Getting Personal #5: Tattoos (Part 2)

And now, for part 2!

I hope you enjoyed part 1 of my tattoos commentary this weekend.

Here’s more pictures and stories!

This is my sorority sister Caitlyn.

Facebook Credit: Caitlyn Newman

Facebook Credit: Caitlyn Newman

This is 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8, commonly known as the “love passage.” It is one of the most beautiful and intricate tattoos that I have ever seen! Caitlyn got this done at Liquid Metal Tattoo in West Point, Virginia.

This is another sorority sister of mine, Becky, who has this sweet bird.

Facebook Credit: Becky Hall

Facebook Credit: Becky Hall

She got this at Il Bacio in Farmville, Virginia.

This is a friend of mine from Longwood, Ashley.

Photo Credit: Ashley Bowles Jones

Photo Credit: Ashley Bowles Jones

Can you guess what it is?

This is Al’s brother’s girlfriend, Savy. She has this STUNNING tattoo of koi as a half-sleeve from her left shoulder down to her elbow.

Facebook Credit: Savy Beng

Facebook Credit: Savy Beng

Here’s Savy’s story, in her own words: “Koi have always been a traditional symbol of prevailing through struggle. Like salmon, they trek upstream regardless of obstacles to come home. With coming to America, the death of my dad, the death of my brother, childhood abuse, a failed marriage, and raising a Child by myself while working and school full time, I feel like I’ve prevailed through a lot.”

This is one of my friend Summer’s tattoos. I love the script and the butterfly 🙂

Facebook Credit: Summer Randels

Facebook Credit: Summer Randels

In her own words: “… I got “Strength” with a butterfly tattooed on my hip-ish when I was 15. I suffer from mental illness, and I struggle(d) with addiction—mine being cutting. I got strength tattooed right be where all my self harm scars are, and I got a butterfly for the butterfly project.”

Learn more about The Butterfly Project.

Facebook Credit: Summer Randels

Facebook Credit: Summer Randels

This is another tattoo on Summer. I love this story in particular. I first heard this over the summer, but she was so sweet to share it with me again for this post! Thanks, Summer!

“I got my birds because when I was 8 years old I randomly threw a tantrum (yes, it was random), so my mom told me to go to my room until I calmed down, and once I calmed down enough I could come back downstairs. Well I never went back downstairs because I never calmed down. My mom then came in my room to check on me and asked me what was wrong. I told her that I wanted to go home. I Clearly confused she told me that I was home, but I told her that I wasn’t home and that Illinois was my home (all of our family lives there). I then proceded to tell her that I wished I was a bird so I could fly back to Illinois. So, I got 8 birds tattooed on my shoulder for the 8 main people who have helped me get my wings to be able to fly. The first bird is for my selfless mom who has taught me how to lead and love. The second and third birds are for my grandparents who have provided me with both everything I needed and wanted (I guess you could say they spoil me.) The fourth bird is for Demi Lovato who gave me the courage to speak up. The fifth bird is for my old cheerleading coach, LeeAnna, who loved me and cared for me as if I was her own child. She was with me at my worst, and I will never be able to thank her enough for everything she has done for me. The sixth bird is for my 10th grade English teacher, Mrs. Schwartz, who inspires me on a daily basis. I look up to her in more ways than anyone will ever know. The seventh and eighth birds are for my youth directors (more like my second parents), Debi and Doug, have been there for me since I was itty-bitty, and who have helped me grow in my relationship with Christ.”

Facebook Credit: Summer Randels

Facebook Credit: Summer Randels

From Summer: “[This is] my mom’s cross. My mom was married 3 times, and after all the divorces she wanted to get that tattooed on her ring finger to symbolize that her love for Jesus and God will always be first.”

This is Amy, my good friend Ashley’s sister. I love the heartbeat and the script 🙂

Facebook Credit: Amy Hinman

Facebook Credit: Amy Hinman

In Amy’s own words: “I get so stressed out that I never take the time to just breathe and live in the moment. It’s a reminder to be in the moment always and just breathe.”

