Getting Personal #191: November Goals Recap

Image Credit: Twitter

November was quite a busy month!

Here’s the link to my November Goals post: Getting Personal #189: November Goals.

  1. Celebrate Lane’s milestone birthday. — Accomplished!
  2. Participate in the P.E.O. Reciprocity Rally in Richmond. — Accomplished!
  3. Celebrate four years of marriage with Al! — Accomplished!
  4. Participate in NaNoWriMo 2019. — Accomplished!
  5. Publish all outstanding Tag posts where I’ve been tagged. — Did not accomplish.
  6. Make at least one thrift store run. — Did not accomplish.
  7. Explore The Great Exchange. — Accomplished!
  8. Celebrate multiple birthdays! — Accomplished!
  9. Enjoy Thanksgiving! — Accomplished!
  10. See A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. — Accomplished!
  11. Write at least two Book Reviews. — Did not accomplish.
  12. Clear more clutter. — Did not accomplish.
  13. Work in my office for an hour each weekend. — Did not accomplish.
  14. Clean out the cabinet above the oven. — Did not accomplish.

November was a really busy month! Look for a blog post next week about my NaNoWriMo 2019 experience.

The first weekend of November was Lane’s epic 30th birthday celebration! On Friday night, we did an awesome escape room called “The Kidnapping” at Breakout Games in Virginia Beach.

Then, we went to the Airbnb she’d found, it was close to the Chesapeake Bay. It was an adorable house. We had a blast. Everyone brought food, and we all got to know each other better. There was also a small Spice Girls sing-along.

On Saturday morning, the fabulous make-up artist, Sydney, arrived. Several of us had our hair and makeup done. We left the Airbnb and headed to Windsor Castle Park in Smithfield. We couldn’t have asked for a prettier day!

Image Credit: Nick Boris
Image Credit: Nick Boris
Image Credit: Nick Boris

The following weekend was the Reciprocity Rally, held at the Henrico County Public Library – Varina, outside of Richmond. There were 75 women in the conference / meeting room, along with delicious fall goodies. After the rally, where we learned about leadership styles and ideas for membership, members of the 2022 Convention Committee gathered. It will be held at the Renaissance Hotel in Portsmouth! I’m so excited that it’s so close to my house! We had a great carpool group, too.

Our wedding anniversary was November 14th. We went to work, and then celebrated at Decoys Seafood. This is the “hat trick” of restaurants that are owned by the same people. We went to River Stone Chophouse in 2017, and Vintage Tavern in 2018. We had a wonderful meal. I also recognized our server, Alexander, who was in youth group with me years ago. He went out of his way to make our night special – He gave us a moscato toast, and vanilla bean ice cream for dessert. We had enough food left over to have dinner taken care of on Friday! We both blame the crab dip – Excellent, but it also filled us up.

There were multiple birthdays as well. Lane, Bruce, Kristian, Grandpa Stricker, and Nick!

I finished one book this month: Book Review #81: “More Than Enough: Claiming Space For Who You Are (No Matter What They Say)”

I took my mom to see A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood on Tuesday, November 26th. She had seen it once before, but knew she’d missed stuff. It’s definitely one of my favorite movies of the year. Tom Hanks did an excellent job. And the story was really good. I’m looking forward to seeing it again.

Bruce, Al, and I also went to see Midway the Friday before Thanksgiving. It was also well-done. Al’s grandpa served on the USS Yorktown during the battle.

Now that November is over, I plan to dedicate the month of December to de-cluttering and organizing. I’m tired of the state of my office, and I’m on a deadline to get it clean now. I have until February to get it ship-shape, since my P.E.O. chapter is coming to my house to learn about American Girl!

Did you have any goals for the month of November?

Come back tomorrow to see my December Goals!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #190: Fourth Wedding Anniversary


Happy Anniversary, Al! Four years have truly flown by.

