Getting Personal #284: July Goals

Image Credit: Goodbye Bread and Cheese

Welcome back!

Here are my goals for the month of July:

  1. Participate in Camp NaNoWriMo July 2022.
  2. Publish at least one Book Review.
  3. Spend some time away, take vacation!
  4. Clean off the couch in my office.
  5. Participate in the 2022-2023 P.E.O. Convention Committee Transition meeting.
  6. Finish my part of the 2022 P.E.O. Virginia State Convention committee report.
  7. Send off my thredUP Clean Out Kit.

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


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #283: June Goals Recap

Welcome back!

Here were my goals for the month of June:

  1. Donate blood. — Accomplished!
  2. Clean off the couch in my office and keep it clean. — Did not accomplish yet.
  3. Make progress with cleaning and organizing the garage. — Did not accomplish yet.
  4. Submit my ancestryDNA kit. — Accomplished!
  5. Donate a lot of American Girl items to Trey’s Dolls. — Accomplished!
  6. Continue reading most nights before bed. — Did not accomplish yet.
  7. Send off my thredUP Clean Out Kit. — Did not accomplish yet.
  8. Publish at least one Book Review. — Did not accomplish yet.
  9. Make progress in editing book #2. — Did not accomplish yet.
  10. Prepare for Camp NaNoWriMo July 2022! — Accomplished!

June flew by. I can’t believe July starts tomorrow. 2022 is already half over!

I was able to successfully donate blood at our drive on June 4th. My iron was really high – 14! We found out after the drive ended that we passed a milestone – 8,000 units collected since starting the drives in April 2000. We’ll be celebrating that at the August drive!

I finally submitted my ancestryDNA kit! I should get the results 6-8 weeks from when I mailed it in. Once I get the results, I’ll likely make a post about it.

I boxed up a beautiful Kirsten doll and two big boxes of American Girl clothes, shoes, hangers, and a few accessories, and shipped it to Trey’s Dolls. Vicki was so sweet and posted photos on the AG Obsessed Facebook group. I’m glad it got there safely. I still have more organizing to do at home, but I’m happy that my load / haul has been lightened, and it’s all going to a great cause! It turns out that they had just gotten a Tenney doll to rehab and donate, but didn’t have any clothes for her. I sent several Tenney outfits in my shipment, so Vicki was over the moon about that.

I’m very excited to kick off Camp NaNoWriMo July 2022 tomorrow! My goal is to write 30,000 more words and finish the first draft of book #3, which I started during NaNoWriMo 2014. I’ve worked on it off and on since then. I made the biggest progress with this one during NaNoWriMo 2021, where I crushed the 50,000 word goal for the first time ever. I ended up writing 53,793 words during November 2021, and I was astounded. Look for a recap post about Camp at the beginning of August!


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

Come back tomorrow to see my July Goals!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Commentary #119: Abortion

Image Credit: South OC Beaches

I’ve been through every single emotion since yesterday. On June 24, 2022, the United States Supreme Court made a decision that has plunged the nation into darkness, fear, and uncertainty.

I’m rethinking everything about my own life, even though I do want to have children. I’ve always wanted to have children. But now, I’m not sure I want to bring a child or children into this world.


Many of you know that I was raised in the United Methodist Church. Overall, I had a good church experience. I was never abused or traumatized, nothing drastic like that.

At the same time, I was taught to not have sex before marriage. Abortion was frowned upon, but not even really mentioned or discussed.

However, I had to educate myself today on the stance of the church on abortion.

What is the UM position on abortion?


I am staunchly pro-choice. And one singular event made me that way.

I was a freshman in college at Longwood. I don’t remember which class it was, or which semester, but it was either the fall of 2007 or the spring of 2008.

An anti-abortion protest took place on campus, between the Student Union and Stubbs Hall. Our professor asked us to attend, to witness it. We could leave at any time, but we had to check in with our professor before we left. I think I lasted maybe 10-15 minutes tops. I felt like I was going to throw up on the grass.

The protestors had graphic photos on signs, poster board and foam board, with Bible verses. There was a man with one of those portable loudspeakers with a megaphone that made think of the protests of the Vietnam War. They quoted Scripture constantly. Most of these people were adults, older than us. I don’t remember how many there were.

I could barely walk after leaving the Student Union. I don’t remember much of that day after that. I was horrified.

I knew, from that day forward, that I was not going to support any of that.

This was when I was 19 years old, I turned 20 in the summer of 2008. I was very naïve. I was always the good girl, the goody-two-shoes. I wanted to be the perfect child for my parents, the good Christian girl who studied hard and got good grades.