This is another Longwood friend, Brittany. She was my awesome Peer Mentor when I was a freshman 🙂 And now she’s in the NOAA Corps, and sometimes sees my dad more often than I do.

Facebook Credit: Brittany Anderson

Facebook Credit: Brittany Anderson

In Brittany’s own words: “The two swallows are for my nautical miles I’ve traveled (each equals 5,000 nm a piece). The red bird is on my right because red buoys are on your right when you return home to port. The coordinates are to where Eleanor was born.”

And, finally, Al’s cousin’s wife, Erin.

Photo coming soon!

In Erin’s own words: “So, in line with your tattoo post…I have a ‘tramp stamp’ of a tribal sun (got it on my 20th b-day in 2002–my Dad says it’s proof that 2002 was the year I ‘Lost My Damn Mind!!’) it’s nothing special…BUT…has the wicked cool distinction of being created by a LEGALLY BLIND tattoo artist. (Yeah, I let a blind lady permanently mark up my body.)”

Thank you again to EVERYONE who contributed! I loved seeing the photos and reading your stories!!

As for me, I have several ideas in mind already. Thanks to Justin, I definitely want to get some ink in the near future.

The following picture represents the idea for my first tattoo:

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:

I don’t want to get it exactly like this, but this is the basic idea. I have loved ankle bracelets for the longest time, but I’ve always broken them somehow. The last really nice one got caught in the car door when I was coming home one night, and I haven’t worn one since then.

So, I want to get a permanent one. I want to have seven charms, and the bracelet.

1. A red heart, for love.

2. A depiction of the cross pendant that my parents gave me for high school graduation, for my faith.

3. An anchor, for Alpha Sigma Tau.

4. A daisy, for PEO.

5. The letters NYC in green, gold, and purple, for where I was born, purple for my survival from premature birth, and green and gold for the Green Bay Packers.

6. A butterfly, for their grace and beauty.

7. A sun, for my sunny disposition.

Along with the ankle bracelet, I have two other tattoos that I want to get.

I want to get a tattoo of a typewriter. I have been writing stories since I was 10. I have been fascinated with typewriters for many years. I love my dad’s Smith-Corona and I hope that I’m able to use it more. I want to own one at some point. Getting ink of it will remind me of writing and how much I love it.

The last idea I have (for now) is in honor of my dad. I have looked up to him my whole life. I shamelessly admit, I’m a total Daddy’s girl.

Anyway, he served in the Coast Guard for many years. He went to the Coast Guard Academy, and then did a combination of active duty and reserve service until he retired in the early 2000s.

So, this tattoo is a homage to that.

I want ink of the insignia, and then my dad’s name, rank, and years of service curving around it. I want to pay tribute to him, and I think this is a great way to do it.

Those three are the ones I want to start with. Any others that come along afterward, they will have as much meaning as these three do to me.

I’m not planning on getting all three at once, but with the New Year fast approaching, I’m considering getting the ankle bracelet one sooner rather than later 🙂

That’s all for now! I hope you enjoyed these two posts!!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂



Getting Personal #5: Tattoos (Part 1)

My interest in tattoos started about five years ago.

As a child, I never grew up around them – My parents don’t have any; not even my grandfathers, who proudly served our country, got one. The only person I can think of that may have one is one of my uncles, but that’s it.

Growing up, I had the perception that getting a tattoo, let alone multiple ones, was not a wise choice, almost a stupid decision. I vowed that I would never get one.

Even in college, I held that vow of never getting one. A lot of my friends didn’t have them or had no interest in getting any.

I think it officially started when I joined the sisterhood of Alpha Sigma Tau in the fall of 2009. Going Greek was one of the best decisions that I have ever made, and it affected me in so many ways.