We love our house. It was an expensive year in 2018 – We bit the bullet and replaced our entire HVAC system. But, we’re almost done paying it off. Yay!

We adopted Pablo, a greyhound, in September. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out. The poor baby had such severe separation anxiety that we couldn’t keep him or felt it was safe for him. Thankfully, he went to a good home.

In December 2018, we adopted Phineas and Ferb from Saver of Souls Rescue, and it’s been an amazing experience. As I write this, they are snuggled under the giant sherpa blanket by my feet.

The biggest life change was me changing jobs. I’ve been with Sentara since early September, and I’m so glad I took the plunge. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Riverside – I was there for nearly seven years. But, making the switch has done wonders for me in many ways.

It’s almost time for the holidays! We’re excited to celebrate Thanksgiving with Al’s family, and then Christmas will be a bigger affair with both sets of parents and more.

Cheers to many more years! I love you!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Book Review #81: “More Than Enough: Claiming Space for Who You Are (No Matter What They Say)”

Image Credit: Amazon

I put this book on my Amazon wish list a few months ago, and then Al bought it for me for my birthday!

Little did I know how much I needed this book in my life when I started reading it.

I took my time with this book. Elaine is a good writer, but I found myself digesting one, maybe two chapters at a time.

This book is aimed at women of color, but it certainly applied to me. I’m glad I read it when I did. Having started my new job in September, I had a lot of anxiety and emotions, and more than one crisis of confidence. This book lifted me out of that negativity.

I hadn’t heard of Elaine when I started the book, but I felt like I knew her when I was done. She was so candid and honest about her early life, growing up as a biracial child, her dad’s struggles with alcohol, and wanting to work at Essence and Ebony.

Watching her navigate the painful eras of the recession and the move toward digital publishing was eye-opening, too. As someone who dreamed of living in New York and being a journalist for years, I felt like this book was put in my life for more than one reason. Elaine showed me how life in New York and working for some of the most famous magazines on this Earth really was – It’s certainly no picnic.

It’s not my favorite memoir, but I’m glad I took a chance on it. I appreciated the inspiring quotes at the end of every chapter as well. She’s a gifted writer, and there’s something in this book for everyone.

I’m grateful to Al for buying this for me!

4 out of 5 stars.

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Hot Topic #28: Foster Care and Opioids

Research published in July 2019 indicates that the number of children entering the foster care system has more than doubled since 2000.

Other reasons for removal, including neglect and abuse, declined.

Coincidentally, Sesame Street introduced a new Muppet around the same time. Karli is staying with her “for-now” family while her mom is away getting better. The Sesame Street initiative focuses on addiction as a whole, but makes the connection to foster care. Karli’s mom is getting help for alcohol addiction.


More Kids Are Getting Placed in Foster Care Because of Parents’ Drug Use, NPR, July 15, 2019

At This Camp, Children of Opioid Addicts Learn to Cope and Laugh, NPR, October 9, 2019

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Commentary #100: “What Mum Taught Me” – Boundaries

Image Credit: Psych Central

This post originated from a friend’s Facebook post. I found it on Thursday, October 24, 2019. A. saw it and felt compelled to share.

It was originally shared on Facebook by Leslie Gaar, Writer on October 10, 2018.

The photos / screenshots come from Erynn Brook’s Twitter account. I encourage everyone to read it in its entirety.

I read Erynn’s story. And re-read it. And I’ve been coming back to it nearly every day since stumbling upon it on October 24th.

One thing is for sure: Boundaries are hard. Setting boundaries is even harder. But, at 31, I feel much more at peace with myself because of the boundaries I have set for myself. Many of them are unspoken, for me and myself only, but there are others that I make known, loud and clear.

Why? Unlike Erynn’s awesome mom, I was taught to stick it out. To not quit. To not leave. To not ruin anything.

And I’m now realizing how damaging that is.

