Getting Personal #159: February Goals Recap

BeautyBeyondBones 35

Image Credit: BeautyBeyondBones

February just zoomed by!

Here’s the link to my February Goals post:


Here we go!

  1. Order my new glasses. — Did not accomplish.
  2. Donate blood. — Accomplished!
  3. Finally finish the first draft of my 2012 WIP! — Did not accomplish.
  4. Make journaling a daily habit / practice. — Accomplished!
  5. Create my own media kit. — Did not accomplish.
  6. Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Al. — Accomplished!
  7. Take unused / unwanted clothes to Clothes Mentor. — Did not accomplish.
  8. Write more Commentary posts. — Semi-Achieved.
  9. Celebrate Drew’s 30th birthday! — Accomplished!
  10. Take unwanted / duplicate American Girl items to Once Upon A Child. — Did not accomplish.

Here’s the breakdown:

Order my new glasses. — Did not accomplish.

  • As much as I wanted to do this, I didn’t have the funds to make it happen this month.

Donate blood. — Accomplished!

  • Yay! I got by with the skin of my teeth with my iron, but I did it. It was also my 50th donation! I started donating blood in 2005 after I turned 17. The minimum age now is 16, with parent permission.

Finally finish the first draft of my 2012 WIP! — Did not accomplish.

  • I didn’t touch it at all!

Make journaling a daily habit / practice. — Accomplished!

  • I don’t have a photo on hand, but I bought a super pretty journal at Target and worked hard to write in it every day. I’ve already noticed a huge difference in my anxiety levels!

Create my own media kit. — Did not accomplish.

  • I didn’t make time for this at all.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Al. — Accomplished!

  • Since Valentine’s Day fell on a Thursday this year, we kept it simple. I ordered steaks and all the fixings from Texas Roadhouse online, and I picked it up on the way home. We enjoyed it immensely.

Take unused / unwanted clothes to Clothes Mentor. — Did not accomplish.

  • My goal is to do this in March. My pile is overflowing!

Write more Commentary posts. — Semi-Achieved.

  • I wrote one: Commentary #83

Celebrate Drew’s 30th birthday! — Accomplished!

  • We drove up to Richmond on Saturday, February 16th, to celebrate at Carini’s Italian restaurant. More than 20 people were there! Most importantly, Drew had a wonderful time, and made a heartfelt speech to everyone. We enjoyed the pizza, cake, and catching up with everyone. It felt like a mini-college reunion!

Take unwanted / duplicate American Girl items to Once Upon A Child. — Did not accomplish.

  • I want to divide my stash between my local Once Upon A Child and Girl AGain in White Plains, New York.

Final Thoughts

  • I was able to put Accomplished next to four out of 10 goals!
  • The one goal that was Semi-Achieved: I was a busy blogger this month! Just not with that type of post, haha.
  • The five goals I did not accomplish: Most of this was related to time, and partially money.

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

Come back tomorrow to see my March Goals!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #197: “30 Day Disney Challenge” (Day 28)

30 Day Disney Challenge

Image Credit: Meerkat Musings

Day 28 – Your favorite theme park

Image result for disney world

Image result for disney world

Disney World!

We went to Disney for part of our honeymoon in November 2016. You can read more in my Adventure Time post. Here’s some photos!

All of Disney World had their Christmas decorations up! This was just beyond the entrance to the Magic Kingdom.

All of Disney World had their Christmas decorations up! This was just beyond the entrance to the Magic Kingdom.

The Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse.

The Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse.

Animal Kingdom Christmas Tree. Every park had a huge tree, and they were all different!

The Animal Kingdom Christmas Tree. Every park had a huge tree, and they were all different!

Expedition Everest! We were in the front row! It was an awesome ride.

Expedition Everest! We were in the front row! It was an awesome ride.

First in line for MuppetVision 3D!

First in line for MuppetVision 3D!

Pixar Studios! This place was nuts. We wanted to do Toy Story Midway Mania!, but it was over an hour wait!

Pixar Place! This place was nuts. We wanted to do Toy Story Midway Mania!, but it was over an hour wait! I guess we just have to come back again …

The amazing model railroad in Germany!

The amazing model railroad in Germany!


Obligatory. Spaceship Earth!

We are planning to go back to Disney in the fall of 2020, to celebrate our five-year wedding anniversary and experience Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge for the first time!

