Getting Personal #236: Seventeenth TBR Recap

Image Credit: Mommy and the Books

Welcome back!


Here’s what I’ve read since my last TBR recap:

  1. King, Stephen, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft *Re-Read*

Removing from Laura Beth’s TBR

  1. Weilert, Benjamin M., Buried Colony (ARC)
  2. Westover, Tara, Educated
  3. Whitehead, Colson, The Underground Railroad *Re-Read*
  4. Whitehead, Colson, The Nickel Boys

Keep & Re-Classify – Laura Beth’s Updated TBR

  1. Harr, Jonathan, A Civil Action *Re-Read*
  2. Oviatt, Didi, Sketch
  3. Thomas, Angie, The Hate U Give

Adding to the TBR

  1. Atkinson, Deanna, Be Still and Know: A Month of Meditation
  2. Hakesley, Faith, Glimmers of Grace: Moments of Peace and Healing Following Sexual Abuse
  3. Kotb, Hoda, This Just Speaks to Me: Words to Live By Every Day
  4. Rose, Rebecca, Love, Politics, and Survival: A Whitefield Family Narrative Book One

So, my current TBR is seven (7) books.

Do you have a TBR?

What are you looking forward to reading next?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #235: Part of History (January 20, 2021)

Image Credit: CNBC.com

Today has been a momentous day for me. See below. This is what I posted on Facebook this morning. I’m still in awe, and still celebrating.

I hope others in my life will be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine soon!

Cheers, friends!


January 20, 2021

How am I feeling? Grateful, humbled, thankful.

I received my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine this morning at Sentara Obici Hospital.

The staff at Obici were fabulous. Everything went smoothly. The first dose felt exactly like the flu shot. Aside from a slightly sore arm, I’m not feeling any side effects.

After I got back to my car, I prayed. I thanked God for this opportunity. My 95-year-old Grandpa got his first dose at the Portsmouth Naval Medical Center yesterday.

Today is also Inauguration Day. The U.S. will have a new President, and the first-ever woman Vice President will be sworn in. I’m grateful, humbled, and thankful.

Now, it’s back to work (from home), but I feel better and safer today than I have in a long, long time.


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #234: January Goals

Image Credit: emilysquotes.com

Happy New Year! Cheers to 2021!!

Here are my goals for the month of January:

  1. Publish at least two Book Reviews.
  2. Publish my latest TBR Recap post.
  3. Spend at least two hours every weekend on my office.
  4. Look up at least five new recipes to use in meal planning.
  5. Celebrate Al’s birthday!
  6. Celebrate P.E.O. Founders Day.
  7. Complete the filing project with the filing cabinet in my office.

What about you? Do you have any goals for this month?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #233: December Goals Recap

Image Credit: http://www.countrygirlstore.com

Welcome back!

Here’s the link to my December Goals post: Getting Personal #231: December Goals


Here were my goals for the month of December:

  1. Donate blood. — Did not accomplish.
  2. Publish at least one Book Review. — Did not accomplish.
  3. Publish my annual “Favorite Things” post. — Accomplished!
  4. Make progress with laundry. — Accomplished!
  5. Make progress with my office. — Accomplished!
  6. Celebrate Christmas! — Accomplished!
  7. Finally send my second draft of my novel to my readers. — Accomplished!
  8. Celebrate New Year’s! — Accomplished!

I wasn’t able to donate blood because I had icky sinus/congestion issues for the entire week before the blood drive. It also took me out of my normal volunteering role. But, I’m glad I stayed home and wasn’t spreading any germs. It was a great drive though – 78 units collected and four first-time donors!

You can read my annual Favorite Things post here: Getting Personal #232: My Favorite Things of 2020

I spent the better part of two hours a couple weekends ago devoted to laundry. I finally emptied the ridiculous basket of clean clothes in front of my side of the bed, went through everything in the smaller basket that was parked in front of my closet for months that Al kept tripping over, and have kept my closet doors closed and clear! Podcasts are my friend, especially the long episodes of Dateline NBC.

One of my big goals for my office was to clear the floor space between my desk and the floor lamp. I did that the weekend before Christmas, and I’ve kept it clean! I gave Al a huge pile of ancient paperwork to shred, filled a trash bag of other discarded things, and recycled two empty copy paper boxes. Al was also nice to clean off one of the filing cabinets that his dad brought down last year, and hauled it from the detached garage into my office. The printer is now far more stable on top of it. The next item to tackle is filling the filing cabinet with hanging folders and paperwork that’s been overflowing between our fireproof box and the dining room buffet drawers.

