Getting Personal #289: August Goals Recap

Image Credit: Success Magazine

Welcome back!


Here were my goals for the month of August:

  1. Donate blood. — Accomplished!
  2. Celebrate my birthday! — Accomplished!
  3. Recap my Camp NaNoWriMo July 2022 efforts. — Accomplished!
  4. Write my annual Reflections On My Birthday blog post. — Accomplished!
  5. Publish one Book Review. — Did not accomplish yet.
  6. Read before bed at least 2-3 times per week. — Semi-Achieved.
  7. Continue my writing sprints and work on book #4. — Semi-Achieved.

I was able to donate at our last drive. My iron was off the charts, yay! I couldn’t quite fill the bag, but it happens.

My birthday was wonderful. Relaxing. I’m glad I took a couple of days off work to have a long weekend.

I was very successful with Camp NaNoWriMo July 2022! I enjoyed working on my third book. I felt like I was getting close to the end!

I celebrated on August 21st. After several more writing sprints, I called the first draft of my third book finished. It clocks in at 109,000 words. The most I’ve ever written!

I haven’t started working on book #4 yet, but hopefully soon!

I’ve started reading again at night. My mom gave me another book for my birthday, and I’ve been enjoying that one.


Come back tomorrow to see my goals for September!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth ๐Ÿ™‚

Getting Personal #288: Reflections, On My Birthday

Image Credit: lilyandval.com

I love writing my annual birthday post. Itโ€™s a good way to look back on the last year!

This year, I find myself filled with love and gratitude. Iโ€™m grateful for wonderful family and friends. Iโ€™ve made some new friends along the way, several of the writing variety!

Work has been on the up and up after several months of struggle in late 2021 and early 2022. I’m very close to finishing one long-term project in the next month or so. I will celebrate three years at Sentara in September!

Phineas and Ferb are still grumpy old men, and we love them so. They are almost 13 now.

Al and I celebrated six years of marriage in November. We went at Amedeo’s in Suffolk for the first time, one of the first true date nights we’ve had since COVID began.

I’m still working on my books! I have a solid plan to publish the first one, finally, in November 2022, which marks 10 years after I started writing it. Several amazing people have read it and offered incredible feedback, and I’m grateful for every piece of advice and encouragement. I wrote more than 53,000 words during NaNoWriMo 2021, and more than 30,000 words last month for Camp NaNoWriMo. I’m hoping close out the first draft of my third book very soon. Writing sprints are my jam!

LEGO is one of my favorite hobbies now. After completing the Sesame Street Ideas set last June, Al got me the Stranger Things Upside Down set for Christmas. He gave me my first LEGO Architecture sets – New York and London – today, plus six of The Muppets minifigures!

I still love true crime podcasts. Al and I love For All Mankind on Apple TV Plus. I’m re-watching Cold Case this year too!

We held our 130th blood drive yesterday. We collected 71 units! We have passed 8,000 collected units now in 22 years of drives.

I’m very excited to start traveling again. I’m lucky enough to have a Dad-daughter weekend in September to attend a family wedding, and then Al and I are taking a much-needed week-long vacation later in the fall!

I’m grateful for every single day.

Cheers to 34!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth ๐Ÿ™‚

Getting Personal #287: Camp NaNoWriMo July 2022 Recap

Image Credit: NaNoWriMo

Welcome back!

Camp NaNoWriMo July 2022!

After skipping Camp in April, I decided to finally go for finishing the first draft of book #3. I wanted to write 30,000 new words, which would push me over the 100,000 word mark.

As of July 1, 2022, I had 74,858 words written.


Day 1 – 49, 837, and 362 new words, 50 minutes writing time.

Day 2 – 730 and 562 new words, 30 minutes writing time.

Day 3 – 134, 733, and 468 new words, 40 minutes writing time.

Day 4 – 583 and 513 new words, 40 minutes writing time.

Day 5 – 928 new words, 20 minutes writing time.

Day 6 – 925 and 252 new words, 25 minutes writing time.

Day 7 – 878 and 447 new words, 30 minutes writing time.

Day 8 – 814 and 196 new words, 25 minutes writing time.

Day 9 – 751 and 409 new words, 30 minutes writing time.

