The Importance of Family time

Justin Bertelsen

Howdy everyone! We’ve had some pretty big changes in the Bertelsen family these last few weeks. Next week, I start school at Texas A&M University to pursue a Master’s degree in Public Service and Administration. I’m excited to move on to our next big adventure!

In super great news, Jill and I graduated from Brigham Young University – Idaho! My mom and her parents made the trip to small town, eastern Idaho to celebrate with us this very special day. On top of being the first person to graduate from my family, I graduated with honors! I feel humbled and motivated to create a culture of learning and excellence in my family!

After graduation we finally made it to Yellowstone National Park where we saw Old Faithful spout her consistent goodness. Before we left Rexburg, we sold all of our furniture. The only things we brought with us were the things that could fit in the back of our Prius. We packed up all of our things and spent a few days in Boise, Idaho with Jill’s family before we made the trip across country to settle for the next two years in College Station, Texas.

We were initially thinking that Jill, Ross, and I would drive from Idaho to Texas. But because the super long car ride (26 hours), Jill, Ross, and my fabulous mother in-law, flew to Texas. Myself and my father in-law drove. We drove first to Logan, Utah. From there we made the eight hour drive to Cheyenne, Wyoming. The next day we drove from Cheyenne to Dallas, Texas. Between the two of us we drove 14 ½ hours that day… I was glad when it was over.

Once we made it to College Station we ran around trying to get furniture and other essentials before we had to pick up the girls in Austin the next day. We played around in Austin going to the state capital and eating some Torchy’s Tacos. We left Austin and then Jill and I ran around looking for couches and different odds and ends.

After a few days of stressful furniture shopping we went down to Galveston Island to play in the gulf. Growing up in Kansas City, Missouri, I never saw the ocean as a kid but as we ran in the waves and the warm salty water crashed into us, I felt a special feeling. I felt that even though the world was so big and the ocean so immense, I knew that I was in the right place. I sat in the sand and looked at my little Ross splash in the water and I wondered what his life will be like when he is older. I watched my Jill and our unborn baby building sandcastles with my in-laws.

I will never forget those few days at the ocean. I’m glad I can replicate them because we live so close. Perhaps the biggest takeaway from all our adventures, however, was that it is important to spend time with your family. I made memories driving across the country with my father-in-law that I will cherish. I had the cheesy long walks on the beach with wife, I sipped lemonade as I watched the tide roll in, I’ll remember those times.

Family time is important. Vacationing is important. It doesn’t have to be a trip super far away, it just needs to be something out of the ordinary. It needs to be intentional and planned. I’ve learned that much needed family vacation can heal a tired mind and strengthen the bonds of love.

Psychology Today has some great information about the importance of vacation and how to get the most out of them! Check out this link:

Also if you ever take a trip to Galveston, make sure you check out the ice cream nachos at Hey Mikey’s Ice Cream.


Thank you!