Category Archives: Life

We Are Still Here!

It’s been a few months! We are still here and surviving! It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster if I’m being honest. Ive had some hard moments these last few months. Moments where I felt defeated and alone and exasperated and exhausted and spread thin. However, luckily, with all of the low points, there has also been friendship and family and laughter and fun and meaningful conversations and silly conversations and good food…etc. So it is all a balance it seems haha.

Time is all a blur at this point, so it is hard for me to remember everything along this timeline, but to give some highlights:

-Sophie is about 75% potty trained. We are close people!! So close! We have good days and bad days, but she is slowly and steadily getting it, which has made all the difference. Because it means we can leave the house for longer periods of time and go and do things without as much fear.
-Bailey has lost 2 teeth!! Her two bottom ones and she is looking so grown! And Claire could be the best knot tier in the nation. No joke. I have had to cut so many randomly tied shoe laces off of things because I cant for the life of me untie the dang knots haha.
-We went to Utah!!!! We drove up in 2 days. They were long days! But the girls were troopers! We downloaded so many movies on the iPad and had a ton of snacks and activities for them, so we were prepared haha. Adam was also a trooper for doing all the driving while I climbed all around the back taking care of the girls haha we made a good team. It was so wonderful in Utah. From beginning to end. We needed it so much. To get out and get away and forget about the virus. It was so great to reconnect with my siblings  after so long and for the girls to be so spoiled and played with and loved haha. For my brother’s 18th birthday my parents got all of us 2 hours at Flow Rider, the indoor water surfing place. Haha well in 40 minutes: I pulled my groin, Adam tweaked his elbows, Celine cut herself on the edge of the side wall…all the people 25 and up….and of course Danny and Aj were killing it haha. So we left after an hour and licked our wounds and pride haha. But we made some fun memories 🙂 Flow Rider was basically the only place we really went to, and it was just the adults. We took the girls to the park and a splash pad, but we just had good quality family time at home, in the backyard, at parks, and with one another. It was great. I was able to witness my brother Danny get the Melchizedek priesthood and get ready for his mission to Santiago Chile, (which has been reassigned for the time being to San Antoni, Texas this coming September). I had the most quality time Ive had with Aj since he was a kid, and was able to see how much he has turned his life around and become a strong man of God–it made my heart so happy! And Its been so long since I have laughed so hard. I was thankful to have some really great life changing conversations with my sister Celine and be with her during some pivotal moments, I am proud of her strength and courage. And of course my mom and dad were the cutest Nana and Pop Pop ever! The girls agonized over waiting for Nana to wake up every morning to play! (And to give Nana credit, she was up at 6:30am! haha) The girls love them all so much! In fact, Bailey still prays everyday that Uncle Danny will be safe on his mission for two years. 🙂 I was able to visit my bestie Merinda and meet her newest little bundle of joy, Michael! It was seriously squad goals, sitting on her back porch watching our kids run and play together. Who would have thought when we were little 18 year old freshmen, that 12 years later we would be where we are at. It made my heart so happy. I love her so much.
The girls were in mourning when we left. It was 2.5 weeks of nothing but love, fun, and play. I was sad to go too! We had our 9 year anniversary on the road actually! Haha we celebrated in the hotel with pizza and cupcakes! It was one to remember 🙂 On the way home we were lucky enough to head over and see Austin and Rhuvana and spend some time with them. They fed us well and we always feel so comfy with them, and have lots of laughs and good talks. I love it. I was thankful to see their cute house and where they live and spend time in their space. It’s different when people come to you and your space. So I am glad we were able to do that 🙂
-But home sweet home! There’s no place like your own bed, no matter how much your heart misses. We slept so good that first night home, we all did! Haha.
-While we were gone, Ally had a beautiful baby boy! Little Hyrum! Yay for another nephew! And she is a flippin rock star to be pregnant and give birth during this pandemic. Hyrum will have quite the story to tell his friends one day of him coming into this world.
-Not long after we got home, Adam turned around and flew to Washington for the graveside service of his sweet Grandma Bird. I was lucky to have met her a couple times before she had Alzheimer’s 😦 She passed with so many surrounding her in love and support. I am so glad Adam was able to go and be there with his family and celebrate her life. She will be missed by many.
-Now that we are home and getting back into some kind of routine, school is the next thing on the list. With Covid, schools are requiring face masks for everyone pre-k and up, all day. As well as not being able to socialize and have kids near each other. I understand the reasonings behind it. But that is hard for a 6 year old. And I know my 6 year old, and the lack of social connection would break her little spirit. We prayed about it really hard and felt that for her personally, it would be best to keep her home. (Side note: zero judgement for those who are going to on campus school. This is just what fits best for my family). So we had decided to do the online option. But then found out it was going to be mainly all day on Zoom. And I don’t know how that would work with my other two girls, and how Bailey would be able to navigate that…so we ultimately decided to withdraw her from school this year and homeschool her myself. I am actually really excited. More than I ever thought I would be! haha. I am thankful to have an extra year with my girlies home with me 🙂 Im going to do some pre-k work with Claire too to help her prepare for kindergarten as well, so they will be able to have school time together. 🙂 I am sure there will be hard days and good days. But I felt peace for the first time in making this decision regarding school, so that alone has been an answer to prayers.