I remember being fascinated by a sea turtle tattoo that one of the sisters had on her lower leg. I love turtles – Always have, always will. I ended up in the Turtle Family of the Longwood chapter, and my interest was quickly heightened. Most of my sisters either had tattoos already or wanted to get them. They knew what they wanted, and the stories behind them were inspiring to me. It was intriguing, and I wanted to know more – As much as I could possibly learn.

As I met more and more of the active sisters and the alumnae of Longwood throughout the years, I learned that many of these tattoos had significant meaning to the woman. Most of them were relating to family, and then it went into connections, feelings, memories.

Along the way, I discovered that tattoos can truly be an art form on one’s body.

Note: This is not my sorority sister’s sea turtle tattoo, I just like it!

Earlier this week, I put out a Call for Photos, explaining my idea for this blog post.

The response I received within hours was absolutely overwhelming.

I started getting Facebook messages almost immediately, and it just mushroomed every day.

The pictures I received, the stories I read, just confirmed my desire to write this post.

And, since I received so many responses, I’m doing a part 2!

I wanted to start with the person that has influenced a lot of my thoughts and opinions on tattoos: One of my best friends in this world, Justin.

Justin currently has four tattoos, and has plans to get several more. He believes his body is a canvas for this art.

I’m so grateful that he sent me pictures of all four, along with so much detail about them.

Thanks, Justin!

Photo Credit: Justin Clatterbuck

Photo Credit: Justin Clatterbuck

This was Justin’s first tattoo, on his left shoulder. He got it in September 2013 at Kiss of Ink in Farmville, Virginia. This is the Fairy Tail Guild Emblem, from the Fairy Tail anime. The meaning behind it: “No matter what, your comrades have your back. Believe in them, and there’s nothing you can’t do.”

Justin’s other three were done by the same artist at the same tattoo shop – Ryan at Ben Around Tattoos in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Photo Credit: Justin Clatterbuck

Photo Credit: Justin Clatterbuck

This was Justin’s second tattoo – It’s on the left side of his chest. These are the Keyblades, Oathkeeper and Oblivion, from the game Kingdom Hearts. Meaning behind this one: “Within light there is darkness, and every day is a battle within our light and dark in the daily choices we make. A ying and a yang so to say.”

Photo Credit: Justin Clatterbuck

Photo Credit: Justin Clatterbuck

Here is Justin’s third tattoo. He got it this past summer, on the right side of his chest. This is the Recon Corps symbol, from the Attack on Titan anime. Meaning behind it: “Even when your back is up against the wall, don’t give up.”

Photo Credit: Justin Clatterbuck

Photo Credit: Justin Clatterbuck

The above is Justin’s latest tattoo. He got this in November, on his right shoulder. This is a mixture of Paragon and Renegade symbols (a.k.a. Renegon), from the game Mass Effect. Meaning behind it: “We all have moral choices to make, each one affecting our lives down the road. Make your choice today. Are you Paragon or Renegade today.”

I’ve had conversations about tattoos with Justin for months now, and it’s been great!

Because of him, I have several ideas for tattoos that I want on my own body … But you’re going to have to wait for part 2 for that!

Next, I wanted to feature my first official response to my Call for Photos – My dear friend, Amanda.

Photo Credit: Ralph Kuhnley, Jr.

Photo Credit: Ralph Kuhnley, Jr.

Not only is this a gorgeous photo of Amanda, it showcases an amazing story.

Amanda got this tattoo for her 21st birthday, in 2010. She got it at Alley Cat Tattoo in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

Here are Amanda’s own words: ” … Near the end of my struggle, I got this tattoo done as a constant reminder that what I had done to myself was not a failure, but a lesson. A lesson to never need repeating. The placement was chosen because the skin stretches very little in this location, and it can be covered easily. But I always know it’s there…and I can show it off when I want to. Just like I can choose when to share my story.”

Thank you, Amanda!

I think I’m going to wrap this up … For now.

Look for part 2 – Coming soon!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