I’m trying to unlearn so many things now. I’m grateful for various counselors and therapists.

That protest altered me forever. I continued to attend church, because that’s what I had always done, but that protest was burned into my memory.


Also in college, I was in a relationship that I thought was love. I was with John from July 2006 through July 2010. July 17th, just a few weeks from now, marks 12 years since I was able to escape from him. Alive.

Now, years later, I’m fully convinced that he wanted to get me pregnant, so that we needed to get married and he could control me forever. Coercive control is real.

I remember looking up Planned Parenthood for the first time in my life, incredibly afraid, sometime in 2009. It was one of the few times that John wasn’t watching me.

I’m fortunate that I didn’t get pregnant then. I refused to have sex with him for the first two years, because I wanted to save it for marriage. I thought we were going to get married. I still remember my mom’s face when I told her that we were thinking about getting married after graduation.

He controlled me sexually. He sexually assaulted me more than once. In early, 2009, he nearly raped me. Thankfully, I was able to get him to listen to the word “No,” finally, after screaming it over and over. Once wasn’t enough.

I’m so glad I was able to get out.

I’m so glad that I have a wonderful man in my life, Al, who supports me (and women) 200 percent.


Moving Forward

I’m ready to fight like hell.

I’m donating to Planned Parenthood.

I’m ready to vote, like tomorrow.

If you’re not registered to vote in the U.S., I beg you to do so!

I’m screaming. It might be from a keyboard right now, but I have a voice. And I’m not afraid anymore.

And to those in Washington, D.C., you just pissed off so many people.

I’m still a Christian. But I will always be pro-choice.


Resources

Bans Off Our Bodies

How to Register to Vote

Planned Parenthood

safe2choose

We Won’t Go Back

Women’s March


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #282: June Goals

Image Credit: Pinterest

Welcome back!


Here are my goals for the month of June:

  1. Donate blood.
  2. Clean off the couch in my office and keep it clean.
  3. Make progress with cleaning and organizing the garage.
  4. Submit my ancestryDNA kit.
  5. Donate a lot of American Girl items to Trey’s Dolls.
  6. Continue reading most nights before bed.
  7. Send off my thredUP Clean Out Kit.
  8. Publish at least one Book Review.
  9. Make progress in editing book #2.
  10. Prepare for Camp NaNoWriMo July 2022!

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


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #281: May Goals Recap

Image Credit: pinterest.com

Welcome back!


Here were my goals for the month of May:

  1. Reach 100 Book Reviews! — Accomplished!
  2. Have a successful 2022 Virginia State Convention of P.E.O. as one of the co-chair and hostess chapters. — Accomplished!
  3. Host a fun family cookout. — Accomplished!
  4. Continue progress on keeping my office clean and organized. — Semi-Achieved.
  5. Drink more water. — Accomplished!
  6. Keep the potted plants alive! — Accomplished!

May was wild and crazy. I’m really happy with everything I’ve accomplished.

I reached 100 Book Reviews! Yahoo!

I successfully co-chaired the 2022 P.E.O. Virginia State Convention! It was a great event. Looking forward to 2023 already.

We had a great cookout for Mother’s Day weekend. Even though the weather wasn’t as cooperative as we’d liked (50 degrees in early May!) – We made the best of it.

I have more work to do on my office, but I broke down a lot of old boxes and have more floor space. Next is gathering up and sending off American Girl items for donation to Trey’s Dolls, a wonderful charity that was started years ago by Trey’s mom, Vicki. She and I met in the amazing AG Obsessed group on Facebook.

The potted plants are doing great. I received a spider plant and an ivy plant during the P.E.O. Convention, so I made another trip to Lowe’s last weekend and got another large planter for the ivy and a really pretty hanging planter for the spider plant. I never thought I would be a plant person, but I really like it now.


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

Come back tomorrow to see my goals for June!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Adventure Time: Portsmouth, VA Edition (2022 P.E.O. Virginia State Convention)

I’ve posted about P.E.O. and Virginia State Convention before, but this was a whole new adventure! In November 2019, I was asked to be a co-chair for the 2022 Virginia State Convention. I gave it some thought, but quickly said yes because the convention was going to be held in Portsmouth! Perfect!

We held all our planning meetings over Zoom because of COVID-19. That was a feat in and of itself!

Friday, May 20th

Friday was a mix of activity and lulls! There was a flurry of set-up. Our fabulous Convention Committee got to work. Rebecca and I helped set up different areas, and answered questions.

