive cancer, so she started chemo very quickly, but they have a good plan in place, and she has been a trooper. I feel confident that I have many more years with her! My girls pray every single day for her and for her cancer to be healed, and I am a believer of prayer for sure. She was going to come and visit and be here this week actually, but because of starting chemo, she had to cancel. But that’s okay, because she needs to focus on getting better so we can make new memories! We have plans this coming July to meet in Florida at a condo on the beach (for Adam and I’s 10 year anniversary too!) and that is going to be our cancer free celebration beach vacation! She’s got this.

My brother Danny is on his mission! He was supposed to go to Chile, but with covid he was reassigned to San Antonio, so it has been neat knowing he’s over near our neck of the woods! I love the fact that we can have weekly facetime sessions now on their missions, and I love that it brings missionary work and the spirit of the lord even stronger in our home because of his service and talking about his experiences each week. I have seen him grow and his testimony blossom. It’s weird seeing my baby brother be an adult! But I love the relationship we have and I am proud of the man he has become. Of all my siblings actually! I feel very blessed to be so close to each one of them and I am so proud of who they have become. Aj is in the military and is a strong man of faith and is hilarious and always has me crying with laughter. He is so sweet to my girlies too 🙂 And Bean got a job at Primary Children’s in Utah and she is killing it! She is a child life specialist and is blessing so many families with her tender heart. My girls are jonesing for fun Aunt Bean to visit again!

I feel very lucky to be surrounded by so much love and family. Adam’s family is so wonderful and I am thankful for the deep meaningful relationships I have made with them. I feel lucky to live so close to them and get together for holidays and fun moments and memories. Adult siblings hanging out is just the best guys haha. And the girls love their cousins!

I am really excited for this Christmas season to end the year on a much needed hopeful note. I feel like I am emotionally crawling to January 1st, but I know the Lord will strengthen me, and I am so blessed. I have faith that as long as I turn to Him and trust in Him and His plan for me and my family, then I cant go wrong. He is the source of happiness. And I rely on that!

Have a wonderful Christmas season, and enjoy the massive random photo dump of our little family’s lives 🙂