Come back tomorrow for a new post!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #196: February WIP Challenge – “Out to Sea”

WIP Character Challenge February Out to Sea

Image Credit: Didi Oviatt

Here’s the link to Didi’s challenge post:

After Camp ended in early August, Kristin and Brennan felt adrift. Kristin went home to Kansas, and Brennan headed back to Texas. Although their time at Camp hadn’t always been sunshine and roses, the two knew they had a connection. Neither of them quite knew what to make of their experiences, but they’d promised to stay in touch via text.

On August 12th, Kristin’s phone buzzed early.

Good morning, K. I hope there’s sunshine in Kansas today. It’s raining here in Corpus Christi. I wish you were here to brighten my day. Love, B

Kristin smiled, and rolled over on her stomach. She waited a few minutes to text him back. After Camp, and the nasty fight they had at the end, she was more cautious with her words.

Hey, B. Good morning. There’s a beautiful sunrise outside my window. I’m sorry it’s raining. I hope it clears up soon. Any plans for today? I think I’ll be going back-to-school shopping soon. Junior year! Love, K

Brennan smiled. Despite wanting to stay in touch with Kristin, what happened at the end of Camp was hard to stomach. They’d fallen head over heels for each other, or that’s what Brennan had thought. He could tell Kristin was less impulsive now, more careful with her words and actions. Still, that fight was a looming dark cloud over them. Being states away certainly didn’t help, either.

Brennan longed to be with her again. Not necessarily physically, but be in her presence. He wanted to push that dark cloud away, calm the stormy sea. But, he felt like a ship passing in the night. He needed an anchor, or else he felt he would just drift along, aimlessly.

His phone buzzed a few minutes later, getting him out of his funk.

Hey, dude. Wanna catch some waves later?

Brennan laughed aloud. His best friend, Adam, was up for surfing any time, no matter the weather. Adam was the only person that Brennan had told about his experiences at Camp.

Sure, Adam. That sounds great. What time?

Brennan exchanged a few more texts with Adam, and then invited Rafael and Mike to tag along. Mike had a Jeep Wrangler, which was the popular beach vehicle of the group.

About two hours later, the rain lessened, and the sun was a muted orb behind the clouds. Brennan heard Mike honk as he grabbed his board and a few essentials. Brennan’s mom caught him at the door.

“I love you, Brennan. Be safe. I want you back home before dinner. Text me when you’re on your way home. Got it?”

Brennan looped an arm around his mom. “No worries, Mom. I love you, too.”

Kristin was distracted by back-to-school shopping for several hours, and missed Brennan’s photo with his surfing buddies.

At 4:45 p.m., a sudden storm exploded off-shore. Brennan knew he needed to be heading home soon, but Mike convinced him to stay in the water for 15 more minutes.

The lifeguards blew their whistles in unison. Rafael and Adam headed in. Brennan caught one more wave. As he turned, Brennan saw a flash of lightning, and Mike’s head.

“Mike! Get out of the water! Now!”

All three guys cupped their hands around their mouths and yelled the same command, over and over. It started to rain. Thunder followed, and the rain began coming down in sheets. The head lifeguard jumped off his station and dashed toward them.

“Hey! You guys need to get to shelter. Now.”

Brennan protested. “But – Our friend! Mike! He’s still out there. Alone.”

“I’ll find him. You guys get under cover. This is my job.”

The three guys scrambled to the safety of the beach bathrooms, a solid concrete block building about 500 yards from the shoreline.

Brennan was terrified. He knew the lifeguard was fully capable of rescuing Mike, but it was still scary. They huddled in the bathroom, where Rafael said a quick prayer. Adam tried to calm their nerves, to no avail.

As the thunder roared and lightning flashed, Brennan needed a distraction. He finally saw Kristin’s text, the response to his photo.

So cool! I hope you have fun. Wish I was there! Do you want to FaceTime later? Love, K

Brennan smiled, then re-focused. “I hope they find Mike.”

Adam wrapped his arms around his friends’ shoulders. “I know they will.”

“We need EMS!”

They jumped. Rafael scrambled up toward the windows near the ceiling. “Hey, guys! Mike’s alive!”

Brennan slumped to the floor. Adam squeezes his shoulder. “It’s good news. Mike’s gonna be okay. He’s getting help.”

