May 30, 2011

How the Renaissance Man got his Name

     When I first laid eyes on Marcus, he was sporting bleached, ripped jeans, flip-flops, a tight T-Shirt and earrings. His earrings were thankfully in both ears. Not like the just-one-side-pierced guys of the nineties. I saw him before he saw me and I suppressed a laugh when I saw him…who does this guy think he is? Justin Timberlake?! Doesn’t he know we are at a Catholic retreat!? He MUST be lost! Much to my surprise, Marcus came over to the table of college students where I was sitting and began to lead us in prayer to start the retreat weekend. Annnnd, that’s what you get for judging, God reprimanded me.  The only men I knew that could pray like that were ones dressed in albs, sporting a collar or at least ones dressed in khaki’s and a polo. When he was finished praying, we were introduced and he politely chatted with me for a minute before heading off to play with the praise and worship band. I will say his outfit {Marcus tries to tell me men DON’T wear outfits and can I please stop referring to his clothes like that} fit  quite well with the band scene. Thought I had him pegged there.

     Little did I know that putting Marcus’ type into a neat little box would be a task I would never accomplish. Throughout the weekend I learned he was homeschooled {WHAT?! Homeschooled boys don’t wear earrings! They just don’t!!}, trained as a classical musician first and foremost- he played the double base in high school and knows Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, and all those boys like they are good friends.  A couple months later when I go visit him at Virginia Tech, he shows me his world of audio engineering, music studio’s, music producing, and a record label he started for the students at Tech.

     Even after we start dating, Marcus remains a man of many talents and interests, always surprising me. He loves to golf. He loves to surf. He is a youth minister. He is a lumberjack. He is a car mechanic. He enjoys marketing & branding. He is a volunteer fire fighter. He can waltz, swing dance and polka. He loves babies & children. He wants to learn how to weld. He can tell you about any Catholic Saint. He can tell you about any rock & roll band. He cooks. He cleans. He’s affectionate & sweet. He is rough & tough & manly. He can harmonize. He can rap.  His office is organized. His bedroom is chaos. He loves to read. He loves to be in the gym. He teaches. He learns.

     Although, his earrings are a thing of the past , and he now owns many more button down shirts and boat shoes…he still likes to break out the band look here and there. As evidenced a couple weekends ago, when he played with a band for St. Gregory’s church festival. Of course they played everything from Rooney to Hillsong.

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And right as I am leaning over to a friend, pointing to Marcus, explaining to her that he is playing guitar…he starts doing this…..

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     And while he is surprising me with his keyboard skills, I remember I am supposed to be taking pictures of the WHOLE band. But how could I?! None of them had such nice forearms, and they were all only playing ONE instrument.


I love you Renaissance Man.

May 29, 2011

Pickin’ in between Plannin’

     True to my earlier promise to enjoy May, to not let wedding planning take over my favorite month, I went strawberry picking with my family a couple weeks ago. Because what better says May than strawberries?!

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Cecilia & Thomas were just as sweet as the strawberries….

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Dancing in the fields…

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Some of us were even worked!

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We stopped for pictures..

Strawberry Picking & Marcus band 122   Cecilia asked Nana to babysit “Baby John” so we got a little silly…

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And of course, we ate strawberries!

I caught Patrick..

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And Patrick caught me…

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We are pretty sure Cecilia ate her weight in berries that day..

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Strawberries for snacks, strawberry shortcake, strawberries & powdered sugar, strawberries in salad, my sister even made strawberry salsa… It is safe I am all strawberried out! That is until I break out the ones i froze for smoothies :)



May 26, 2011


     There is a man coming to live in this new little home.  Sometimes he comes over when I am not here to cross things off our wedding to-do list. Tonight was one of those nights. He came over to work on the wedding program and start dinner. I’m always a little panicked when he gets there before I do. I am afraid he might see how secretly messy I can be, how I leave drawers and cupboards open, or how despite keeping everything picked up…. I mostly NEVER make the bed. I’m afraid he'll see the hair in the shower drain and then decide to call this whole thing off.