So here we go! After having such an eventful few months, I am curious to what the next few will be! Stay tuned! haha.

Enjoy the hundreds of pictures of random family fun and love 🙂

These are our Bits O’ Bertoch.

Cassie Bertoch

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The Bertoch Quarantine Experience During Covid19

Things are slowly, SLOWLY starting to ease back into life. Stores and restaurants are opening up a little and people can be around each other again. I havent brought the girls out with me to the store just yet. Im still a bit skittish with everyone wearing masks and I don’t want to freak them out. With a spark of light at the end of the tunnel of this whole covid19 quarantine, I just wanted to document our personal experience with it. We have been very blessed to have an overall positive feeling with this quarantine, I know others are not so fortunate. But we had some really special moments/family times during this worldwide pandemic.

-We had 4 birthdays during this quarantine. All three of the girls had birthdays where we  had no party and no other people except the 5 of us. We made the best of it by still getting the traditional name donuts and singing them happy birthday when they wake up at the crack of dawn. We tried to at least get out for a family nature walk as well to help celebrate them turning a year older. We are hoping to still do their big science birthday when things get more normal, so we can still have a fun “birthday” celebration with friends and family…even if it’s months later haha. And Adam actually had his birthday the day after the shelter in place was lifted, so it was really special being able to go over to his Mom’s house and swim in the pool and be with cousins and loved ones after not being able to be around them for 6 weeks. These will be memorable birthdays that’s for sure!
-Bailey learned to ride her bike without training wheels! She was so ready. From taking them off to riding without help was maybe 30 minutes. She rocked it. And she didn’t have her first real bike crash until about a week later haha.
-Bailey has her first loose tooth. She has been working on it and I was secretly hoping for a covid19 tooth fairy moment….but it is not quite ready to come out yet haha.
-Claire and her writing and coloring has sky rocketed. With doing the at home learning program with Bailey and getting to experience the home school type of learning, I was able to get some ideas for what Claire could do to increase in her learning and she has been doing amazing! I am so proud of her! She even created her name in play doh the other day haha I was impressed. Claire loves to watch Bailey do her online reading program through the school district and has already begun to pick up some early learning techniques. Plus Bailey will read her tons of books 🙂
-Book Charts. We wanted to help give motivation with reading and continue a challenge of some sorts since we finished the reading to Claire 1001 books before kindergarten goal a few months ago. And Bailey is so good at reading. She amazes me everytime. So we started a book chart where she gets to color a book for each book she reads out loud to her sisters. At the end of the chart, her reward is a new book. Her chart is 50 books, and she has already earned 3 books. She is a rockstar. And about halfway through we gave Claire a book chart to color in for each book she listens to with Bailey, she can color a book and earn a new book too. It has been awesome. I love seeing them all cuddled up together reading and giggling over books. Their favorite series are the Elephant and Piggie Books, and Calvin and Hobbes. Every night they fall asleep to reading books (even Sophie!) and it makes my book loving heart so happy!!!
-I chipped my front tooth. On April Fools Day. Of course when all the dentists and places are closed. I was grabbing something out of my pantry and the sugar canister fell into my face and chipped my front tooth. I looked like Jim Carrey on Dumb and Dumber. And it was the front tooth that I hadn’t chipped before, because the other front tooth is already half fake from a chip years ago! Yeah I cried in the bathroom pretty hard. I felt bad because the girls had no idea what to do or how to react so they were just hugging me and crying with me and then that made me feel bad and cry harder that they were crying, so Adam was left with a bunch of crying women and a chipped tooth scenario haha. I called my dentist office and they said to put some tooth filler paste stuff on it for the sensitivity and they will get me in once they open in May. I just got it officially filled May 4th and now you cant even tell it was chipped. My dentist rocks haha. And the girls were glad that Mommy’s tooth is fixed haha.