Brennan shook his head. “All four of us could have been out there. It’s weird. It feels surreal.”

Rafael nodded. “We’re lucky. Mike, especially.” He whispered another prayer, this time it was one of thanks.

Adam helped Brennan off the floor. “Come on. Let’s see where Mike went. And you should call your mom.”

Brennan nodded, relief washing over him. Before dialing home, he texted Kristin.

Hey, K. Boy, do I have a story for you. FaceTime at 7:30? Love, B

With shaking hands, he dialed home. He stuttered as he told his mom what happened. He asked to go to the hospital. Mom said yes and that she would meet them there.

“I’m so glad you’re okay. Be safe. See you soon. I love you.”

“I love you, too, Mom. Thank you. You’re my anchor.”

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #195: “30 Day Disney Challenge” (Day 27)

30 Day Disney Challenge

Image Credit: Meerkat Musings

Day 27 – Your favorite quote

Image result for favorite disney quotes

Image Credit: Blog – Geeker

I loved Lilo & Stitch (2002). It’s such a good movie, set in Hawaii, one of my dream places! It also combines a family movie with science fiction!

Come back tomorrow for a new post!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Tag #76: The Wonderstruck Book Tag

The Wonderstruck Book Tag

Image Credit: Purely Olivia

Taylor Swift + Books!

I found this lovely book tag on Olivia’s blog!

Here’s the link to her post:

leaderboard #1

  • Link back to the creator (Olivia)
  • Answer as many or as few of the questions as you’d like.
  • Feel free to use any of the graphics in this post. 🙂
  • Tag however many people you’d like at the end!

facebook cover #1

Image result for the last song book

The Last Song, Nicholas Sparks.

I cried every time I read a Sparks book. This one, though, hit me in all the feels! No spoilers, but have a tissue ready.

{ Listen to: You’re Not Sorry }


facebook cover #1 (1)


The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins.

I couldn’t get it out of my head. I can’t remember if I already owned Catching Fire, but I know I wanted to devour it, and Mockingjay, and then go back and read the first one again. This is a trilogy that will never leave my bookshelves.

{ Listen to: Back to December }


facebook cover #1 (2)

Oh, man! These types of questions are hard for me. I’m of the opinion that books are better adapted as TV series or miniseries, not movies.


The only book I can think of right now is Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, Matthew Desmond. I think this is an excellent book – One of the best I’ve read. Since it involves real people, I think a docu-series would be perfect, especially to see “where are they now” type of angle.

{ Listen to: If This Was a Movie }


facebook cover #1 (3)


Caraval, Stephanie Garber.

I NEED to read this book! It’s been on my radar for well over two years now, and I just need to find a copy.

{ Listen to: Gorgeous }


facebook cover #1 (4)

The Great Gatsby - Complex

The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Several people, both online and in-person, have told me how much they dislike this book. I was assigned to read it during my senior year of high school, and I ended up loving it. There was another research assignment for that class, and I did that project on Fitzgerald, his other works, and his experiences as an American expatriate in Europe. This is one of two books that I re-read every year.

{ Listen to: Shake it Off }


facebook cover #1 (5)

CM polar express.jpg

The Polar Express, Chris Van Allsburg.

This book brings back so many childhood memories.

My parents have had a copy of this book since before I was born. It was a Christmas tradition for years to read the book and/or listen to the story on cassette tape. We even had a collector’s set with the book, cassette tape, and a silver bell. If you haven’t read it, you should.

Also, the movie adaptation (2004) is wonderful. We went to see it in theaters, likely the weekend it was released. We love Josh Groban in our house, so we also got the soundtrack and DVD. It’s a thing.

{ Listen to: Never Grow Up }


facebook cover #1 (6)

Fallible Justice (ARC), Laura Laakso.

I was thrilled to receive this book as an ARC in exchange for an honest review last year! The cover drew me in immediately. The story was really good, too. I can’t wait for book #2 in the series!

{ Listen to: Sparks Fly }


facebook cover #1 (7)

Image result for Little House in the Big Woods

Little House in the Big Woods, Laura Ingalls Wilder.

I can’t remember how many of the eight-book series I read when i was younger, but I have fond memories of reading this one for sure.