   Well, I wish he would have come over and seen clothes that never made it in the hamper, or cupboards open, or even an unmade bed. That would have been much better. Instead, when I get home about twenty minutes later, he begins to chuckle at me. It unnerved me, so I began to giggle nervously. “WHAT?!?!” I demand. He informs me that while he was wondering around in our new little home looking for something or other, he saw something strange on the {neatly made} bed. At a second glance he realizes it is only my cell phone charger cord. When he goes to pick it up, he finds a chewed piece of gum stuck to it.

     Then he tells me this when I come home, laughing all the while, waiting for an explanation. Which, I didn’t have. So I laughed and laughed and prayed on the inside that he would still marry me. Judging on his big bear hug, and the way he looked in my eyes when he told me he thought it was cute..I think he still will.

     We’ll find out for sure in 9 days ;)

May 23, 2011

Songs I Know All the Words To

     First off, let me just say- I should NOT be blogging.  I have a day off today and a to do list longer than my 5’4 long body. I started off on a good foot. Feet. I went for a run. Put a check mark on the first thing on my list. Instead of moving on to number 2 on to list, I collapsed on the floor, half-clothed, trying to recover. In an effort to re-learn how to breathe and to calm my rebelling stomach, I began to work on task number 2. Task number 2 reads: Make Chris’ birthday CD.  Chris is off sailing the seas, keeping the nuclear plants aboard the USS Enterprise running. Chris does not read my blog. Big, bad naval officers don’t have time for things like that. I’m getting married the day before Chris’ birthday and in typically Laura fashion, I am late mailing a birthday package out to him. And, yes, I am making him a CD. I’ve been in the habit of making my family CD’s for their birthday’s this year. Sounds like high school, but they are received well. And, speaking of high school, as I scrolled through my itunes to pick out the perfect songs for Chris, I realized there is no other vulnerability like sharing your itunes playlist. I’m a fan of vulnerability. So without further rambling, here is the First Edition of Songs I know all the Words To.

1. The Sign {Ace of Base} elementary school? Middle school? No matter, I’ll always jam to this song

2. Copperline {James Taylor} Actually, I know all the words to ALL James Taylor songs. But this one is my favorite and gives me goosebumps every time I listen to it.

3. Gimme Three Steps {Lynard Skynard} duh.

4. Happy Girl {Martina McBride} Much better girls anthem song then “Girls Just want to Have Fun”

5. Hang On Sloopy {The McCoys} Ohio State Marching Band. As seen here

6. Cherry, Cherry {Neil Diamond} Because I can’t keep still while the music is playing

7. Champagne Supernova {Oasis} Same can be said for “Wonderwall.” Not because they are fantastic songs. Just because I went to high school.

8. And while we are talking about high school here, I’ll just go ahead and list Weezer’s blue album

9. Omaha {Counting Crows} It’s true- getting right to the heart of matters, it’s the heart that matters more.

10. Rich Girl {Hall & Oates} No explanation for my weird love for Hall and Oates. I could listen to their greatest hits CD over and over again. Then again, I DO listen to their greatest hits CD over and over again.

Stay tuned for a second edition titled: Incredibly Incriminating Songs I Know All the Words To. But that will have to be published after the wedding, as I really need to get back to my to-do list. It’s just that I do need to wear shoes to my own wedding. You know, just little details ;)


May 19, 2011

To My New Sisters

Dear Becky, Emily and Jillian,

     Thank you for throwing me the cutest bachelorette/panty party!

Your decorating and culinary skills were amazing. Loved the teal and pink, the flowers, the candles and THE CHOCOLATE dip ;)

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Thank you for making me wear a tiara, sash, and teaching me how to do my hair for that night!

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Thanks for the abundant laughs :)

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Thank you for loving me from the minute I walked into the Croft home three years ago!

With love and gratitude,


To My Sisters

Dear Mindy and Kathleen,

   Thank you for throwing me the yummiest, classiest, sweetest bridal shower on May 1st. Thank you for making delicious brie, hummus, cake, muffins, marinated cheese, cookies, and punch.

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Thanks for inviting all my friends

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Thanks for playing funny games at my request

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Thanks for taking obligatory sister pictures with me

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I’m so grateful!!!!



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