Sunday, December 18, 2016

Merry Christmas/2016 recap!

Hello dear friends and family,

What a year this has been. We are happy to be saving the trees this year by sending our Christmas message to you via the wonderful internet. No need to congratulate us, we are just doing our part.

Enjoy this obligatory family newsletter! (But do keep that more interesting browser tab open just in case).

Pippa turned 5 this year and both graduated from preschool and started kindergarten, both of which she absolutely loved and thrived in. Her teachers have been exceptional. As a result she is learning how to be kind to others and socialize in meaningful, positive ways. These skills are huge building blocks to her life and we couldn't be more grateful for the examples she has. This year she also took swimming lessons, went camping with mom and dad, had many play dates with friends, participated in the primary program, visited California, Seattle and Chicago, read many books and saw her first movie in the theater. She continues to amaze us with her brilliance and bravery. She can beat both her parents at the game "Set" and proved impressively composed and calm than when getting her flu shot. She says her favorite memory of this year was having Thanksgiving with her cousins.

Micah has managed to keep his job at Utah Valley Hospital in inpatient psychiatry; a job that has been both rewarding and intense.  But those are two things that describe Micah pretty well, don't you think? There really isn't anybody that can handle the demands of it better than Micah. This year the hospital offered him the medical director position, which mostly entails scheduling and responding to ~1000 e-mails a day. This isn't as enjoyable to him as his work with his patients, which is the real butter to Micah's bread. It is a good match for both Intermountain Healthcare, a company in need of psychiatrists, and Micah, a hard-working and qualified individual. Thankfully, however, his life does not revolve solely around his work, as there are an endless amount of activities that appeal to Micah. This summer he built and maintained an excellent garden, as well as installed/fixed a countless number of things around our home. He acquired a barbecue smoker which has helped him produce some of the most incredible meat we've ever made. He is also very invested in Pippa's development and play, and has taught her many board and video games, as well as helped her with her school endeavors. He hopes to find even more fulfillment outside of work as he continues striving for that balance that so many doctors hear about, but have a difficult time achieving.

Betsy completed her bachelor's degree this spring with a BA in Visual Arts. After following Micah around for years, she was able to finish what she started at BYU. She was happy to never have to take American Heritage ever again, even though it proved more interesting than she would have guessed--and she aced it! School was also interesting in that she found some wonderful people to befriend among her fellow students and professors. As she frequently says, BYU is a unique place. She barely took any time off before establishing a ceramics studio. This was quite a learning experience as she searched out just the right kiln and wheel. She was able to find a fantastic space in Provo and was able to share it with another ceramic artist. She is now working to get the kiln set up, but once it is, watch out world! It is exciting to see her find her voice as an artist. Betsy continues to be the most amazing mother that Pippa could ever wish for. She is also providing fun experiences and helping Pippa discover who she is. Pippa's teachers have remarked on how kind and friendly she is--She definitely gets that from her mother! In general, however, Betsy has continued to show her skills in flexibility. Micah's work schedule is never regular and there always seems to be something that unexpectedly comes up--whether it is a middle of the night phone call, or a meeting on a "day off." Betsy continues to roll with the uncertainty of life and continues to keep the Croft household all in one piece.

This time of year our lives are strengthened by the hope of Christ's example. We know we are not perfect people but are ever searching for ways to spread hope and love to everyone we meet. This Christmas we hope that you, our friends and family, are able to find goodness and joy. To us the greatest success in life is to be counted among your friends, and we are honored to have a place in the lives of so many wonderful people.

Merry Christmas and a wonderful, happy New Year!

Micah, Betsy, and Pippa

Photos taken by Emma Huntington.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

A Letter to My 5 Year-Old Daughter

I’m writing this after having taken a hot hot shower. It was probably too hot and dried out my skin, but I needed it. You are playing PBS kids beside me and I have not put any makeup on yet. 

