Getting Personal #32: August Goals Recap

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Hi, everybody!

This post is a recap or review of my August goals! I cannot believe that September starts tomorrow!!

Here’s the link to my August Goals post:

Ready?

Here we go!


  1. Build up some cash – Accomplished!
  2. Thoroughly enjoy my birthday! – Accomplished!
  3. See Star Trek: Beyond, Jason Bourne, and maybe one other movie with my husband – Semi-achieved.
  4. Prepare for the start of my Trial Prep & Discovery class at the end of the month – Accomplished!
  5. Finalize our first wedding anniversary getaway for November – Did not accomplish.
  6. Read Harry Potter and The Cursed ChildAccomplished!
  7.  Keep blogging! – Accomplished!
  8. Paint as much of the house as possible – Accomplished!
  9. Hopefully move my furniture! – Did not accomplish.
  10. Find at least five new recipes – Semi-achieved.
  11. Start tracking our monthly expenses via spreadsheet – Semi-achieved.
  12. Check out geekgirlpenpals.com – Accomplished!

Here’s the breakdown:

Build up some cash – Accomplished!

  • I took a hard look at my credit card statements from July and almost fell on the floor. Plus, my main credit card was hacked in the beginning of the month, so that sobered me up too.
  • I hardly spent any money on personal items this month, with the exception of some American Girl books that were deeply discounted on Amazon! Currently halfway through one of the new Mysteries, and I love it so far!

Thoroughly enjoy my birthday! – Accomplished!

  • On my actual birthday, Al made cinnamon rolls for breakfast! Yum! I was also treated to an amazing dinner at Olive Garden, celebrating with Al, my parents, Mom’s best friend Debbie D., and our friends Kathy and Perry. Debbie D. gave me this amazing no-bake pie-making kit that came in Mason jars! I’m so excited!
  • I took off work on Monday, August 8th, and enjoyed myself immensely. I didn’t go see a movie solo, but I did purchase Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, stocked up on LUSH items (I love the Ocean Salt scrub!), and went to lunch with Al and his co-worker, Kathryn. We went to this amazing Thai place near where they work. I had their orange chicken that made Al salivate!
  • Then, the big birthday surprise came later in the week – Al bought me my third American Girl doll, Kit Kittredge. She’s the historical doll from the 1930s. I couldn’t believe it! I’m over the moon, and I’m so excited to de-clutter my future office space and make a home for my desk, files, future window seat / reading nook, and permanent haven for Stephanie, Molly, and Kit!

See Star Trek: Beyond, Jason Bourne, and maybe one other movie with my husband – Semi-achieved.

  • We did see Star Trek Beyond on a Tuesday night with Al’s dad. It was an awesome movie! I won’t post any spoilers, but if you’re a fan of the newer movies, this one is a must-see.
  • We decided to wait for Jason Bourne to come out for rent or on the streaming services.
  • We saw Suicide Squad during the Thursday night release. It was good!

Prepare for the start of my Trial Prep & Discovery class at the end of the month – Accomplished!

  • I ordered my textbook as an e-book for my phone and iPad. I got my paper workbook too, through Amazon, well in advance.
  • I’m really enjoying the class so far. The second class of the semester was last night, and I’m actually excited to dive head-first into the Homework Folder and Trial Notebook assignments this weekend. I have to do Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 before the next class. My professor is awesome!

Finalize our first wedding anniversary getaway for November – Did not accomplish.

  • This didn’t happen this month, for multiple reasons. We’ve been so busy with the house, that our weekends just slip away. However, I love the idea of going to Key West, Florida for a few days, so hopefully we’ll book everything very soon!

Read Harry Potter and The Cursed Child – Accomplished!

Keep blogging! – Accomplished!

  • I’m super proud of myself. I published a post almost every day in August. I did have a five-day break between the 24th and 29th, but I needed it. I was stressed and overwhelmed. I’m happy to be back at it!
  • I’m currently working on posts containing house updates and book reviews, plus a 30-day challenge series!

Paint as much of the house as possible – Accomplished!

  • This could not have happened without Nick and Savy. They came over on Saturday and we powered through two of the bedrooms! It looks amazing. I’m so happy with the color – Monorail Silver – and it looks different than the gray that’s throughout the house. We bought the paint for Al’s office and our master bedroom – Storm Cloud – but we’re going to wait until the weather cools off a little, so we can open the windows and properly ventilate the house!

Hopefully move my furniture! – Did not accomplish.

  • This didn’t happen this month, mainly because the weather has been so stinking hot! Ugh!

Find at least five new recipes – Semi-achieved.

  • I found about three new recipes to make, but not five.
  • I made Honey Balsamic Chicken and Veggies earlier this week, and it was amazing! Thanks to Tony for sharing the link – Perfect timing! I definitely want to make this again, especially for a potluck gathering! So yummy. I’m excited and proud that I prepped everything on Sunday, and I baked it in the oven on Monday night. Lesson learned: I’m definitely marinating meats for at least 24 hours now, if at all possible – So juicy!

Start tracking our monthly expenses via spreadsheet – Semi-achieved.

  • We started this spreadsheet very early on Tuesday morning. We’ll be refining it this weekend, figuring out and tying up all the loose ends. It feels good to see it on paper, but it’s also absolutely terrifying.

