May 31, 2012

A quick catch-up & photos from Week 21

     Guess I skipped out on week 20, huh? And I am pretty sure Week 21 should have  been posted last Sunday.. I was way too busy enjoying Memorial Day Weekend for all that. I am still marveling at the fact I had last Monday off work, since I spent the previous many years lifeguarding for the big, opening weekend. In addition to remembering those who currently serve, have served and have gave the ultimate sacrifice- Marcus & I were grateful to spend that hard-fought freedom by celebrating life! By way of wedding showers, baptisms, and family cookouts. I ate hamburgers & hotdogs for three days straight and it was SO delicious every time! Thankful those foods are not my way-too-long food aversion list.

Last week-

I love husbands who grocery shop, clean & organize the fridge, as well as make cookie dough! Man, I hit the husband jackpot!

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We also went to Rita’s. Because it was hot. Because it was our dating anniversary. Because we wanted to deliver some of the deliciousness to my brother-in-law. Because he is a Rita lover {and a Mindy lover}

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{notice my fashionable “sea bands” ?!}

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And finally, I thought this picture that the little girl I nanny for drew me was definitely blog worthy. Her explanation-and I quote the 6 year old directly- “When he has his rainbow hair on, he can call up all the dolphins in the world and they will come to him. But only when he has his rainbow hair on…”

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As I type, Marcus is wondering why the heck I am not packing….especially since we are supposed to be walking out the door in an hour for our anniversary get-a-way!! That’s right! We are headed to Charleston for a long weekend! Looking forward to the food, the beach, visiting with my brother & lots more….

How has it been a year?!

May 26, 2012

Dr. Croft on Morning Sickness

DISCLAIMER- I have no idea what I am talking about :) This post was mostly written to document how I have gotten through the first hurdle of motherhood.

     Let me just start out by saying that I was more scared of morning sickness than labor & delivery. I’m STILL more scared of it than labor & delivery. Mostly since labor & delivery has a beginning and end and morning sickness just hangs around for months. I should also mention that I was blessed with relatively mild morning sickness and I am so, so grateful. Unfortunately, relatively mild morning sickness doesn’t mean it was not incredibly annoying, frustrating and sometimes I-just-need-to-cry-overwhelming. I’m 13.5 weeks and hoping it will be tapering off any day now. In the meantime, I figured I would throw out all the weird, medicinal & emotional tactics I’ve been using to hang in there.

1. The whole low blood sugar theory. Many doctors believe morning sickness is the result of low blood sugar and that eating frequent small meals around the clock is the cure. I say..malarkey. Well, half-malarkey. It IS true that eating around the clock certainly does help reduce the nausea or at least keep you from vomiting. Eating before you go to bed, or even eating if you wake up during the night. For me, morning sickness has felt like a nagging hunger, upset stomach feeling. That being said, I ate protein constantly. Bagels & peanut butter  at 5 am, a yogurt a 7 am, fruit & cheese & 9 and so on & so forth throughout the day. The sad truth? The morning sickness was still alive and well. Please don’t disregard this theory though, as the constant munching did make it much more bearable. Just don’t expect it to necessarily disappear. My other two cents…protein!! I’ve been eating plenty of carbs & junk too, but it is protein that will quell the worst nausea.

2. Milk Thistle. Another theory revolves around the pregnancy hormone {HCG} causing an increase in bile which takes a heavy toll on our liver. Milk Thistle is a natural liver detox. Supposedly if you take Milk Thistle supplements prior to conception & continue during your pregnancy you can avoid morning sickness all together. {Read more about that here} Well, I didn’t have that handy-dandy knowledge prior to conception, but I tried some anyways. I truly think it did help a bit. My worst days were days I forgot to take the Milk Thistle. Again, it didn’t get rid of it, but I was still able to function and enjoy my life for the most part during the first trimester. Another similar liver-morning sickness theory swears that beans are the cure! No, I am not kidding..  I can’t really confirm or deny this theory since I, though normally love beans, had a STRONG aversion to beans the last 13 weeks. Boo. As weird as it sounds, if you google ‘the bean cure’ you will read many happy accounts of mothers who found relief from beans.

3. Laughter. Specifically, in my case, America’s Funniest Home Videos. Thankfully, Netflix has ALL their episodes {& don’t be ashamed to sign up for their free month trial and then cancel it after a month. Don’t ask me how I know this, but you can sign up for that trial as many times as you want, too} Laughter is an awesome form of distraction and in the evenings, when I would feel particularly lousy, this was such a HUGE help. Actually watching movies in general was helpful, but the funnier the better. Laughter is vital to our physical & emotional health, people!

