Getting Personal #251: July Goals

Image Credit: Rebel Thriver

Here we go! The month of July!

Does it matter that I’m finally posting this when July is almost over? NOPE!


Here are my goals for the month of July:

  1. Enjoy an extended Fourth of July weekend away at the farm.
  2. Continue editing the printed draft of book 2.
  3. Send the draft of book 2 to my designated readers.
  4. Participate in Camp NaNoWriMo July 2021.
  5. Make progress with reading at least one book.
  6. Send a consignment box to Darby’s Dresses.
  7. Organize my American Girl items to post for sale.
  8. Begin adjusting to my new hybrid work schedule.

What about you? Do you have any goals for the month of July? I’d love to hear about it!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #250: June Goals Recap

Image Credit: Success Magazine

Welcome back!


Here were my goals for the month of June:

  1. Donate blood. — Accomplished!
  2. Begin the first edit of book 2. — Semi-Achieved.
  3. Clean off the couch in my office, and keep it clean. — Did not accomplish yet.
  4. Celebrate Father’s Day with Dad and Grandpa. — Accomplished!
  5. Attend 2021 P.E.O. Virginia State Convention virtually. — Accomplished!
  6. Prepare for my adjusted hybrid work schedule. — Accomplished!
  7. Finish re-organizing my bookshelf. — Did not accomplish yet.
  8. Fill at least one donation bag, if not more. — Accomplished!
  9. Find more recipes for meal prep. — Accomplished!
  10. Reduce the number of American Girl items in my office. — Did not accomplish yet.
  11. Finish building the LEGO Ideas set, and write a blog post about it. — Accomplished!

June was a really busy month! I was really happy to donate blood. We also celebrated our 7,500th unit collected!

I really enjoyed building the Sesame Street LEGO Ideas set! You can read about it here: Getting Personal #249: Sesame Street LEGO Ideas

We enjoyed Father’s Day with my dad and Grandpa! I asked Al to take an updated photo of the three of us, and he was so nice to do that.

The 2021 P.E.O. Virginia State Convention was really awesome. It was the first-ever virtual convention. I participated on Friday night by talking about the International Peace Scholarship (IPS), the project that I learned about over the last two years by being on the state committee. My co-chair and I had a great time telling the project room visitors about IPS and the recent recipients!

I was also very happy to learn that I passed 50,000 all-time views on the blog! Thank you, readers!


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

Come back tomorrow to see my goals for the month of July!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #249: Sesame Street LEGO Ideas

The front of the box.

I knew I wanted this LEGO set when it was first announced. At the time, however, it was a lot of money, and I felt I didn’t absolutely need to have it.

However, I made a decision a few months ago to reward myself with it at the end of May. I’m so glad I did! I was pleasantly surprised that it shipped so quickly from the LEGO website. I bought it on in the middle of a week, and it arrived that weekend.

I documented the journey in stages. There were six sets of numbered bags in the box, and I figured I would stretch it out as long as I could. The entire set is 1,367 pieces.

The back of the box.

Part 1

The beginning was building the street and the base of 123 Sesame Street. Each part had a new Muppet mini-figure to build. Big Bird was first, my favorite.

I love the attention to detail. See the spiderweb?


Part 2

The second part was building Elmo and the first floor of 123 Sesame Street.

Do you see the back wall of Big Bird’s nest?

The bottom floor is Elmo’s room. I love how the windows look real and open!


Part 3

The third part was the second floor of 123 Sesame Street, and Ernie.

This part added the bathroom, with Rubber Duckie, and more to Big Bird’s nest.


Part 4

The fourth part included the roof of 123 Sesame Street, and Bert.

Bert and Ernie’s bedroom is done, too.


Part 5

The fifth part included Cookie Monster, Hooper’s Store, and the apartment above.

I love the details. The stickers really help illustrate the set!


Part 6

The final part was Oscar in his trash can, the garden, the fire escape, Big Bird’s nest, outside Hooper’s, and the Sesame Street signpost.

I can’t get over how much research was put into this LEGO Ideas set! It was well worth the money – About $130 total. The instruction book had fun photos and backstory on the designers and creators.

This will be proudly displayed in my office. It’s currently on the living room coffee table. I smile every time I walk in the room!


I really loved this set. Many of you know how much Sesame Street means to me!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #248: June Goals

Welcome back!