Day 10 – 820 and 447 new words, 30 minutes writing time.

Day 11 – 912 and 437 new words, 30 minutes writing time.

Day 12 – 908 new words, 20 minutes writing time.

Day 13 – 1,021 new words, 20 minutes writing time.

Day 14 – 767 and 485 new words, 30 minutes writing time.

Day 15 – 945 new words, 20 minutes writing time.

Day 16 – 441 and 936 new words, 40 minutes writing time.

Day 17 – 1,027 new words, 25 minutes writing time.

Day 18 – 519, 117, and 404 new words, 30 minutes writing time.

Day 19 – 797 new words, 20 minutes writing time.

Day 20 – 929 new words, 20 minutes writing time.

Day 21 – 811 new words, 20 minutes writing time.

Day 22 – 846 new words, 20 minutes writing time.

Day 23 – 651 new words, 20 minutes writing time.

Day 24 – 813 new words, 20 minutes writing time.

Day 25 – 698 new words, 20 minutes writing time.

Day 26 – 605 and 79 new words, 20 minutes writing time.

Day 27 – 511 and 397 new words, 30 minutes writing time.

Day 28 – 671 new words, 15 minutes writing time.

Day 29 – 359 and 229 new words, 25 minutes writing time.

Day 30 – 538 and 1,185 new words, 45 minutes writing time.


Word count as of July 30th: 105, 735 words.

And the crazy part: I haven’t written The End yet!

I’m still going.

But I’m putting this aside for now. I want to come back to it in a month or two with fresh eyes. But it will be finished!

Thanks to everyone who has cheered me on this month! I’ve had lots of well-wishes here on WordPress and Facebook!


Have you participated in Camp NaNoWriMo before?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth ๐Ÿ™‚

Getting Personal #286: August Goals

Image Credit: transforminglifenow

Welcome back!


Here are my goals for the month of August:

  1. Donate blood.
  2. Celebrate my birthday!
  3. Recap my Camp NaNoWriMo July 2022 efforts.
  4. Write my annual Reflections On My Birthday blog post.
  5. Publish one Book Review.
  6. Read before bed at least 2-3 times per week.
  7. Continue my writing sprints and work on book #4.

What about you? Do you have any goals for the month of August?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth

Getting Personal #285: July Goals Recap

Image Credit: Centre for Collaborative Health

Welcome back!


Here were my goals for the month of July:

  1. Participate in Camp NaNoWriMo July 2022. — Accomplished!
  2. Publish at least one Book Review. — Did not accomplish yet.
  3. Spend some time away, take vacation! — Accomplished!
  4. Clean off the couch in my office. — Did not accomplish yet.
  5. Participate in the 2022-2023 P.E.O. Convention Committee Transition meeting. — Accomplished!
  6. Finish my part of the 2022 P.E.O. Virginia State Convention committee report. — Semi-Achieved.
  7. Send off my thredUP Clean Out Kit. — Did not accomplish yet.

I had a blast with Camp NaNoWriMo this month. Look for a recap post about that tomorrow!

I’m slowing getting back to my reading. It feels good.

We took a long weekend and enjoyed time with Al’s parents. It wasn’t long enough, but it inspired us to book a longer vacation in the fall. Did we actually decide / commit to taking a whole week of vacation for the first time in six years? Yes please!

The P.E.O. Convention Committee Transition meeting was great! There were lots of good questions, and a good time was had by all. The 2023 Convention Committee is supremely organized! Looking forward to seeing their work next year in Richmond!

I’m working away on the committee report. I’m planning to be done by the end of August!


What about you? Did you have any goals for the month of July?

Come back tomorrow to see my August Goals!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth ๐Ÿ™‚

Getting Personal #284: July Goals

Image Credit: Goodbye Bread and Cheese

Welcome back!

Here are my goals for the month of July:

  1. Participate in Camp NaNoWriMo July 2022.
  2. Publish at least one Book Review.
  3. Spend some time away, take vacation!
  4. Clean off the couch in my office.
  5. Participate in the 2022-2023 P.E.O. Convention Committee Transition meeting.
  6. Finish my part of the 2022 P.E.O. Virginia State Convention committee report.
  7. Send off my thredUP Clean Out Kit.

