Getting Personal #23: Home Ownership

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I wanted to give everyone an update on why my posts have been few and far between recently.

A week ago today, Al and I closed on our first house.

We’re homeowners!

With that said, we’ve dived into the world of home improvements, head-first. The Home Depot, Lowe’s, thrift stores, and Craigslist are becoming our best friends.

I’m taking all of next week off from work, and I couldn’t be more excited. We’re having someone come in to help restore the original hardwood floors. My main goal for the week is to get the entire kitchen cleaned, organized, and filled with all of our amazing wedding gifts. We’ll hopefully have some fresh paint on the walls and ceilings, too!

So, that’s the main reason that I haven’t been posting recently or regularly.

There will be pictures, I promise!

More posts to come.

Thanks for reading!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Hot Topic #14: The Brock Turner Case

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The case of Brock Turner has lit up every aspect of social media and news/media outlets in the last eight days.

I first caught wind of the story from Facebook. I sat on the living room couch, mesmerized by the survivor’s impact statement that she gave in court. Tears came to my eyes. I felt sick the entire time.

Even before I knew Brock Turner’s name, I immediately wanted to sucker punch him.

I wanted him to experience a taste of his own medicine – How would it feel for him to be unconscious, digitally penetrated, groped, and assaulted for 20 minutes behind a dumpster?

Would he feel like he wanted to shed his body “like a jacket and leave it behind in the hospital with everything else?”

Then, on Thursday, I found this link on Facebook:

I’m a Dad of 3 Boys. I Married a Rape Victim – & I Have Something to Say to Brock Turner’s Father

I read it, and one section resonated with me immediately:

Trauma has a way of blocking the logic centers of the brain and reducing its survivors to their most primitive survival instincts. When I touch my wife, nearly 13 years after her rape, she can be triggered into an immediate fight or flight response. We never know when, or if, it will happen because Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) often has no rhyme or reason. Her body remembers what her mind can’t. Sexual desire was non-existent for years, and is just now only slowly coming back. For years I couldn’t understand why she didn’t have the same desire for me that I do for her. It isn’t that she doesn’t want to, it’s that she can’t. The trauma she experienced has caused her primitive brain to associate sex with danger.

That exact scenario has happened to me, with Al, more times than I wish to count. It’s been tough, having been together for nearly six years now, and married for nearly seven months.

Let me stop for a second and clarify:

I was not raped, but I nearly was in 2009 by my ex-boyfriend, John Ivey. At the time, I was able to stop him, but only by screaming at the absolute top of my lungs, proclaiming, over and over and over, “Stop. No. I’m not ready. I’m not ready. I’m not ready.”

Sadly, many rape survivors are overpowered by their rapists. I’m talking about men, women, and children.

Over the years, I’ve read countless articles about other survivors.

Here are a few that have stuck with me.

I’ve also re-posted the impact statement from Brock Turner’s survivor, first published by BuzzFeed on June 3rd.

If you haven’t read it, I encourage you to do so. It’s already impacted my life.

I feel grateful that my situation wasn’t worse. I was abused from late 2006 through Friday, July 17, 2010, when I finally gathered the courage to break up with John, to tell him to his face that I wasn’t happy, that I had changed into a person that I didn’t recognize, that it was over.

I felt liberated.

Sadly, there are so many in this world that don’t, can’t, feel that way.

My heart breaks for them.

I never was molested by a family member, abused before middle school, assaulted by a coach or a priest that a survivor trusted. The list is endless.

Writing this post brought back some of my memories and experiences, but I know I am strong.

I survived.

I’m able to tell my story freely.

It isn’t easy. I haven’t shared my story with everyone that I know.

My parents don’t know the entire story, the entire 3 1/2 years, although they were two of the first to recognize that I was being manipulated and taken advantage of.

However, I’m grateful for their undying support, along with Al, several friends, professors, counselors, and therapists. I’m also thankful that I was raised as a strong Christian. I say that because I relied heavily on my faith during my experiences, although I may not have realized it at the time.