Here are my goals for the month of June:

  1. Donate blood.
  2. Begin the first edit of book 2.
  3. Clean off the couch in my office, and keep it clean.
  4. Celebrate Father’s Day with Dad and Grandpa.
  5. Attend 2021 P.E.O. Virginia State Convention virtually.
  6. Prepare for my adjusted hybrid work schedule.
  7. Finish re-organizing my bookshelf.
  8. Fill at least one donation bag, if not more.
  9. Find more recipes for meal prep.
  10. Reduce the number of American Girl items in my office.
  11. Finish building the LEGO Ideas set, and write a blog post about it.

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


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #247: May Goals Recap

Image Credit: Goodbye Bread and Cheese

Welcome back! I hope everyone has had a good Memorial Day weekend, if you’re reading from the U.S. I’m wrapping a really nice long four-day weekend!


Here were my goals for the month of May:

  1. Finish the first draft of my second novel. — Accomplished!
  2. Start editing the first draft. — Semi-Achieved.
  3. Reorganize my American Girl items. — Did not accomplish yet.
  4. Go through my bookshelf and decide what books to keep. — Semi-Achieved.
  5. Start tackling the “catch-all” room. — Did not accomplish yet.
  6. Publish at least two Book Review posts. — Semi-Achieved.
  7. Host a small group of P.E.O. sisters. — Accomplished!

I’m so proud of myself with my second novel. I felt like I was being pulled in different directions throughout the month after having such great success in April with Camp NaNoWriMo. Finally, this past week, knowing that I had Friday and Monday off, I knew I wanted to sit down and look through the entire draft again, and see where I ended up. By Friday afternoon, I had read through the entire draft, made some edits, and wrote another 723 words. Then, I wrote the two magic words that feel amazing: THE END.

It’s currently the longest novel I’ve written to date, clocking in at almost 76,000 words. Next step is to print out the 300+ pages for the first true edit. I also wrote up my first Camp NaNoWriMo recap post in more than a year.

I started going through my bookshelf and donated a few books for the latest pick-up for the local Vietnam Veterans charity, but I have a new bag to fill, so I’m looking forward to a bigger clean out next month. I’m tired of the clutter in my office. I have too much stuff, and what I do have needs to find a proper home, or leave my house altogether.

I did successfully going through the three boxes of stuff from my parents’ house that were cluttering up the corner of the living room. I filled 3/4 of a trash bag, a 1/4 of the new donation bag, and packed up the journals and photographs for my office. I also found my old passport after it had been missing for 13 years! It was fun going down memory lane – A lot of stuff from high school and college were in those boxes. We also found my Uncle Richard’s collection of cameras, plus an undeveloped roll of film! I’m hoping we can get that developed soon to see what’s on it.

I published one Book Review this month. I loved L.C. Rosen’s Camp!

I really enjoyed having my mom and several of my P.E.O. sisters on my porch for the evening earlier in the month. We had a great time, and I’m already looking forward to the next gathering. We are still doing our regular meetings by Zoom, but hopefully we can start to transition to a hybrid setting by the end of the year. Next weekend is the first-ever virtual Virginia State Convention!


Did you have any goals for the month of May?

Come back tomorrow to see my goals for the month of June!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth

Getting Personal #246: Camp NaNoWriMo April 2021 Recap

Image Credit: NaNoWriMo

Welcome back! Here’s my recap of Camp NaNoWriMo April 2021. This was my seventh Camp NaNoWriMo session. I did participate last July, but I did not write a recap post. I was mentally burned out last fall, so I skipped NaNoWriMo 2020 in November.

As of April 1, 2021, I had 44,617 words written.

Original Goal: Write 10,000 new words for book #2.


Day 1: 45,299 words (682) – 15 minutes

Day 2: 46,582 words (1,283) – 26 minutes

Day 3: 47,256 words (674) – 15 minutes

Day 4: 47,948 words (692) – 15 minutes

Day 5: 48,744 words (796) – 20 minutes

Day 6: 49,716 words (972) – 30 minutes

Day 7: 50,496 words (780) – 20 minutes

Day 8: 50,569 words (73) – 30 minutes

Day 9: 51,276 words (707) – 20 minutes

Day 10: 51,276 words (0)

Day 11: 52,230 words (954) – 25 minutes

Day 12: 52,356 words (126) – 5 minutes

Day 13: 53,045 words (689) – 15 minutes

Day 14: 54,246 words (1,201) – 30 minutes

Day 15: 54,965 words (719) – 20 minutes

Original Goal Met!

Total word count: 10,348 new words.


Created second goal in NaNoWriMo, in hopes of finishing the first draft by the end of April.

Second Goal: Write 20,000 new words and finish first draft.

