Getting Personal #256: September Goals

Image Credit: Entrepreneur Delights

Welcome back!

I cannot believe it’s already September 2021! Every year gets faster, I swear. The only exception was 2020, and I think a lot of us know why that is.


Here are my goals for the month of September:

  1. Go through all of my American Girl items, and set aside those marked for future sale.
  2. Schedule donation pick-up for the large bags of clothing and household items that need to leave my office pronto.
  3. Schedule more time off from work.
  4. Successfully coordinate my work department move.
  5. Set additional screen time limits, both at work and at home.
  6. Make at least one significant editing pass through the printed version of book 2.
  7. Continue meal planning.
  8. Look into getting re-certified in adult and/or pediatric CPR.
  9. Begin planning for NaNoWriMo 2021.
  10. Start reviewing the current version of book 3.
  11. Look into a business course or something similar to prepare for my launch as an author.
  12. Keep up my library patronage.
  13. Prepare to donate blood again in October.
  14. Restart my regular TBR Recap posts.

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

Tell me about it in the comments – I’d love to cheer you on!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #255: August Goals Recap

Image Credit: pinterest.com

Welcome back!

Here were my goals for the month of August:

  1. Donate blood. — Accomplished!
  2. Celebrate my birthday! — Accomplished!
  3. Write and publish my annual Reflections on My Birthday post. — Accomplished!
  4. Make a dent in the mess in my office. — Did not accomplish yet.
  5. Continue meal planning. — Accomplished!
  6. Publish one Book Review. — Did not accomplish yet.
  7. Continue my reduced social media weekends. — Semi-Achieved.
  8. Make progress with editing book 2. — Semi-Achieved.
  9. Donate books to the library. — Accomplished!

August was really good. But, it also went by really quickly!

I had a wonderful birthday weekend! My birthday was on a Saturday this year, so I took off the day before from work. It was amazing. I’ve been hooked on Cold Case on HBO Max, so I blissfully lounged on the couch with Phineas and Ferb most of the day! The blood drive was on my birthday, so I was thrilled to give blood and celebrate with about 90 people throughout the day, My parents bought a variety of fun size Reese’s candies to hand out to everyone, and my mom decorated Fellowship Hall with birthday banners! Al treated me to sushi on Saturday night, yum! And then my mom had us over for an amazing dinner on Sunday!

I enjoyed writing my annual Reflections on My Birthday post. It’s a great tradition for me.

I discovered that the myLidl app has amazing recipes! I made amazing chicken shawarma for Al’s lunches one week, and he wants me to make it again soon! Al’s mom also sent us a great casserole recipe that we both loved: Chicken BBQ Ranch Casserole | Julia Pacheco

I’ve definitely been reading more recently, but Book Reviews are another story. I’m close to finishing up two books now, so I’m hoping to have more Book Reviews published soon!

I didn’t make as much progress with editing book 2 as I would have liked, but I chalk that up to things being really hectic at work for nearly a month, and things are just now calming down and settling back to normal.

I gathered up four big shopping bags full of books to donate, and I carted those to the Friends of the Library on August 21st. I also re-established my library patronage, and checked out three books! I may scale back to one book per checkout when I return those three tomorrow, but I’m happy that I’ve gotten back into borrowing from the library. Going to the library is an incredible, consistent memory of mine, and I’m excited to keep it going as an adult. Plus, it will save me money, too!


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

Come back soon to see my goals for September!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #254: Reflections, On My Birthday

Image Credit: lilyandval.com

I love doing these Birthday Reflections posts every year!

This year so far has been about growth and change. I worked from home from March 2020-June 2021, only going into the office when absolutely necessary. We started our hybrid schedule on July 1st. I felt strangely anxious that whole week, but getting through those first full eight hours back in the office felt like a great accomplishment. Now, it’s three days in the office and two days at home. Good stuff.

I also started therapy again, for the first time in almost six years. I have a wonderful therapist through the BetterHelp app!

Phineas and Ferb are our grumpy old men, they turn 12 in November. We will celebrate three years of having them in our lives in December!

Al and I celebrated five years of marriage in November! We enjoyed some recipes from The Official Star Wars Cookbook during our anniversary weekend.

I finished the second draft of my first book, hoping to publish that one by the end of the year. I finished the first draft of book number two in May, after an immensely productive Camp NaNoWriMo in April. Major props to Ren and their Twitch streams for helping me surpass my goal. Hoping to work on book number three in the fall!

I adore the Harris Teeter grocery app, Lidl, and I’ve fallen in love with LEGO all over again. My podcasts are almost all true crime. I’ve been indulging myself in the world of Cold Case on HBO Max recently, and it’s been awesome.

I’m grateful for every single day. It’s not lost on me that today marks 33 years since I was a blood recipient for the first time. Today, I was able to volunteer at our 124th blood drive in 21 years, and I was able to give the gift of life again. By my dad’s count, I’ve currently given over seven gallons of blood since my first donation in 2005, right after I turned 17. I hope to continue giving as long as I am able to.

Here’s to 33!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #253: August Goals

Image Credit: transforminglifenow

Welcome back!

Here are my goals for the month of August:

  1. Donate blood.
  2. Celebrate my birthday!
  3. Write and publish my annual Reflections on My Birthday post.
  4. Make a dent in the mess in my office.
  5. Continue meal planning.
  6. Publish one Book Review.
  7. Continue my reduced social media weekends.
  8. Make progress with editing book 2.
  9. Donate books to the library.

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

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #252: July Goals Recap

Image Credit: Entrepreneur Delights

Welcome back!

Here were my goals for the month of July:

  1. Enjoy an extended Fourth of July weekend away at the farm. —- Accomplished!
  2. Continue editing the printed draft of book 2. —- Semi-Achieved!
  3. Send the draft of book 2 to my designated readers. —- Accomplished!
  4. Participate in Camp NaNoWriMo July 2021. —- Did not accomplish this time.
  5. Make progress with reading at least one book. —- Accomplished!
  6. Send a consignment box to Darby’s Dresses. — Accomplished!
  7. Organize my American Girl items to post for sale. —- Did not accomplish yet.
  8. Begin adjusting to my new hybrid work schedule. —- Accomplished!

July flew by. We had a great extended weekend with Al’s parents, with the exception of me getting cellulitis! I went to urgent care the day after getting home, and I was on antibiotics for 10 days. 0/10 do not recommend. Infected bug bites are no fun!

I worked a lot, recovered from a summer cold, started wearing my mask again, ate good food, and took every single weekend to rest and recharge. We had a great movie night with our neighbors late last week!

I’m hoping to publish at least one Book Review on the blog in August!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

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