I only have hazy memories of my freshman, sophomore, and junior years of college, which makes me sad. College is supposed to be one of the best times of someone’s life.

But, at the same time, I think of the survivors who have hazy memories of their entire childhood, or not have any memories at all.

I feel humbled, knowing that I was able to escape from John.

Many people have never escaped at all.

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #22: Movie Marathons, Revealed

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As promised, here’s my list of Movie Marathons!

Here’s the link to the list of film genres that I used for this post: Film Site – Main Film Genres.

I’ll admit, this was a really tough post to write. It’s taken me nearly two full months to go through these genres and narrow down these lists to 3-5 movies per genre. Through this process, I also made sure to not exclusively list any full series/trilogies, although it was very tempting!

I’ve always liked movies. I’m one of those people who can watch certain movies more than once. I’m excited to watch a lot of these movies again because of this post.

Let me know what you think! Comments are always welcome, and appreciated!

Without further ado, here they are!


GoldenEye (1995)

Die Hard (1988)

Batman (1989)

GoldenEye is one of my all-time favorite 007 movies. It’s probably because it’s one of the first Bond movies that I saw from beginning to end. Brosnan isn’t my favorite Bond, however. I love Sean Connery and Daniel Craig.

Bruce Willis absolutely delivers in Die Hard. And Alan Rickman – Need I say more? I’ve seen the entire series.

Batman. My first true introduction was the The Dark Knight trilogy in theaters, but this one takes the cake. I wish I could have seen this in the theaters. Michael Keaton is amazing, Jack Nicholson gave me nightmares for a while, and his Batmobile is bad-ass.


Star Wars, Episode IV: A New Hope (1977)

The Perfect Storm (2000)

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

Apollo 13 (1995)

To me, there are only four true Star Wars movies, for now. I have seen all of them under that name, however. I can’t remember the first time I saw Episode IV, but I loved the adventurous spirit from the beginning.

For some reason, I enjoy most disaster movies. The Perfect Storm is one of my favorites. A grand adventure trying to catch fish turns tragic.

I love the Pirates series. Seeing this in high school, I wanted to sail to the Caribbean too. And Johnny Depp was the perfect choice.

I saw Apollo 13 from beginning to end for the first time about 15 years after it premiered. I’m a sucker for movies based on true stories. The casting was great too.


Ghostbusters (1984)

Blazing Saddles (1974)

Airplane! (1980)

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

Coming to America (1988)

I’ve dressed up as a Ghostbuster, and I’ve been to the firehouse in New York where the movies have been filmed! One of my favorite movies, hands down. I can’t wait to show Ghostbusters to my kids.

I was skeptical of Blazing Saddles, at first. But I love Mel Brooks and his brilliant mind!

I love Leslie Nieslen, but I didn’t see Airplane! for the first time until Al and I started dating. I think we watched it together right before or right after he passed away in November 2010.

I love all of John Hughes’ movies. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is an excellent choice. Matthew Broderick is amazing!

Coming to America is another movie I hadn’t seen until Al and I got together. We watched it on a Sunday night about a year ago and I loved it. Eddie Murphy has several great movies from the 1980s and 1990s, but this is one I will watch over and over.

Crime & Gangster

JFK (1991)

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

The Departed (2006)

This is one of Kevin Costner’s best movies. Like I said, I’m a big fan of historical movies and those based on true stories. If  you haven’t seen it, JFK is one of those that you should watch.

I’ve enjoyed most of Stephen King’s books, and Shawshank is one of the best movie adaptations.

I wasn’t sure about The Departed. I’m not a big fan of violence, but I gave this one a shot (No pun intended). It was tough to get through, but it left an impression on me.


All The President’s Men (1976)

To Kill A Mockingbird (1962)

The Pelican Brief (1993)

October Sky (1999)

This was one of the toughest ones to narrow down. I’ve watched so many movies on their genre list!

Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman make a great team in All The President’s Men. Neither Al nor I had seen it before we watched it together a couple years ago, despite hearing about it. It won’t disappoint!

To Kill A Mockingbird is based on the great book. Gregory Peck is a perfect choice.

Al had not seen The Pelican Brief before we watched it together recently – A rare feat for me! John Grisham is one of my favorite authors, and he’s part of the inspiration for me studying to be a paralegal. This is one of the best movie adaptations of his books.

October Sky is based on another book, and a true story – Do you see a trend? I fell in love with Jake Gyllenhaal, and I wanted to learn more about the author’s history, having extended family from West Virginia.

Epics / Historical

Jurassic Park (1993)

The Mummy (1999)

The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

King Kong (2005)

Australia (2008)

I remember being terrified by The Lost World and Jurassic Park as a kid. Now, it’s one of my favorite movies. I even learned the theme and played it as my solo for my last high school orchestra concert.

I didn’t see The Mummy in the theaters, but I’ve seen it several times. I love Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz. Check it out!

It was tough to narrow down The Lord of the Rings movies – They’re all awesome. The first one is my favorite.

Some people may scoff, but I like the way King Kong turned out. It definitely has the feel of the older movies.

Australia is memorable for me because I went to see it with my friend Shelby, smack in the middle of final exams! Since then, I’ve always admired Baz Luhrmann’s movies.


Psycho (1960)

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

The Birds (1963)

Horror movies are not my thing. These are the only three that I can think of that I have enjoyed.

Alfred Hitchcock is one of my favorite directors/producers. Psycho and The Birds were the two of his movies that truly scared me.

Just thinking of Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal gives me the creeps.

Musicals / Dance

The Blues Brothers (1980)

Grease (1978)

Footloose (1984)

Dirty Dancing (1987)

Al and I dressed up as Elwood and Jake a few years ago for Halloween. I love the music and the story, even though it’s about criminals.

The music from Grease always gets me energized.

I’ve always sang along to Footloose, although I’m ashamed to admit that I didn’t see the original until 2011. I enjoyed the remake as well – Al was such a good sport and went to see it with me!

Ah, Dirty Dancing. I’ve been to the resort in Virginia where it was filmed! Patrick Swayze was one of the best – May he rest in peace.

Science Fiction

E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial (1982)

Tron (1982)

Contact (1997)

Like Jurassic Park, I was terrified of E.T., at first. I remember my parents had a VHS copy that was black and green. I watched it – and then didn’t watch it again for years. I think I watched it again after going to Universal Studios and riding the E.T. ride.

I had never seen Tron until Al and I started dating. I really enjoyed it! We liked the reboot/sequel, too.

Same thing with Contact, but it’s one of my favorite movies now. I immediately connected the radio telescope from GoldenEye, and I fell hard after that.


Casablanca (1942)

Top Gun (1986)

Patriot Games (1992)

Casablanca is a classic. If you haven’t seen it, well …You should!

I always get a thrill when I see movies with our U.S. military. I’m partial to the Coast Guard, but Top Gun is one of the best with Navy pilots.

Tom Clancy was one of the best writers. Harrison Ford plays a great Jack Ryan! Patriot Games is one of my favorites.


Maverick (1994)

Hidalgo (2004)

Back to the Future, Part III (1990)

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

Like many of the movies mentioned, I hadn’t seen Maverick until Al and I started dating. We watched it on TV with his parents. I’ve noticed a trend, too – I really Jodie Foster movies!

Hidalgo is one of the only Westerns I’ve seen in the theaters. It was impressive, although I was sensitive to the horse!

You may scoff, but I really like Back to the Future Part III with its Wild West theme!

My mom and I watched Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid together, years ago, before Paul Newman died. I’m not a huge Western fan, but this one, it’s good.

What did you think? Did one of your favorites not make the list? Leave a comment and tell me what you think!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