4. Reading. I should probably just do a lump suggestion called DISTRACTION…I tore through so many books during morning sickness. My favorites were renowned Midwife Ina May Gaskin’s Birth Matters and Guide to Natural Childbirth. When I was in the mood for something other than hippy natural childbirth books, I read Fatherless {, could NOT put it down!} and Consoling the Heart of Jesus. I brought a book with me everywhere so when I felt really bad, I could escape & distract myself. Very, very helpful

5. Eating what I felt like eating. Don’t get me wrong, you shouldn’t through your nutritional sense out the window, but if you just feel like eating Avocados {which I did} all the time…go for it. I’m not proud to say I ate Mac & Cheese for dinner nearly every night of the week, but my midwife assured me I can focus on a balanced diet when I feel better. I thrived  off of peanut butter & bagels, cheese sticks, Chobani yogurt, sour jolly ranchers & lemon heads, and salt and vinegar chips. I might have went a little nuts on the bagels seeing as how I managed to gain weight during those all-day-long nausea days. As my midwife said {after weighing me} “Well! I guess you aren’t that sick!” I really love my midwife, but I wanted to hit her when she said that ;)  I’ll add that if you suffer from extreme food aversions like I am, don’t try to force yourself to eat something that doesn’t sound good. The results won’t be pretty…trust me on that one. I may or may not have locked myself in the bedroom while Marcus tried to keep a normal diet since my nose was in overdrive.

6. Staying busy. This is completely counter-intuitive. Seriously, everything about morning sickness screams “STAY IN BED!” Sometimes, I had days where I did, in fact, stay in bed. Those days were needed time to time. But overall, for my pregnancy, keeping busy was a huge help, staying on the distraction theme. My body & mind felt like canceling every plan but I tried to keep doing things. It really helped!! Please, please, please disregard this idea if it does NOT make you feel better. You might be a good candidate for one of those laying in bed days. It really depends on your own pregnancy. What works for some women, doesn’t do the trick for others.

7. Exercise. Again, so counter intuitive. Long walks and swims can sometimes make me feel completely normal again. I have not been really vigilant about working out, but when I do.. I find some temporary sweet relief.

8. Offer. It. Up.  Remembering that suffering is not in vain and to lift it up to God in petition for loved ones. This truth actually really helped & comforted me

There you have it, a newbie mama’s take on surviving morning sickness. I felt like I needed to record this so I would know what to do the next time I go through it.  Before I sign off, I have to include the most important tip….

9. Support. Marcus has brought me countless meals in bed, cool washcloths on my forehead, prayers whispered and thanks offered. My mom & sister have called me countless times just to check on me & encourage me. My sister even brought over a morning sickness survival kit-made mostly of ginger products :) My sister-in-law Emily said nothing as I once consumed her household supply of red grapes one morning. My other sister-in-law dropped of preggo-pops. My brothers & brothers-in-law always greet me with a simple “How ya feelin?” My friends listened to me cry in frustration on the phone, while other friends texted me ideas of foods that might sound good to me. Morning sickness really is not fun, but it sure does provide an opportunity for you to be bathed in God’s grace & mercy during those unpleasant months.


It seems strange to stop this post before reaching number 10, but that is all I got! Hope it will help somebody someday! Or just explain my lack of blogging recently :)

May 24, 2012

Two things I love

Cuddling with Cecilia, even if it is 6 am in the morning. She is pretty ga-ga over her Uncle Marcus which explains the huge giggly smile on her face as he snapped this.

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Reading a good stack of books before bedtime, as captured by the self-timer.

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May 17, 2012

A very late Week 19

     I’m only 5 days late with my fledgling 3 photos out of 7..but dang, I am still hanging in there!!!

Monday was a beach picnic day {I love Marcus’ new schedule!}, coupled with some walking at Mt. Trashmore. Which equaled our first sunburn of the year! Hooray!!

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Look who broke out the guitar after a Fire-Academy hiatus! What is he playing?! “Something in the way she moves” by James Taylor. Me & the baby love it!

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Instead of buying a radio strap for work, Marcus is building one. All with the help of some goldfish, I might add :)

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I spent the rest of the week forgetting my camera…bummer! There was a beautiful wedding on Saturday AND a delicious family dinner on Saturday. Seeing as how it’s already Thursday and I have not taken any photos for this week yet, I better get started!

May 14, 2012

My First Mother’s Day

     Once upon a time, in the last week or so of March, I came down with a nasty flu. It was so nasty that I was living on a over-the-counter fever reducer’s and sinus medication..until it dawned on me.. I could be pregnant, maybe I should lay off the drugs! Pregnancy happens with married people, you know. But after a couple months of negative pregnancy tests, I wasn’t too worried and hoped I could carry on with all the medicines I was taking in the midst of that ugly flu. As soon as I heard Marcus’ happy laugh coming from the bathroom { I made him go read the test, I was too anxious} I knew something was up! Sure enough, this is what he showed me…

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So we laughed & laughed & prayed & took a couple more pictures..

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This is what I looked like at 4 weeks {in too big pants, too} Yes, I’m sucking in..but wouldn’t you if somebody wanted to take a picture of you midsection?!