What about you? Do you have any goals for the month of July?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth ๐Ÿ™‚

Getting Personal #283: June Goals Recap

Welcome back!

Here were my goals for the month of June:

  1. Donate blood. — Accomplished!
  2. Clean off the couch in my office and keep it clean. — Did not accomplish yet.
  3. Make progress with cleaning and organizing the garage. — Did not accomplish yet.
  4. Submit my ancestryDNA kit. — Accomplished!
  5. Donate a lot of American Girl items to Treyโ€™s Dolls. — Accomplished!
  6. Continue reading most nights before bed. — Did not accomplish yet.
  7. Send off my thredUP Clean Out Kit. — Did not accomplish yet.
  8. Publish at least one Book Review. — Did not accomplish yet.
  9. Make progress in editing book #2. — Did not accomplish yet.
  10. Prepare for Camp NaNoWriMo July 2022! — Accomplished!

June flew by. I can’t believe July starts tomorrow. 2022 is already half over!

I was able to successfully donate blood at our drive on June 4th. My iron was really high – 14! We found out after the drive ended that we passed a milestone – 8,000 units collected since starting the drives in April 2000. We’ll be celebrating that at the August drive!

I finally submitted my ancestryDNA kit! I should get the results 6-8 weeks from when I mailed it in. Once I get the results, I’ll likely make a post about it.

I boxed up a beautiful Kirsten doll and two big boxes of American Girl clothes, shoes, hangers, and a few accessories, and shipped it to Trey’s Dolls. Vicki was so sweet and posted photos on the AG Obsessed Facebook group. I’m glad it got there safely. I still have more organizing to do at home, but I’m happy that my load / haul has been lightened, and it’s all going to a great cause! It turns out that they had just gotten a Tenney doll to rehab and donate, but didn’t have any clothes for her. I sent several Tenney outfits in my shipment, so Vicki was over the moon about that.

I’m very excited to kick off Camp NaNoWriMo July 2022 tomorrow! My goal is to write 30,000 more words and finish the first draft of book #3, which I started during NaNoWriMo 2014. I’ve worked on it off and on since then. I made the biggest progress with this one during NaNoWriMo 2021, where I crushed the 50,000 word goal for the first time ever. I ended up writing 53,793 words during November 2021, and I was astounded. Look for a recap post about Camp at the beginning of August!


What about you? Did you have any goals for the month of June?

Come back tomorrow to see my July Goals!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth ๐Ÿ™‚

Commentary #119: Abortion

Image Credit: South OC Beaches

I’ve been through every single emotion since yesterday. On June 24, 2022, the United States Supreme Court made a decision that has plunged the nation into darkness, fear, and uncertainty.

I’m rethinking everything about my own life, even though I do want to have children. I’ve always wanted to have children. But now, I’m not sure I want to bring a child or children into this world.


Many of you know that I was raised in the United Methodist Church. Overall, I had a good church experience. I was never abused or traumatized, nothing drastic like that.

At the same time, I was taught to not have sex before marriage. Abortion was frowned upon, but not even really mentioned or discussed.

However, I had to educate myself today on the stance of the church on abortion.

What is the UM position on abortion?


I am staunchly pro-choice. And one singular event made me that way.

I was a freshman in college at Longwood. I don’t remember which class it was, or which semester, but it was either the fall of 2007 or the spring of 2008.

An anti-abortion protest took place on campus, between the Student Union and Stubbs Hall. Our professor asked us to attend, to witness it. We could leave at any time, but we had to check in with our professor before we left. I think I lasted maybe 10-15 minutes tops. I felt like I was going to throw up on the grass.

The protestors had graphic photos on signs, poster board and foam board, with Bible verses. There was a man with one of those portable loudspeakers with a megaphone that made think of the protests of the Vietnam War. They quoted Scripture constantly. Most of these people were adults, older than us. I don’t remember how many there were.

I could barely walk after leaving the Student Union. I don’t remember much of that day after that. I was horrified.

I knew, from that day forward, that I was not going to support any of that.

This was when I was 19 years old, I turned 20 in the summer of 2008. I was very naรฏve. I was always the good girl, the goody-two-shoes. I wanted to be the perfect child for my parents, the good Christian girl who studied hard and got good grades.