{ Listen to: Style }


facebook cover #1 (8)

{ Listen to: End Game }


facebook cover #1 (9)

Image result for columbine dave cullen

Columbine, Dave Cullen.

I had the grand opportunity to listen to Dave Cullen lecture at my university, and then I interviewed him about the lecture and the book for the student newspaper. It was such a powerful experience. He also signed my copy.

It’s a bit odd to get obsessed with a book covering one of the worst school shootings in American history, but Cullen is a powerful writer and researcher. I want to re-read it, and review it properly here on the blog.

{ Listen to: I Knew You Were Trouble }



This is slightly deviant from the question, but the only logical answer I can think of.

Image Credit:

I loved Divergent and Insurgent, but I hated, absolutely loathed, Allegiant, Veronica Roth.

It’s a shame, really. I loved the cover of Allegiant, but the content was such a let-down!

Maybe I should re-read the series? I’m not sure.

{ Listen to: Bad Blood }


Tag – You’re It!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #194: “30 Day Disney Challenge” (Day 26)

30 Day Disney Challenge

Image Credit: Meerkat Musings

Day 26 – Saddest death

Image result for saddest disney deaths

Mufasa’s death, The Lion King (1994)

I’m getting emotional just thinking about it. I sobbed the first time I saw it, and realized what was happening.

Come back tomorrow for a new post!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #193: “Tell The Story Challenge” (Round 2)

I saw this on Kristian’s amazing blog, Life Lessons Around The Dinner Table!

Here’s the link to Kristian’s post:

This is the photo Kristian chose for others who wanted to participate:

Tell The Story Challenge - Round 2

“Dancing Shadows”

As the sun set behind the shoreline of Nags Head, North Carolina, Brett sighed, lost in thought. Seeing his lone shadow on the sand made him misty. His mind was filled with thoughts and memories of her – Lisa.

Brett was transported back to 1993. That summer was glorious. Fresh off his sophomore year of college, he’d landed a job at one of the Nags Head hotels for the summer. Brett was giddy – He loved the beach, and what better place to earn some money and gain some hospitality and tourism management skills for his degree? Plus, he was turning 21 that summer. Even better. He couldn’t wait to work a little, party hard, and possibly meet a girl or two along the way.

Five weeks passed quickly, and Brett was surprisingly miserable. That summer was not typical – Tons of rain, and several nasty hurricanes had barely missed the Outer Banks. He was grateful to still have his job at The Carolinian. The staff got along great, but the crazy weather was not helping anyone’s mood. Even the tourists were uncharacteristically rude, curt, and horrible tippers.

Finally, the weather improved after the 4th of July. The fireworks spectacular was canceled, and everyone was ready to let off some pent-up steam. Brett, Connor, Andrew, and Rhea were not only co-workers, but became fast friends. Brett shared a house with Andrew, a fellow college student working for the summer, and Connor and Rhea were locals. They’d passed around the idea of having a huge bonfire on the beach for weeks, and the weather was finally right for it.

Connor and Rhea left The Carolinian early to gather supplies. They were a few years older, and the manager had some sympathy. Brett and Andrew’s moods were lighter, and so were the tourists’, for once. It felt like the first time all summer anyone was making decent money.

Fifteen minutes before their shift ended, Andrew whistled loudly as he cleared a vacant table. Brett nearly dropped the clean glass he was polishing, but knew Andrew was signaling something important.

Brett carefully set the glass on the bar and looked in the direction of the lounge entrance. Two girls, with a third slightly behind them, traipsed in. Brett fought back the urge to stare – Everything was in slow motion. One, a brunette with blonde highlights, was tan, and sporting a gingham bikini top and white shorts. The other two were blonde, and looked like sisters with their matching tans, tube tops, and overall shorts.

Andrew opened his mouth, but quickly shut it.

Brett swallowed as the girls headed in his general direction.

“Hey, buddy, where can we get some drinks around here?”

Brett tried to not roll his eyes. “Hey, ladies. Drinks can be found here, as long as you’re the proper age, that is. I’ll need to check your IDs, please.”

The brunette, identified as Jennifer, kept smacking her gum and making eyes at Andrew. The sisters, who weren’t actually sisters, were Kimberly and Lisa. All three were giggling madly. Brett doubted, briefly, their IDs were real.