-Potty training. We started potty training Sophie near the end of April. I was not excited. Nor was I anywhere close to mentally being ready for it….but I couldn’t ignore the signs Sophie was giving me any longer. So…..through Adam’s encouragement, we decided to dive in. It’s been a rollercoaster. She will have AMAZING days, and then HAAAAAARD days. I struggled pretty hard at first and it was rough for me. But through many, many, MANY prayers for patience, I have been doing a lot better with it. And Sophie is starting to grasp the concept. In fact, now that I think of it, I don’t think she had any accidents today! First time ever! She feels like such a big girl and is so proud to be wearing panties like her big sisters. It is pretty crazy too because for the first time since April 20, 2014 I haven’t changed any diapers! My girls all overlapped, so there was always diapers. And as of April 22, 2020, I closed that chapter. Sophie wears pull ups at night and panties during the day. It is quite the milestone in the Bertoch household. With things still being relatively closed, we havent had to venture too long out with Sophie, so I am hoping and praying she can continue to grow and learn to allow for more outings soon. 🙂
-Adam has been able to continue working. Which has been a blessing. We have definitely felt the impact with low numbers of clients, and we still are not anywhere near back to a normal load, but the fact that we had any amount of income coming in was a blessing. We were able to stay afloat and survive, and that is a win in my book. I know there are many many people who are not so lucky, and my heart goes out to them.
-I feel like our family bond has greatly increased from the amount of time we have been able to spend together. I have seen the girls grow closer and play games and spend time together and genuinely enjoy each other and it makes my momma heart so happy. I have enjoyed so much being a part of their at home learning and seeing them grasp concepts and get excited about various topics (flamingos are the newest craze btw). And I just have felt like my house has been able to be my special sanctuary. We are able to focus on each other and not the outside world. I am thankful now more than ever that I unplugged from social media and news outlets. While I know that it can be important to be kept informed, steering clear helped keep my anxiety at a functional level (I was on medication years ago for it actually when my anxiety spiraled out of control and I felt like I was losing myself. Changed my life. I am so thankful for modern medicine! I definitely recommend it for those who feel like they need some help!) But Adam made sure to stay up to date to allow his business to keep with the CDC rules, and and let me know if there was anything I needed to do…like the mandatory masks at stores rule). And I feel it has been all the difference in the anxiety levels in our home. While I know there have been so much suffering and heartache during this pandemic, I have been thankful for the experience our family has felt in bringing us even more of strengthened, spiritual unit.
-We explored new nature trails since playgrounds were closed. There was one behind the temple actually, and you could see the top of the angel Moroni statue, it was comforting.
-I have found a love for running outside…which I swore would never happen haha.
-I have been branching out and learning and trying new dinner dishes and trying out some baking skills.
-I dabbled in expanding my sewing skills (thanks for coaching me through on marco polo Rhuvana!)
-We had some Mario Kart tournaments online with family, and Zoom bingo with family, and many many daily hilarious/real talk conversations through marco polo. I am thankful for the technology today that allows for connection even amongst a stay at home order.
-General conference and Easter in April boosted my soul spiritually. It made me feel that things were going to be okay. That life will return back to a kind of normal at some point, and that I didnt need to be afraid. It brought so much peace and comfort. And participating in the world wide fast on Good Friday was a sacred experience for me. I know that I could not have gotten through this scary time without the guidance and comfort of my Savior Jesus Christ. Many many prayers on my knees have brought peace to my soul. I would have come unraveled otherwise (and had moments where I got pretty close anyway if I am totally honest).

This worldwide pandemic will go down in history for many reasons. Lots of statistics and numbers and scariness and worries of the future. But I wanted to remember the good. There were many moments of good for this little Bertoch family during the covid19 pandemic. I thank my Heavenly Father everyday. And continue to pray that the world will make it through this chapter in history and come out better and more loving on the other side.