This morning I woke up to an unexpectedly sunny November day. You woke up and I immediately proceeded to tend to your needs, feed you, take you to school. Today is an early out day because of parent teacher conferences, where we will meet with your teacher later and talk about your participation in her class. We love your teacher, and we love your school. We love where we live and love the people we are neighbors with. We especially love that you are 5, that you are such a vibrant person, and so enthused to see us every day. That never gets old.

I didn’t have much motivation to get going this morning. Last night Donald Trump won the vote as President. It happened very suddenly, which I was not expecting, but probably should have. I have not really followed an election this closely. Over the past decade, since having you and finishing school, I’ve found a voice in myself that I have mostly never put forth.

I will tell you that I did not see much reason in finding my voice. You see, I am an artist, and at the beginning of my art education, I did not see how art contributed to the world, or if it even could (or how I could make it so). I saw it as a way to make beautiful things and hide behind the canvas. I think I had the beauty part of it right, but I left out the part that meant really inserting myself into my work. Many female artists are drawn to this practice, but I can relate to the fear of sharing things about themselves because it makes them vulnerable to scrutiny and attack. A good example of this is Marina Abramovic. When I was first introduced to her work I thought she was crazy. But as I learned more about what she does, though, I began to see art in a totally different way. She is fascinating. 

Anyways, despite being female and a minority, I was born into incredible privilege. Yet I still gave in to the  persistent notion that even though I had potential, I didn’t have THAT much potential. Here’s where some amazing men and women came in. My mother and father are both artists. They gave me my voice. In high school my art teacher put together my whole art school application and portfolio. Then I went to BYU. Then I married your father. 

By the way, I hope you find someone like him someday. He is in every way, my champion, my first line of defense, my hands and my feet. You helped him yesterday set up a sink trap in my studio. He knows, internally, what my potential as a woman is. I chose him for this, and many other reasons. He continues to be a tremendous source of confidence for me. I am enough of a challenge to get anyone to quit, but he shows no sign of wear. It helps that he realizes what a challenge he can be as well. 

In my journey so far, I’ve seen setbacks and advances; I’ve defeated some things and have been defeated by others. I am typically a thinker first, and a speaker last. Hence why writing this, and most things I put out on the internet, probably come across as hesitant. I had no idea that having a political opinion, or making art, would make me so vulnerable. Yet I have seen no other choice in the matter. When I’m alone, I make art (usually set to music). When I am with friends, I am creative with my interactions with them.  On my mission I used cooking as a channel for creative energy. When your cousin Henry died a few years ago, I turned to painting a nearby mountainside. Last night’s disappointing election has me here, expressing myself by writing to you. And I am posting it at the expense of not thoroughly editing it to make time for other things, for which I apologize. 

What I want to say to you is this: “Never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams”. Yes, this quote comes from Hillary’s concession speech today. And yes, I have supported her candidacy publicly, much to the chagrin of my conservative friends and family members. I feel as though my support was both too public and not public enough. This is a struggle that you may face as well (though I hope you don’t). You might have some tell you that it is not becoming for a woman to be outspoken, determined, or even define your own happiness, whilst at the same time telling you to be more outspoken, more determined, and independent. You will likely feel pressure to conform to what others tell you (even us, your parents). What I want for you the most is to be raised with courage and confidence in your ability to grow, and not in fear that you won’t be exactly what we, or others have prescribed. I want you to grow confident that God’s love for you is real, and His love for His children is real. And that that realness does not exclude anybody. That you truly can, pursue and achieve your own dreams, and not another’s. Not even mine. The thing is, just by being alive, you have already achieved my dreams. 

Recently, I went back to BYU. I tried my very best to do what I could with the education it gave me. I protested against unfair honor code policies the day before graduating. I am proud of what I did to encourage BYU to make the appropriate response and change their policy.  I was proud of my school for making an important step toward fairness and decency. This progress gave me hope, but the truth is, I want more from my school as an educational institution, and I want more from my country. 