I’m trying to unlearn so many things now. I’m grateful for various counselors and therapists.

That protest altered me forever. I continued to attend church, because that’s what I had always done, but that protest was burned into my memory.


Also in college, I was in a relationship that I thought was love. I was with John from July 2006 through July 2010. July 17th, just a few weeks from now, marks 12 years since I was able to escape from him. Alive.

Now, years later, I’m fully convinced that he wanted to get me pregnant, so that we needed to get married and he could control me forever. Coercive control is real.

I remember looking up Planned Parenthood for the first time in my life, incredibly afraid, sometime in 2009. It was one of the few times that John wasn’t watching me.

I’m fortunate that I didn’t get pregnant then. I refused to have sex with him for the first two years, because I wanted to save it for marriage. I thought we were going to get married. I still remember my mom’s face when I told her that we were thinking about getting married after graduation.

He controlled me sexually. He sexually assaulted me more than once. In early, 2009, he nearly raped me. Thankfully, I was able to get him to listen to the word โ€œNo,โ€ finally, after screaming it over and over. Once wasnโ€™t enough.

I’m so glad I was able to get out.

I’m so glad that I have a wonderful man in my life, Al, who supports me (and women) 200 percent.


Moving Forward

I’m ready to fight like hell.

I’m donating to Planned Parenthood.

I’m ready to vote, like tomorrow.

If you’re not registered to vote in the U.S., I beg you to do so!

I’m screaming. It might be from a keyboard right now, but I have a voice. And I’m not afraid anymore.

And to those in Washington, D.C., you just pissed off so many people.

I’m still a Christian. But I will always be pro-choice.


Resources

Bans Off Our Bodies

How to Register to Vote

Planned Parenthood

safe2choose

We Won’t Go Back

Women’s March


Until the next headline, Laura Beth ๐Ÿ™‚

Getting Personal #282: June Goals

Image Credit: Pinterest

Welcome back!


Here are my goals for the month of June:

  1. Donate blood.
  2. Clean off the couch in my office and keep it clean.
  3. Make progress with cleaning and organizing the garage.
  4. Submit my ancestryDNA kit.
  5. Donate a lot of American Girl items to Trey’s Dolls.
  6. Continue reading most nights before bed.
  7. Send off my thredUP Clean Out Kit.
  8. Publish at least one Book Review.
  9. Make progress in editing book #2.
  10. Prepare for Camp NaNoWriMo July 2022!

What about you? Do you have any goals for the month of June?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth ๐Ÿ™‚

Getting Personal #281: May Goals Recap

Image Credit: pinterest.com

Welcome back!


Here were my goals for the month of May:

  1. Reach 100 Book Reviews! — Accomplished!
  2. Have a successful 2022 Virginia State Convention of P.E.O. as one of the co-chair and hostess chapters. — Accomplished!
  3. Host a fun family cookout. — Accomplished!
  4. Continue progress on keeping my office clean and organized. — Semi-Achieved.
  5. Drink more water. — Accomplished!
  6. Keep the potted plants alive! — Accomplished!

May was wild and crazy. I’m really happy with everything I’ve accomplished.

I reached 100 Book Reviews! Yahoo!

I successfully co-chaired the 2022 P.E.O. Virginia State Convention! It was a great event. Looking forward to 2023 already.

We had a great cookout for Mother’s Day weekend. Even though the weather wasn’t as cooperative as we’d liked (50 degrees in early May!) – We made the best of it.

I have more work to do on my office, but I broke down a lot of old boxes and have more floor space. Next is gathering up and sending off American Girl items for donation to Trey’s Dolls, a wonderful charity that was started years ago by Trey’s mom, Vicki. She and I met in the amazing AG Obsessed group on Facebook.

The potted plants are doing great. I received a spider plant and an ivy plant during the P.E.O. Convention, so I made another trip to Lowe’s last weekend and got another large planter for the ivy and a really pretty hanging planter for the spider plant. I never thought I would be a plant person, but I really like it now.


What about you? Did you have any goals for the month of May?

Come back tomorrow to see my goals for June!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth ๐Ÿ™‚