“What’ll it be, ladies?” Brett gingerly, but confidently, flipped a glass in his hand, end over end, and caught it deftly. All six eyes widened as the girls gasped. Brett grinned, and Andrew shook his head. He’d already paid for six glasses that way. But, he was improving. Even Andrew had to admit that.

Kimberly and Jennifer, in unison, said, “I’ll have a Long Island Iced Tea, please.” More giggling.

Lisa looked at Brett straight, and smiled. “I’ll have a Shirley Temple, please.”

Brett smiled back, happy to find at least one girl visiting Nags Head who didn’t want to get drunk right away. Andrew popped over to ask them about food. Kimberly and Jennifer declined. Although it was obvious the other two were pressuring Lisa to go along with them, she asked for a menu. After studying it for a few minutes, Lisa ordered a cheeseburger and asked for piping hot fries. Andrew mock saluted and headed toward the kitchen.

“Hey, Lisa, you’re gonna get fat.”

Lisa rolled her eyes. “Who cares? I’m hungry. And I’m not drinking. Not yet, anyway. Did you hear about the bonfire on the beach tonight?”

Brett’s ears perked up, but just smiled to himself and listened. The girls chattered away, excited. He could feel Kimberly eyeing him as she stirred her straw round and round.

“Hey – Kimberly? You’re making me uncomfortable.” The words tumbled out of his mouth before he could stop.

“Who, me? No way. As if!”

“No, seriously. Stop staring at me. I tend to drop glasses if someone keeps staring like that. It gives me the creeps.”

Brett’s eyes met Kimberly’s, now full of anger and disgust. “You just lost your tip, whatever your name is. Besides, you’re just a bartender. Come on, Jennifer. Come on, Lisa. Let’s go. He’s a loser.”

Jennifer started to stand, but hesitated. “I want to finish my drink, Kim. Please?”

Kimberly wasn’t having any of it. Brett knew a mean girl when he saw it. “No, Jen. Come on. I want to get ready for the bonfire. Now.”

Jen looked at Lisa, but Lisa turned away. Instead of staring at Brett, she stared at the shoreline.

Kimberly slapped some crumpled, wet bills on the bar, and several coins rolled in different directions. “Here, barkeep, that’s a mess for you to clean up.”

Jen smiled sympathetically as she held out her credit card. Without a word, Brett ran it through. He just nodded as Jen gave a tip for her drink, as well as Kim’s. She left the lounge without a word, but then started calling Kim’s name about ten steps down the hall.

Lisa sighed. She sounded exhausted. Neither of them wanted to speak. Brett silently thanked Jen, and carefully collected Kim’s bills and coins.

“They’re not my true friends, you know. We’re sorority sisters. Ugh. I can’t wait to be done with college.”

Brett smiled slightly. “I can’t wait to be done, too. Sort of. I’ve had fun this summer.”

Lisa focused on him. “Here? At The Carolinian?”

Brett nodded, smiling wider. “It’s rained, sure, but it’s been nice to earn some money and have a little fun. I’ll be sad to head back to the mountains.”

Lisa glanced around, and then leaned in closer. “Who’s idea was the bonfire?”

Brett raised his hand. “Mine. And – Some others. We’ve been planning it for weeks. You’re coming, right?”

Lisa smiled, her green eyes sparkling. “You bet. I’m excited to get away from Kim and Jen. They’ll be there, but I think they’ll be plenty distracted.” She tilted her head in Andrew’s direction, and Brett smiled.

“Yeah, he’s been pretty popular here. He looks like a surfer.”

“Does he? Surf?”

Brett laughed. “No. I don’t think he’s ever been on a board. He takes great pride in his hair.”

Both Brett and Lisa laughed harder as they pictured Andrew on a surfboard, trying to avoid getting wet.

“Do you surf?”

Brett chuckled. “I’ve learned a few things here. But – I love something else.”

Lisa leaned in. “What’s that?”



“Yep. There’s a ballroom dance club at school. I could – show you some moves later. If you want.”

Lisa’s eyes danced. “I’m a bit clumsy.”

“No worries. That’s my job – To catch you if you fall.”

The bonfire was roaring and huge. Brett’s stomach was flipping and flopping. He hadn’t spotted any of the three girls yet. His watch read 10:52. Still early, but not if someone was already drunk.

