Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas 2012

It's obviously been a really long time since I updated our blog-mostly because I really didn't know what to say over the past few months. We've certainly been going through a stretching trial in our lives, but we've also just been extremely busy with the stage of life. So, below is our "Christmas card," with highlights! 

As many of you know, 2012 has been a difficult year in our family. However, our God is faithful, and we’d like to focus on His blessings this year & look forward to His continued work in 2013! We so appreciate your prayers for our family!
· In January, we enjoyed a wonderful family vacation (with friends) to Disneyland and got to visit Dave’s grandparents.
· Callie turned 2, moved into a big girl bed and is now potty-trained! She also continues to amaze us with her vocabulary, and we love listening to her sing songs and Bible verses!
· A new niece, Nora Anne, joined our family in May.
· We found out Baby Girl Bertolini #2 is on the way (Feb. 2013)!
· Dave began his FINAL year of his Master’s at Western Seminary (set to graduate April 2013!) and will, Lord-willing, assume the role of Senior Pastor at our church in September of 2013. 
· Finally, despite the very painful circumstances, the Lord has used Dad to touch so many lives for Him and there is more than 1 new Believer for each month we have been apart! We choose to praise. 

With love, Dave, Amy, Callie and Baby B.

Monday, March 12, 2012


So, we took Callie to Disneyland in January, and I haven't posted about it...I'm taking the easy way out, so here is a video highlighting the trip!

Almost 2!

A very brief synopsis-mostly in pictures, of what we've been up to these last couple months! We decided to potty train. Cold turkey method-threw out all the diapers for both day and night and into the big girl panties. They are so cute in this size! Callie, for the most part, has done great! I get her up in the night to go when I have to, or when she cries out. We moved her to a big girl bed! Found one on Craig's list for a great deal that matched the rest of her furniture! She LOVES it-however, it takes her much longer to go to sleep because she likes to play in there. The posts have 4 removable "microphones" that she uses to sing. (especially perfect for ABC's and Jesus Loves Me). She sings ALL THE TIME!

First night in Big Girl Bed!
Still enjoys baths
Looking so much older!
Wrestling cousin A.J.
Ready for church with stickers from going potty in the toilet!
A rare sunny day!
The microphone :-)
We went outside and Callie said "Oh, sunshine!" I said, "Yes, God gave us sunshine today." She responded with a resounding, "THANK YOU, GOD!!"
My Cutie Pie!
Pretty in purple (side note, this dress was a hand-me-down from a church friend, but it happens to be the same dress the flower girls wore in our wedding :-) How fun is that?!)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Success-what's your definition?

This summer is my high school reunion. While my classmates are talking about how old we are, I'm the young one in most of my current friendships, so that's not what I've been thinking about. What's been on my mind as I think about seeing people from high school (many for the first time since we graduated) is what our perception of each other will be upon meeting again and learning the life directions of our peers. When we graduate from high school and go off "into the world" as they say, we all aim to be successful. For many small-town graduates, I think "success" conjures images of lucrative careers, travel, perhaps an attractive spouse and a fashionable home and car.
My senior year of high school, I was voted the "Female Most Likely to Succeed" for the yearbook. I think students had the understanding that this was just the politically correct way of saying "the one with the best grades." I have always enjoyed learning new things and God blessed me with "school brains" so most subjects came pretty naturally. I also worked hard. Combine those things with my type "A" perfectionist personality and for better or worse, I was labeled the smart kid, teacher's pet, nerd. With those titles, I didn't have a lot of bosom friends, though I was respected by my peers, thus the yearbook title. However, I would wager to say that the majority of the students who voted for me would not look at my life now and say I am the most successful. My teachers, who had expectations of me being a doctor, scientist, writer, or engineer would probably be disappointed and see a waste of talent. Would they be right? Sometimes, after a particularly rough day of potty training, arguing with my toddler over meals or bedtimes or the 5th load of laundry, I question what life would have been like had I chosen to pursue a different degree/career path (or professionally used the one I have). However, it doesn't take long before God reminds me that His definition of success is so much different than that of the world. Had I followed others' plans for my life, I would not have been faithful to the job God had in mind for me or my own desires. I didn't go into college aspiring to be a career woman or make a lot of money. My goal at the time was the same as it is now. I simply desired to be where God wanted me to be, growing in my relationship with Him and doing what He wanted me to do. If I am fulfilling those three things, than I believe I am being successful. There's a chance that someday I will go on to get my Master's degree or work more outside the home, but for right now, I am proud to be Pastor Dave's wife, Callie's almost full-time stay-at-home-mom, and most importantly lover of God available for His use.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Curly IS the New Straight!