I sent the second draft of my novel, now with proper chapter distinctions, page numbers, double-spacing, and a lot of wonderful feedback closely noted and appreciated, via email to my amazing readers.

Although Christmas and New Year’s have definitely been different this year, it’s also been a bit more relaxed, if that’s the right word. Al grilled some delicious steaks for Christmas dinner, and I made amazing crab puppies. Al’s already requested them again for his birthday in late January. We had a Zoom call with Al’s parents and his brother’s family. We called my parents and talked to them for a while on Christmas morning. We exchanged gifts socially distanced on our porch on Christmas Eve, and that was such a boost to my spirits! We ate bacon-wrapped scallops and had a meat/cheese tray for New Year’s Eve tonight. I need to finish this post so I can go hang out with Al and the dogs, watch a movie, and then watch the ball drop on TV. We’re excited to ring in 2021 with feeling thankful that we have remained healthy throughout this pandemic, an overflow of gratitude for the essential workers and many other helpers, and good thoughts for the year to come.


Did you have any goals for the month of December?

Come back tomorrow to see my January Goals!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #232: My Favorite Things of 2020

Image Credit: Quote Master

So, before starting the lists of favorites, here’s my tally for books and Book Reviews for 2020:


Now, on to my favorites!

Favorite Books

Favorite Movies

  • 13th (Netflix)
  • Knives Out
  • Onward (This was the last movie we saw in theaters before COVID-19 took hold!)
  • Soul (Disney+)
  • Spotlight (Netflix)
  • The Vast of Night (Amazon Prime Video)

Favorite TV Shows

  • Forensic Files (Netflix)
  • Hoarders (YouTube)
  • How to Fix a Drug Scandal (Netflix)
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit – Seasons 7 – 8 (Hulu)
  • McMillions (HBO Max)
  • Murder on Middle Beach (HBO Max)
  • Stargirl (The CW)
  • Stranger Things – Re-watched all seasons (Netflix)
  • Supermarket Sweep (Netflix and YouTube)
  • The Baby-Sitters Club (Netflix)
  • The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air – Season 1 (HBO Max)
  • The Innocence Files (Netflix)
  • The Mandalorian – Seasons 1 and 2 (Disney+)

Favorite Podcasts

  • Atlanta Monster
  • Crimes of Passion
  • Dateline NBC
  • Female Criminals
  • Forensic Files
  • Helping Writers Become Authors
  • Just Us For Y’All
  • Killer Knowledge
  • Monster: DC Sniper
  • Morbid
  • Murder in Oregon
  • Small Town Dicks
  • Spying on Humanity
  • StoryCorps
  • The FRONTLINE Dispatch
  • The Way I Heard It

Well, that wraps up my favorite things for 2020!

What about you? What were some of your favorite things of the year?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #231: December Goals

Image Credit: Pinterest

Welcome back!

Here are my goals for the month of December:

  1. Donate blood.
  2. Publish at least one Book Review.
  3. Publish my annual “Favorite Things” post.
  4. Make progress with laundry.
  5. Make progress with my office.
  6. Celebrate Christmas!
  7. Finally send my second draft of my novel to my readers.
  8. Celebrate New Year’s!

What about you? Do you have any goals for this month?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #230: November Goals Recap

Welcome back!

Here were my goals for the month of November:

  1. Publish the post about my July Camp NaNoWriMo session. — Did not accomplish.
  2. Celebrate Grandpa’s birthday! — Accomplished!
  3. Celebrate our wedding anniversary! — Accomplished!
  4. Publish at least two Book Reviews. — Did not accomplish.
  5. Create a solid, stickable schedule for blogging, housework, and downtime. — Accomplished!
  6. Put away all the clean laundry. — Did not accomplish
  7. Make at least one thrift store donation run. — Did not accomplish.
  8. Celebrate Thanksgiving! — Accomplished!
  9. Clean off the couch in my office. — Did not accomplish.
  10. Complete my American Girl re-organization project with my blue storage cubes. — Accomplished!
  11. Send my completed second draft of my novel to my readers. — Did not accomplish.

November was decent. Lots of celebrations, albeit different because of COVID. I had a couple days off from work, and that was nice and helpful.


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #229: Fifth Wedding Anniversary

One of the many photos of our amazing wedding day! This was taken by Amanda MacDiarmid, owner/operator of Stellar Exposures, November 2015.

Happy Anniversary, Al! It’s been five years today since we said “I do.” Wow!