The squeals of delight from the southwest corner of the fire made everyone’s heads swivel. Kim and Jen were holding on to each other, and Lisa was holding their shoes. Brett smiled sadly and shook his head. Lisa looked miserable.

Kim, clearly drunk and possibly high, was struggling to stay upright. “Jen! Look at this! The fire – It’s so big!”

Jen wasn’t much better. “Ooooh! I bet it’s really, really hot!”

Andrew had been strumming his guitar, but quickly set it aside to make sure Kim and Jen were settled, and, moreover, safe. Someone else offered them beers, and they gratefully accepted them after plopping into lawn chairs. They bobbed their heads to Andrew’s soft music. Rhea rolled her eyes, then waved Lisa over.

“Hi! You must be Lisa. I’m Rhea. Welcome!”

Lisa smiled, grateful for the opportunity to drop Kim and Jen’s shoes in a heap. “Thanks. I’m happy to be here.”

Brett let Lisa and Rhea talk for a bit as Rhea nursed a beer. Brett had a bottle of water, and offered one to Lisa.

“Sure. Thanks! I’m parched.”

She took a few swigs and eyes Kim and Jen. “I already told Brett – We’re sorority sisters. Not necessarily friends.”

Rhea raised her beer and touched Lisa’s water bottle. “Here, here.”

About twenty minutes later, Rhea offered to go check on Kim and Jen, and see if anybody else needed something. Lisa dug her bare feet in the sand. Brett carefully moved his chair over, with just enough space in between.

“They made quite a scene earlier, didn’t they?”

Lisa shrugged. “Can we not talk about it?”

Brett dropped it. “Happy to talk about anything else. What do you like to do in school?”

Lisa liked Brett. She wasn’t necessarily attracted to him, but liked how thoughtful he was. He’d called out Kim because she’d made him uncomfortable – A clear first for a guy.

Brett felt attracted to Lisa, but wanted it to feel like a slow burn. Taking its time, soaking up all the energy. He was becoming captivated by her – Her passions for writing and the environment. She was not your typical blonde.

As the fire started to wind down, Rhea and Andrew ended up taking care of Kim and Jen. They had to fireman-carry Kim back to The Carolinian, and Brett and Lisa both cringed as they heard the unmistakable sound of vomit splashing on concrete.

Lisa sighed, turning back to enjoy the moment. “Oh! You told me about ballroom dancing. I’m still clumsy, but I’d love it if you’d have me a partner.”

Brett smiled, and took her hand. The fire slowly died away as something inside of them sparked. Lisa took in every sense, wanting to hold on to this moment forever.

For the rest of her week-long vacation, Lisa and Brett met up every night. Bonfire or not, they danced in the sand. Lisa became less and less clumsy, and Brett learned a few things, too.

The last day came quickly. Brett was forlorn. He hastily wrote his parents’ number on the back of her last receipt, where she’d ordered a Shirley Temple, a cheeseburger, and piping hot fries.

Two weeks later, Brett’s mom called the beach house. She left a message on the state-of-the-art answering machine, “Hi, Brett. I know you’re wrapping up work and all, but I wanted to let you know – Lisa called. More than once.”

Daily phone calls turned into making plans to visit each other every month or so at their schools. Brett was at Virginia Tech, and Lisa was at Washington & Lee.

The day before Lisa’s college graduation in 1995, Brett proposed in front of her entire family. She gleefully accepted. They knew immediately where they wanted to marry – The Carolinian. Complete with a bonfire on the beach.

In 1998, Lisa became pregnant with their first child. At 27 weeks, Lisa went into premature labor. Their baby boy came into the world a fighter.

Two years later, Bradley’s sister arrived. Slightly premature at 34 weeks, the doctors cautioned against another pregnancy.

During Memorial Day Weekend 2002, while on vacation at The Carolinian, Lisa took another pregnancy test. It was positive. Brett was worried, but also thrilled. They danced again on the beach.

On Halloween, Lisa woke up screaming from an afternoon nap. She frantically called Brett at work. “I think I’m in labor!”

They knew it was twins, very likely a boy and a girl. Brett squeezed her hand as she headed for the operating room. “Think of us dancing, sweetheart.”

Just before midnight, two cries arose from the room. “Congratulations, it’s a boy and a girl!”

Lisa looked up at Brett, with tears in their eyes. “We were dancing on the beach, sweetheart. We are dancing.”