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This baby is due 11/26/12, which should be perfect timing for me to stuff my face at Thanksgiving with no regret. That, and have a perfect excuse to never finish my Christmas shopping.

Honestly, we are completely honored & humbled that God has blessed us with such a privilege.

….and looking forward to the end of morning sickness ;)

Flowers By Kings

     Right around the time Marcus & I started dating, his mom started on her own adventure in the flower business.  Flowers By Kings is the family business of a good friend of the Crofts. Make sure to head to their website and click on the “About Us” to read the neat family history & flower shop story. My mother-in-law & Mrs. Laufer keep very busy running the best flower shop in town. A couple weeks ago, I took pictures of some of their beautiful mother’s day arrangements for their website. Up to that point, the only portrait sessions I had done were with people, and more specifically, children. So imagine my surprise when I didn’t have to make crazy bathroom noises to get a smile, or wipe the bribery chocolate off their faces, or tell them to wait to hit their brother until we were done taking pictures. Well, I actually started to do these things as I was getting into my photographer groove, but Marcus started looking at me funny and saying things like, “…They are just flowers…”   Yup, besides adjusting a stem here or there, these were the perfect models!!

     People, I know I am a day late & a dollar short and if I would have had my act together I would have written this blog post before mother’s day so the millions of readers I get could have just gone up and clicked on the link and shopped away for their Mothers. But I am not one who you might say has their act together. {I think I am still trying to figure out what my act is.} Nevertheless, Flowers By Kings has the most beautiful arrangements & I had to share. Please tell me you will support a hard working family business next time you are in need of flowers in the 757. They won’t disappoint!

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The Newest Firefighter in Virginia Beach!

     On May 2nd, Marcus wore his recruit uniform for the last time! In fact, when I arrived at the Sandler Center for the graduation ceremony, I barely recognized him in his spiffy Class A’s. We were blessed to have all our family come out and support Marcus at his graduation.. I even put my little sister to work taking pictures! Unfortunately, the lighting was less than desirable for photographs, but she still captured the important moments.

On the right is Battalion Chief of Training L. Gurley & the guest speaker, the Commanding Officer of Oceana, Captain Geis

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The class shirt that Marcus drew & designed!

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Marcus’ assignment and pinning

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Taking the oath

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With his fancy-schmancy diploma!

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With his dads, brothers & nephews!

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With his wife, moms, sisters & nieces :)

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With his parents!

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And if that wasn’t enough of a photo-overload, my brother-in-law took a couple too!


Marcus & I having a sneaky, celebratory kiss!


Want to know what kind of amazing super-hero things Marcus did while in Fire Academy? Check out this video!

Congratulations Firefighter Croft!!

May 7, 2012

Week 18!

A care package from my grandmother. I dubbed these mints “pink things” and could always be caught sneaking them out of the candy closet during my visits.

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Stealing a kiss from the newest firefighter in Virginia Beach!!


Strawberry Picking!! 17 pounds to be exact

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Doing a little photo-shoot with flowers from my mother-in-law’s flower shop


Stay tuned this week for the some pictures of Marcus’ graduation ceremony & some more beautiful flowers!

May 2, 2012

How the time flew

  It was a Wednesday, right after our Adoration hour, when we got the call from the Virginia Beach Fire Department. Marcus was a wanted {& hired} man!! We celebrated that night with a glass of wine and took the following happy pictures..




Fast forward 6 months later- 6 months of studying, PT, practicals, search & rescue evolutions, SCBA Hell Week, EMT rides, and clinicals- and just as suddenly as the Fire Academy started, the recruits graduate tonight.

Oh, and Mr. ‘ Graduating 3rd in his class, while setting more than a few PT records {pullups & dips, to name a couple} at the training center’

I am so proud of you!


A firefighter’s wife

May 1, 2012

A Very, Merry Week

This week is no ordinary week, y’all!!! It’s birthday week!!

Mindy’s was on Sunday


Brian’s is TODAY!

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Annnnnd my dad’s is on Thursday!!


HAPPY, HAPPY Birthday you birthday week people :)

What does three birthday’s all spaced a day apart mean? A lot of cake & ice cream!! The Danley’s are fat & happy this week!!!

17 Weeks

Hanging on by a thread with this project, but I’m not giving up yet :)

Scored these sweet milk glass lamps at an Estate Sale!

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A little mid-week love from Marcus in the form of goldfish & flowers!

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On rainy rainy Saturday we had a lot on our to-do list. Instead of being productive, we were being kind of lazy, whiney & grumpy. I suggested we go on a date & forget the to-do list and WA-LA! Best rainy Saturday afternoon ever. We sat in Cafe Moka for no less than 2 hours, drank overpriced coffee and ridiculously huge cookies and it was so, so, so nice! It cured the laziness, whininess AND the grumps!

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And yes, I only took 4 pictures last week…4 is better than none! I’m hanging in there!!


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