All year long, we’ve looked at each other and kind of marveled at this year being five years of marriage.

We still love our house. Two big things have happened in 2020 – We replaced our washing machine, begrudgingly at first. It was a great Maytag. The appliance guy was sadder than we were! But, we love our Speed Queen! We also replaced our roof in July. I am a less nervous wife now!

Phineas and Ferb have been wonderful additions to our lives for almost two years. A friend encouraged me to enter a local pet portrait studio giveaway during the summer. I figured, “Why not? I never win anything.” Well, we were one of the runners-up, so we scored a free portrait session and an art credit. We splurged on a wall print of the boys, and we got a photo album as well. It was our joint wedding anniversary and Christmas gift to each other – Well worth it!

Portrait Credit: Bonilla Pet Studio

I celebrated a year with Sentara in September! This year of 2020, as I told my mom recently when discussing Thanksgiving over the phone, has truly been “the year of extraordinary circumstances.” With the COVID-19 pandemic, our work lives were altered, and now we’re holding our breath as we enter into the holiday season and beyond. Above it all, I’m incredibly grateful that we both have remained healthy, kept our jobs, and learned to navigate this “new normal” together. And – We’ve stayed married, and still like each other!

The holidays will definitely be different – No large family gatherings – but I’m excited to make my first turkey for Thanksgiving! And there will be chocolate mousse, as always.

Cheers to many more years! I love you!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #228: November Goals

Image Credit: Jen Russum

Welcome back!


Here are my goals for the month of November:

  1. Publish the post about my July Camp NaNoWriMo session.
  2. Celebrate Grandpa’s birthday!
  3. Celebrate our wedding anniversary!
  4. Publish at least two Book Reviews.
  5. Create a solid, stickable schedule for blogging, housework, and downtime.
  6. Put away all the clean laundry.
  7. Make at least one thrift store donation run.
  8. Celebrate Thanksgiving!
  9. Clean off the couch in my office.
  10. Complete my American Girl re-organization project with my blue storage cubes.
  11. Send my completed second draft of my novel to my readers.

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


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #227: October Goals Recap

Image Credit: Pinterest

Welcome back!


Here were my goals for the month of October:

  1. Donate blood. — Accomplished!
  2. Celebrate Mom’s birthday! — Accomplished!
  3. Publish a post about my July Camp NaNoWriMo session. — Did not accomplish.
  4. Keep up with my pen pals! — Did not accomplish.
  5. Put away all the clean laundry. — Did not accomplish.
  6. Go through my fall/winter clothes. — Did not accomplish.
  7. Designate what clothes to donate. — Semi-Achieved.
  8. Publish my regular TBR Recap post. — Accomplished!
  9. Continue work on the filing system. — Semi-Achieved.
  10. Clean off the couch in my office. — Did not accomplish.
  11. Complete my American Girl re-organization project with my blue storage cubes. — Did not accomplish.
  12. Prepare for NaNoWriMo 2020. — Did not accomplish.
  13. Help my former professor by reviewing and giving feedback on her book. — Accomplished!
  14. Send my completed second draft of my novel to my readers. — Did not accomplish.

October was even worse than September, if that’s even possible. Working took everything out of me, and the weekends were spent doing other things with the house and trying to keep my mental health together. I’ve gone through a ton of guilt, stress, anxiety, worry – The whole nine yards. I’m trying so hard not to complain though – We have remained healthy and still have our jobs!

With all that said, I’m determined to set up a firmer schedule to stay on top of the blog, and finally clear out the literal clutter surrounding me. I’m so tired of looking at it!

To preserve my mental health, I decided to not participate in NaNoWriMo in November. It was a difficult decision, but I’m really glad I stepped away. As soon as I said it out loud to Al over dinner during the last weekend of October, I felt a lot better. I’m looking forward to Camp in April!

I really enjoyed helping Dr. W. with reviewing and giving feedback on her book. That was a really nice change. She was so appreciative, that she sent me the sweetest thank-you card and a very generous gift card on top of it. That was awesome!

I’m writing this on Friday morning because I’m off from work today for the first time in quite a while, and it feels good!

Also, in major celebration news, I finally paid off one of my credit cards. That feels amazing! I’m determined to be more responsible with it going forward, as well as using the 2X points feature on certain purchases (gas and the occasional dining out/takeout) to my advantage.

It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is only two weeks away now. It seems like the holidays seem to accelerate time!


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

Come back tomorrow to see my goals for November!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