Six weeks after Brandon and Lauren came home from the NICU, Brett found Lisa on the bathroom floor. He held Lisa close as the ambulance rushed to their home, just ten miles from The Carolinian.

Lisa was the definition of a miracle. She’d made it through three difficult pregnancies, three premature births, and watched four children fight for their lives. But, a pulmonary embolism was the ultimate match, and winner.

Brett struggled with being alone. He had tons of help and support with the kids, but Lisa was his dance partner. Partner in life.

Still, he came to The Carolinian to remember and reflect.

As he watched his shadow dance in the breeze with the setting sun, four other shadows appeared, two on either side. Brett was grateful he’d taught Bradley, Lilly, Brandon, and Lauren to dance. Bradley was becoming quite the ballroom dancer, and Lilly had a passion for ballet. Brandon and Lauren were just starting dance classes, but they loved it as much as their older brother and sister.

As Brett sighed and wiped away a tear, three-year-old Lauren tugged on his shorts.


“Yes, baby girl?”

“Are you thinking of Mommy?”

“Yes, Lauren. Mommy loved this place. She loved to dance. Just like you.”

“Do you still like dancing, Daddy?”

Brett nodded. “Yes, Lauren. I do. May I have this dance?”

Anyone who got this far – I nominate you!

Here is your photo, should you decide to participate:


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #192: The ABC Book Challenge (The Letter U)

The ABC Book Challenge - I

Memorable Books Starting with the Letter “U”:


Uglies (Uglies, #1)

  • I had never heard of this book before my Young Adult Literature class in 2011. I ended up really liking it. I have yet to read the rest of the series, but I want to.


The Underground Railroad

  • I first heard about this book when the author was interviewed by Terry Gross for Fresh Air. By the end of the interview, I knew I needed my own copy. It was not a disappointment.

Books I Would Like to Read Starting with the Letter “U”:


Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption

  • I’ve wanted to read this for quite a while. I’m in a fun Facebook group called The Book Drunkard. As part of a fun book and chocolate swap around Valentine’s Day, my swap partner sent me this book and yummy chocolate. I can’t wait to read it soon.


The Uncoupling

  • I first head Meg Wolitzer’s name when one of the critics for Fresh Air reviewed her newest book at the end of a podcast episode. It led me to research her other works. I need to pick it up at the library.


Under the Banner of Heaven

  • Jon Krakauer has been on my watch list for a while. I’ve heard good things about several of his books. This one is especially intriguing because of its focus on faith. I want to see his take on religious beliefs and its extremes.


Uninsured in America: Life and Death in the Land of Opportunity

  • It may be a bit dated now – The book was first published in 2005 – but I still want to read it. As someone who works for a regional health system, I’m always curious about other people’s perspectives on insurance and health care.

What books have you read, or want to read, that start with the letter U? Let me know!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #191: “30 Day Disney Challenge” (Day 25)

30 Day Disney Challenge

Image Credit: Meerkat Musings

Day 25 – Your favorite scene from your favorite movie

“Falling With Style” scene from Toy Story (1995)

Image result for toy story 1 falling with style

This is the result of one of the most tense moments / scenes in Toy Story. It looks like Woody and Buzz will be lost forever, as the moving van with the rest of the toys gets further and further away. But, Buzz remembers the rocket on his back. Will the rocket explode, and them along with it?

Buzz becomes the hero, in Woody’s eyes. They fly and soar across the sky, hoping to at least catch up to the moving van, let alone Andy’s car.

It’s such a nail-biter of a scene, but also a triumph. Toys can fly! Or, rather, “fall with style.”

Come back tomorrow for a new post!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #190: “30 Day Disney Challenge” (Day 24)

30 Day Disney Challenge

Image Credit: Meerkat Musings

Day 24 – A movie that makes you cry

Big Hero 6 (2014)

Image result for big hero 6 official poster

Image result for big hero 6 official poster

Image result for big hero 6

This was a good movie, but it had so many emotions packed into it. I won’t spoil it here, but let’s just say I cried more than once while watching it in the theater. It’s one of those movies where I need to be in a certain mood to watch. It’s one of the most unique Disney movies. It’s also more emotional than I think people expected. The original impression, for many, is this is a futuristic movie with robots and technology, but there’s also a significant human element.

Come back tomorrow for a new post!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