Here are our quarantine pics in whatever random order it displays. Enjoy. 🙂

These are our Bits O’ Bertoch.

Cassie Bertoch

 

 

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Finding the Good

There is a lot of anxiety and fear and uncertainty in the world right now. Everyone is trying to find out what their new normal is with the Covid19 virus and trying to deal with the limitations it brings. 

We have had our fair share of disappointment/sadness/fear with my mom having to leave early from visiting, postponing the girls birthday party, my brother cancelling his flight to come see us, distancing from loved ones, businesses being out of stock of supplies, and the inability to gather for worship in our churches and temples.

But we are very lucky. There are many many people who are in far off worse situations than we are. And for that I count my many blessings. And that is why I am writing today. I want to acknowledge the blessings around me and find the good in all of this fear and anxiety:

We are healthy. Granted, while we have been monitoring some coughs and low grade fevers that we feel are probably unrelated or allergy related….we have been in good health and good spirits.

We are spending quality time together. Schools have been closed until April 10th at the moment, and various businesses and activities have been cancelled. Which has allowed for us to spend great quality time together as a family. We have had many dance parties, read lots of books, good conversations at the dinner table, created imaginary worlds, played new games, and enjoyed being in close proximity with each other. I feel like I have been able to connect with my children on a deeper level because I am more present with them and more intentional with my time. It has strengthened our relationship and bond as a family. Sophie turned 2 in the midst of this and we were able to enjoy her special day and help her feel loved and oblivious to the stress outside our home. 🙂
Plus, to add, we were able to have an amazing 3 days with my mom while she was here. While we wished we could have had more time, I know that the Lord magnified the time she was able to spend here, and I am so thankful that she was able to make it back to Utah before things were shut down. Tender mercies.

Adam has been able to continue work. Because he has his own practice that is one on one, he doesn’t have to worry about shutting down due to crowds or too many people. He has been taking the precautions given by the CDC and has been able to continue helping people through this crisis, as well as continue to provide financially for us. 

We have what we need. In the time leading up to the craziness, we were able to collect food and supplies along the way and have been blessed with enough of a stockpile that we do not have to be worried for the next while. Thank goodness we were able to grab toilet paper! haha. Not to mention so many people have helped us and provided us with support. We were even sent some boredom buster games through Amazon from family members! Those seemingly small acts mean so much to me. 

Technology can connect us. Even though this can be a very isolating time, technology allows people to connect from afar. I have been able to Facetime/text my family, friends, and church members and see how they are doing and keep up with information. Ironically I had gotten rid of my Facebook a couple weeks ago, so I have been unplugged in that sense….which has also been a blessing for me because then I am able to be slightly removed from the panic of the world. I can choose what information I search out, and find truth amongst the rumors and chaos. And that has been personally helpful for me and my anxiety. Emails and text notifications allow me to stay up to date on all of the important local information regarding school closures, rules/regulations, and information from the church about new procedures. Blessings.

Any kind of normal behaviors. I needed to feel like a normal person and see the outside world, so we drove by the temple grounds thinking they would be locked up tight. But the gate was open! And we were the only ones on the grounds, so we were able to enjoy the beauty of the flowers and earth around us and have some fresh air and feel the grounding peace that being near the temple brings. Then we did a drive through donut run to support local small business and found the kindest family who went above and beyond to spoil my girls and help them feel a little more normal too. It made all the difference today.

I could go on and on, but I wanted to shed light on the fact that you can always find the silver lining. You can always find the good that is happening around you. 

I am so grateful for my ability to pray to my Father in Heaven and my Savior Jesus Christ. I know that if I put my trust in them, then I have no need for fear. I have felt so much divine peace and guidance in the midst of the panic, and that has been the greatest blessing of all. I am thankful to know that they know the big picture, and that they personally love me and my family and all of us–His children. Crazy/sad things happen in a mortal world with natural disasters and the agency of others… but we always have a loving Father in Heaven and Savior who can help us through anything. I know that our Prophet Russel M Nelson is guided by the Lord and will guide us through this storm. We need to band together and pray together and look for the silver linings and the tender mercies. I have faith that we can all make it through this and potentially come out even stronger on the other side.

I know that whatever happens, I am going to do my best to follow God and protect my family. If you are seeking peace and comfort and guidance, I recommend this site: www.churchofjesuschrist.org