I understand why, in a way – My parents are of a different generation. Overall, I think they did a good job of raising me. I know, as an only child and born severely premature, they sheltered me and protected me fiercely.

But, I don’t want to raise my future child or children like my parents did. I want to do some things differently.

Like Erynn’s mom, I want my child or children to have choices, to feel like it’s normal to come to Al or me with anything at any time, to not feel like they are bothering us, to express their discomfort openly. And Al and I both agree that if our child or children call or text at any time, asking to come home, we will come immediately, no questions asked.

Two of my family members have this rule with their daughter – Call us at any time, and we will come get you. There won’t be any questions when we pick you up. There may be questions in the morning / after whatever happened, but there won’t be any questions from us at the time we come get you.

What do you think about this? Let me know in the comments.

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Tag #90: The NaNoWriMo Tag

Image Credit: The NaNoWriMo Blog

Here’s the link to the original post: NaNoWriMo 2019 and The NaNoWriMo Tag

1. How many times have you participated in NaNoWriMo? How many times have you won?

This will be my ninth NaNoWriMo. I have participated in five NaNoWriMo sessions in November (2012, 2013, 2014, 2018, and 2019). I have also participated in four Camp NaNoWriMo sessions (Twice in 2018 and twice in 2019).

2. Are you a pantser or a plotter?

Historically, I have been a pantser. This year, I started plotting the beginning of the novel.

3. What are the titles of the projects that you have attempted/completed for past NaNos?

2012: Experiences From Camp

2013: Specialton

2014: Discussion of Differences

Camp NaNoWriMo, April 2018: Continued draft of Experiences From Camp

Camp NaNoWriMo, July 2018: Continued draft of Experiences From Camp

2018: Tunnel Vision

Camp NaNoWriMo, April 2019: Continued draft of Specialton

Camp NaNoWriMo, July 2019: Continued draft of Discussion of Differences

2019: The Transformation House

4. What are you working on for NaNo this year?

I am writing a new novel about a woman, Angela Diaz, who decides to purchase a mansion, fix it up, and create a home for transgender people in the Midwest.

5. What is one tip that you’d give to someone else that is participating in NaNo?

I agree with what All Things Momma said: “Do not have any zero days. Even if you write only one sentence that day, that is so much better than having a big fat zero on your NaNo chart. Any progress forward is better than none.”

6. What was the inspiration for this novel? Do you remember when the inspiration hit you?

I listen to the StoryCorps podcast. In honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, they created a podcast series, and an initiative called “Stonewall Out Loud.” One of the episodes discussed a home for transgender people in Little Rock, Arkansas (“We’re Still Here”). I wanted to write a story that encompasses a modern version of this effort.

7. Read us the first sentence from your NaNo novel last year?

“No, no, no! Damn it!” Nicole smacked her hands against the steering wheel.

8. What do you plan to do with your manuscript after NaNo?

Like all my other novels, I will let this draft rest for a while. I might pick it up again during Camp NaNoWriMo, April 2020. It depends on how much progress I make this month.

9. Are you prepared for NaNo? Are you nervous?

I always get a little nervous. But, I’m ready to dive in.

Will you be participating in NaNoWriMo this November?

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #189: November Goals

Image Credit: We Heart It

It’s November! This is a big month of celebrations!

Here are my goals for the month of November:

  1. Celebrate Lane’s milestone birthday.
  2. Participate in the P.E.O. Reciprocity Rally in Richmond.
  3. Celebrate four years of marriage with Al!
  4. Participate in NaNoWriMo 2019.
  5. Publish all outstanding Tag posts where I’ve been tagged.
  6. Make at least one thrift store run.
  7. Explore The Great Exchange.
  8. Celebrate multiple birthdays!
  9. Enjoy Thanksgiving!
  10. See It’s A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.
  11. Write at least two Book Reviews.
  12. Clear more clutter.
  13. Work in my office for an hour each weekend.
  14. Clean out the cabinet above the oven.

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

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