Day 16: 55,795 words (830) – 25 minutes

Day 17: 56,094 words (299) – 45 minutes

Day 18: 56,714 words (620) – 1 hour

Day 19: 57,845 words (1,131) – 40 minutes

Day 19: 58,294 words (449) – 10 minutes

Day 20: 58,882 words (588) – 20 minutes

Day 20: 59,451 words (569) – 10 minutes

Day 20: 59,977 words (526) – 15 minutes

Day 21: 60,621 words (644) – 15 minutes

Day 21: 61,312 words (691) – 15 minutes

Day 21: 61,532 words (220) – 5 minutes

Day 21: 62,026 words (494) – 20 minutes

Day 22: 62,389 words (363) – 10 minutes

Day 22: 62,833 words (444) – 10 minutes

Day 22: 63,322 words (489) – 15 minutes

Day 23: 63,917 words (595) – 15 minutes

Day 23: 64,832 words (915) – 20 minutes

Day 24: 65,791 words (959) – 20 minutes

Day 24: 66,000 words (209) – 15 minutes

Day 24: 66,481 words (481) – 10 minutes

Day 25: 67,140 words (659) – 25 minutes

Day 25: 67,627 words (487) – 15 minutes

Day 25: 67,798 words (171) – 5 minutes

Day 25: 67,984 words (186) – 5 minutes

Day 26: 68,350 words (366) – 10 minutes

Day 27: 69,045 words (695) – 15 minutes

Day 27: 69,372 words (327) – 10 minutes

Day 27: 69,917 words (545) – 10 minutes

Day 27: 70,640 words (723) – 15 minutes

Day 28: 71,250 words (610) – 15 minutes

Day 28: 72,089 words (839) – 20 minutes

Day 29: 73,046 words (957) – 20 minutes

Day 29: 73,539 words (439) – 10 minutes

Day 30: 74,397 words (858) – 20 minutes

Day 30: 74,955 words (558) – 15 minutes

Day 30: 75,221 words (266) – 5 minutes

Second Goal Met!

Total word count: 20,256 new words.

Overall Total for April 2021: 30,604 new words.

Current word count: 75,221 words.


Final Thoughts

I’m super proud of myself. I tracked my progress every day on blue Post-It notes, and I plan to do something similar going forward. I took most of the month of May off from working on this, but I’m determined to call the first draft FINISHED by the end of June. After that, I’ll print it out and start the first true pass of editing.

I also have to thank my friend Ren. We met through the NaNoWriMo group on Facebook, and struck up a friendship through Messenger after that. She started streaming on Twitch during April, and participating in her streams and writing sprints is one big part of my success for Camp NaNoWriMo April 2021. I appreciate her continued encouragement, along with Al, my family, and other friends who have cheered me along in this process.

The key for me is to sit down, whether it’s before work, after dinner, or when I can’t get a scene or dialogue out of my head, and set the timer on my phone. No distractions whatsoever. I’m super proud that I only had one true zero day during the month! Breaking it up into chunks of time has helped me so much.

After I finish this first draft, my plan is to work on book #3 during Camp NaNoWriMo in July. It’s the project I started during NaNoWriMo 2014, so stay tuned for an update on that project on Facebook every day in July, and then a recap post like this in August.


Have you done NaNoWriMo in November before?

Have you done Camp NaNoWriMo before?

Let me know what you think!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #245: May Goals

Image Credit: pinterest.com

Welcome back!


Here are my goals for the month of May:

1. Finish the first draft of my second novel.

2. Start editing the first draft.

3. Reorganize my American Girl items.

4. Go through my bookshelf and decide what books to keep.

5. Start tackling the “catch-all” room.

6. Publish at least two Book Review posts.

7. Host a small group of P.E.O. sisters.

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


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #244: April Goals Recap

Welcome back!

Here were my goals for the month of April:

  1. Participate in Camp NaNoWriMo, April 2021. — Accomplished!
  2. Finish the first draft of my second novel. — Semi-Achieved.
  3. Donate blood. — Accomplished!
  4. Celebrate Dad’s birthday! — Accomplished!
  5. Hang at least three items on my office walls. — Did not accomplish yet.
  6. Publish at least one Commentary post. — Accomplished!
  7. Renew my library card. — Accomplished!
  8. Publish at least two Book Review posts. — Did not accomplish yet.
  9. Publish my quarterly TBR Recap post. — Accomplished!
  10. Finish reviewing my friend’s first draft of their novel. — Did not accomplish yet.

I had a great writing month – Look for a Camp NaNoWriMo recap post, coming soon! I’m almost finished with the first draft of my second novel. I’m really proud of myself.


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