Check out those bangs!

It's not very often when I write about anything other than my adorable daughter, but I've been thinking a lot about seasons of life lately, and it all started with hair!

Twice in the past couple of weeks, I've been struck by a new style "wave." I was at the hairdresser (long overdue-like 9 months!). While waiting for my turn, I watched my hairdresser style a cut she had just finished. Not surprisingly, she got out her straightener but then used it to curl the customer's hair. A couple days later, I found this technique on Pinterest (speaking of new trends!) What did stay-at-home moms do for dinner and decorating before Pinterest?! And is it bad that my fullest pinboard is for extremely fattening recipes? Anyway, as I was wondering why we would use a straightener for this look instead of dusting off our curling iron, I realized that there's probably a whole generation out there that doesn't own a curling iron! I partook in a moment of silence for them as I reminisced on all the fabulous "dos" they had missed! Having attended elementary school in the late 80's/early 90's, I had the privilege of sporting mountainous teased bangs. (see above pics). I was proud of those sausage curls, sprayed liberally with hair spray and then brushed up to an impressive height. Adding to the look, of course, were homemade "scrunchies," and barrettes with enormous bows, or my favorite, balloons (yes, I'm serious) attached! I would be shocked if that full look ever became popular again, but I am thankful that wavy/curly hair is finally edging out the polished straight look that was oh so much work for some of us! While straight hair was "the thing" for the past several years, anyone over the age of 16 knew styles would eventually change.

The summer after we got married, Dave was scheduled to speak at a youth camp in California, and I was along for the ride. Shortly before we left, the program director contacted me and asked if I would speak to the high school girls one of the days on purity, modesty, dating relationships, etc., while Dave spoke to the boys on similar topics. I remember talking to these beautiful, sun-tanned, mostly blond-haired girls who had their hair straightened to perfection-the height of style. Off to the side, I noticed a group of more "natural" looking girls (they almost could have passed for Oregonians!) Unfortunately for them, it appeared they had inherently curly hair that refused to be straightened, despite what society dictated in Teen Magazine.

In my effort to explain to the girls the importance of valuing the things of God instead of prioritizing outward appearance, I pointed out that styles change. I looked at the girls off to the side and assured them that someday in the not-too-distant future, straight hair would be a thing of the past, and we would all be envying their natural curls as we try to create the same effect with product and a hot iron. Laughter from the "in-crowd" accompanied my statement...and I can see, from their perspective, how it would have been difficult to imagine straight hair ever being out of style. After all, I was speaking to the generation that had probably never owned a curling iron!

But lo and behold, here we are, nearly 7 years later (so it took a little longer than I thought), and curly is the new straight! Ecclesiastes 3 tells us there is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the sun. Beyond fashion, friendships change (how many of us are still close with the people who were in our wedding party, let alone our BFFs from grade school?), statuses change, careers change, health changes, ideals and dreams change. Only God remains the same, and He promises never to leave us. Aren't you so thankful that we have God to see us through each of these changes! If you're going through a difficult time in your life, I hope you'll remember that it will pass and pour yourself into the One who will be there for you through it and through eternity. Those babies eventually sleep through the night, toddlers get the hang of potty-training, high schoolers won't always be sassy and rebellious (and hopefully, someday they'll thank you for your work and prayers for them), finances will get straightened out, a job will come about, in a few months it WILL stop raining (or you can vacation somewhere with sun!)...

So, now you know what my mind ponders in between cleaning up Legos and running a certain toddler to the bathroom to avoid accidents!