We went to lunch at Olde Towne Public House with the Convention Committee and the Virginia State Board. Yum!

I walked more than 18,000 steps!

After Projects Night, the Franc 7’s (P.E.O. sisters under 40) gathered around the fire pit outside the hotel. We had a wonderful time!

Rebecca and I shared a room on the 15th floor of the Renaissance Hotel!
View of the Elizabeth River from our room.
View from the window near the elevators. Downtown Norfolk is in the background.
This is the logo that Al designed for Sue. This was before Projects Night started on Friday evening. We listened to videos of project recipients, and each one was awesome!

Saturday, May 21st

Saturday was the big day. Most of the Convention business was conducted. I walked more than 11,000 steps!

We celebrated our Golden Girls (Sisters who have been in P.E.O. for 50 years) with a delicious lunch.
Sue’s theme was based around a lighthouse. My parents borrowed this lighthouse from our church, and the lighthouse bench was from my parents’ house!
Rebecca and Kevin.
Al and me!
Our table at dinner. The long tables were for the Virginia Handbell Consort. Their performance was amazing!
Bells and flute!
Rebecca, Sue, and me.
The lighthouse centerpieces were painted by different chapters in Virginia.

Sunday, May 22nd

Sunday was the final business session, clean up, and leave! Overall, it was a big success. S

o many people thanked Rebecca and I. It was wonderful to be appreciated and recognized for our work. We couldn’t have done it all without our Hostess Chapters (F/Hampton, G/Alexandria, L/Norfolk, Q/Norfolk, and X/Virginia Beach) and the members of the Convention Committee.


It was an incredible Convention. I’m happy that I’ve been able to be on both sides of the coin now! I’ve been a delegate multiple times, and now I’ve been able to help plan and make a Convention come to life. It was such a cool experience!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Book Review #100: “Maritza: Lead with Your Heart” (World By Us)

The third book in the World By Us from American Girl was as equally compelling and thought-provoking as the other two.

As an American Girl collector, I wish I had the space for all of the community center items and accessories. It’s so colorful and fun!

I appreciated the fact that American Girl tackled immigration and deportation in this book. Like Evette’s and Makena’s books, it’s clear that this was well-researched and carefully crafted.

4 1/2 out of 5 stars.


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #280: May Goals

Image Credit: Success Magazine

Welcome back!


Here are my goals for the month of May:

  1. Reach 100 Book Reviews!
  2. Have a successful 2022 Virginia State Convention of P.E.O. as one of the co-chair and hostess chapters.
  3. Host a fun family cookout.
  4. Continue progress on keeping my office clean and organized.
  5. Drink more water.
  6. Keep the potted plants alive!

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


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Book Review #99: “Makena: See Me, Hear Me, Know Me” (World By Us)

After reading Evette’s book, I quickly moved to Makena’s book in the World By Us collection from American Girl.

Makena loves fashion, and posts her #OOTD (outfit of the day). I love how expressive she is!

Similar to Evette’s story, racism is a major theme in Makena’s story. Despite Makena’s struggles to come to terms with not one, but two incidents in her young life, I applaud American Girl for addressing both incidents in a thoughtful way. It definitely educated me.

It also encourages open communication between family members, and how talking about your feelings with someone that you can trust is so important.

Reading Makena’s story was another eye-opener for me, as a white woman, to how one phone call or one remark could very easily put someone else’s life at risk in an instant.

4 1/2 out of 5 stars.


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Book Review #98: “Evette: The River and Me” (World By Us)

I’m always up for new books from American Girl. When they announced the new World By Us line with three books, I was excited. I was able to get the books practically brand-new from a seller in the big American Girl Obsessed BST group that I’m a member of on Facebook.

The first book that I read is Evette’s book. She’s passionate about the environment. The book also addresses the pandemic, social media, and other real-life issues. Racism is one big topic that’s incorporated. I also love the community center that’s featured!

I read through the whole book in one night several months ago. Most American Girl books don’t take me long to read at all, but this one was also beautifully illustrated!

The interesting part about these books, and this line/collection, is that the characters are 13 years old, which is older than the typical target demographic for the company. I personally think this is a great thing, and it shows that American Girl is dedicated to diversity, inclusion, education, and other things.

Given that the target audience is quite a bit younger than myself, I had to put myself in the shoes of a 13-year-old while reading it.

I really appreciated how the author and the diversity team that is recognized in the book did their homework and tried to respectfully and carefully craft a story that was relevant and would potentially resonate with readers, families, and others.

4 1/2 out of 5 stars.


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