I am mourning about yesterday’s election results. It is a direct blow to the progress that women have been striving for in this country. No, it’s not about how Trump defeated Hillary, but that Trump was elected in spite of his abuse toward women, and intolerance for marginalized groups of people. Nobody really wanted to believe we are as racist and misogynistic as we are, which is why the election came as such a surprise. 

But I look at you now and see your brightness, and your potential. And my fears dissipate. I have no choice but to think of the future, and am absolutely determined to not let my fears get the best of me. I look around me and see such strong women.  We are surrounded by diversity and contrasting colors. The world is yours and mine, and does not belong to one group of people, no matter how powerful they may be. No demagogue president can take away your fire, your spirit, or your faith. We are movers and shakers. We will continue to progress as a people, even when it scares us. I will continue to be strong for you, and for the rest of the women in my family. 

I will also try not to be an obnoxious democrat. I find great value in both conservative and liberal ideals, which I believe can work together to great effect. Yet what this election has shown me is that a great part of what drives conservative law-making is fear, and I don’t want to be a part of that. The thing is, I am so tired of being afraid. I am tired of putting my voice out of harm's way. It is time to be vulnerable and true. Therefore I post this, and I hope you come back to it and have the courage to assert yourself. I hope you have empathy for others. Don’t doubt your ability to turn the world around. 

I love you,


Saturday, August 20, 2016

New post, new post!!

Not even going to bother with the apologies; I know I haven't blogged forever. Most of you know by now that we moved to Utah. Micah is Utah Valley hospital's Psych medical director. I graduated from BYU with a BA in visual arts. Pippa graduated preschool, and is starting kindergarten. We are still settling into our new house. The biggest, latest project was the unfinished attic. Thanks to an awesome contractor and some newly found interior design skills, I made my dream rec room/home office a reality. I took some editorial photos of the space to try my hand at interior photography. It is fun, but I have much to learn. Here is what the room looked liked before:

The finishing process started in March. My goal was to create a room that continued the design of the rest of the house, and still reflected our personal style.

Click on the pictures to see the larger image size.

 A ceramics project from school.

 Micah built those speakers and they sound great.

Thanks for viewing! We are loving this finished space. Mostly I have been enjoying the room to play Just Dance and watch movies with friends. Come visit!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Zucchini Bread, anyone?

So I was just in the middle of getting our house ready for moving and I had the very logical thought, "I should post a recipe on the blog".

So for all of you who are lucky enough to garden, and have spare zucchini around, this is absolutely the recipe you want to use for them!! This is the best Zucchini bread recipe ever. From Cooks Illustrated:



1 1/2 pounds zucchini, shredded
1 1/4 cups (8 3/4 ounces) packed brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (2 3/4 ounces) whole-wheat flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped (optional)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar


1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch loaf pan.
2. Place zucchini in center of dish towel. Gather ends together and twist tightly to drain as much liquid as possible, discarding liquid (you should have 1/2 to 2/3 cup liquid). Whisk brown sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla together in medium bowl. Fold in zucchini.
3. Whisk all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and nutmeg together in large bowl. Fold in zucchini mixture until just incorporated. Fold in walnuts, if using. Pour batter into prepared pan and sprinkle with granulated sugar.
4. Bake until top bounces back when gently pressed and toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 65 to 75 minutes. Let bread cool in pan on wire rack for 30 minutes. Remove bread from pan and let cool completely or wire rack. Serve.

You can add all sorts of things to this bread!  Chocolate chips, pistachios, orange zest, dried fruit, etc. Go make it!

Monday, June 8, 2015



So I’m not going to blab on in this post, cuz my brain is fried from doing stuff like

Mostly. And also finishing residency and stuff. And promoting the dress I designed! Click HERE to buy it!


Anyways our house is in Provo so if you’re out there you’ll let us know, right? We move on June 28th.

I have a bunch of recipes I need to share, but the latest one in our rotation is an overnight pizza dough recipe that makes the very best pizza we’ve ever made at home. Click HERE for the link to the recipe.

Don't worry! I will blog again....