Check out geekgirlpenpals.com – Accomplished!

  • I registered for the site, and looked at it a little bit over the course of one weekend in the middle of the month. I haven’t signed up for a pen pal yet – The site is a bit complicated and overwhelming (So many amazing things!), so I hope to do that soon.

Final Thoughts

  • I was thrilled to be able to put Accomplished next to so many things! 7 out of 12. Yay!
  • The three goals that were Semi-Achieved: I’m happy with the progress!
  • The two goals that were Not Accomplished: That’s okay, too! There were certain circumstances that made these goals nearly impossible to achieve this month.

Did you have any goals for August?

If so, how did you do?

Come back tomorrow to see my September goals!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Commentary #39: “‘I Wasn’t Crazy.’ A Homeless Woman’s Long War To Prove The Feds Owe Her $100,000.”

Mother Teresa - pinterest

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I found this link somewhere online last week, probably through Facebook. I like The Washington Post, for the most part. This was a fascinating story.


Here’s the link to the original story:

I hung on every word of the story. This woman, Wanda Witter, age 80, is the prime example of perseverance and determination!

She refused to give up. She was convinced that something was wrong, and was determined to fight it tooth and nail!

For me, if I were homeless at the age of 80, I don’t think I would have the same courage, determination, and spirit!

This story also cast a light on the homeless in Washington, D.C. It’s a lot worse than I ever imagined. Yes, I know D.C. is a major city, but seeing the numbers and facts about its homeless population was stark and grim.

However, seeing the story written with both sides of the coin – Good and bad, facts and figures – made it better.


For Wanda, this battle has gone on for 16 YEARS.

That’s completely unacceptable.

But, it was her reality. The story cited the backlog that the Social Security Administration has faced for a long time. It makes me upset and a bit more critical of the U.S. government and its agencies.

But, maybe that’s just me, coming off a long weekend of organizing a mountain of receipts, a wave of bills, tabulating monthly paychecks, plus arguing with agencies such as Social Security and the DMV.


Aside from all of that, I have good news to report.

Right before I published this post, I found an update to Wanda’s story!

Here it is:

I was thrilled that the Post did an update so quickly.

It warmed my heart, and put a tiny little bit of faith back in the system.

I’m celebrating Wanda’s success with her. I’m excited and happy that she persevered, never gave up, and got every single penny that she deserved (and, there’s probably more money down the line). According to the update, she wants to get dental implants to fix her top teeth, then go see her four daughters, plus grandchildren, that live in different states.

And that makes me a happy blogger today.


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #31: An Open Letter To My Anxiety

Anxiety - healthyplace

Image Credit: healthyplace.com

Dear Anxiety,

Today was one of those days where I felt like you had won.

I was so overwhelmed, stressed, defeated, and just utterly exhausted.

I’ve shed so many tears over the last few days, in every place imaginable. The smallest things made me start to sniffle and tears come to my eyes.

You’ve robbed me of hours of sleep recently. Tossing and turning, over and over, never truly getting comfortable in my bed next to my husband. Feeling so restless, my mind unable to shut down completely and let me sleep peacefully. The best sleep I’ve had in the past two weeks was on Sunday morning, when I was feeling sick from the paint fumes and passed out cold in bed for two solid hours.

But, I have so many people in my corner. I have God in my corner. I lean on my husband, my family, and my faith so much these days.

Waves of relief washed over me as I read a Facebook message from Diana this morning, as I was starting to emerge from your blinding fog, Anxiety. Seeing her words of concern and comfort made me even more determined to keep you at bay, put you behind me.

Immediately after reading that message, I prayed, tears in my eyes. Right at my desk at work. I’m not afraid to pray anymore. I used to be. But, now, I find myself praying everywhere. I know that God is always listening.

As much as I would like to totally get rid of you, Anxiety, I’ve accepted that you will always be with me.

However, I won’t let you control me. I can’t do that. I’ve been controlled before, and I won’t let that happen, not again. I’m not a puppet.

I’m taking back control.

Recently, I’ve realized some things, and that has helped diminish your presence, albeit slowly. Example: I won’t let lingering guilty feelings get in the way of finally realizing that / coming to terms with I was involved in a very toxic relationship with J. over the last year and a half. 18 months is a long time. Too long.

I won’t go back there. I can’t go back there. I’m pushing the guilt aside, feeling stronger with each day, and holding my head up high as I attempt to be the bigger person.

This morning, after watching me break down crying, my manager made me laugh and then said something to the effect of, “Don’t let your past interfere with your present.”

You better believe I’m holding on to that.

Anxiety, you may have claimed a small victory over me recently. But, I’m tired of the stress, overwhelm, sadness, and guilt that you’ve churned inside me. I’m letting go. I’m releasing all of that – It’s been a drag, literally!

I’m devoting every ounce of my energy, henceforth, into my beautiful house, my amazing marriage, my work, and my faith in God.

Thanks for playing, but you can’t win every time. I’m too stubborn and too much of a competitor to let that happen.

Love always, Laura Beth

Anxiety - picturequotes

Image Credit: picturequotes.com


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Tag #11: “The Happiness Tag”

Happiness - brainyquote

Image Credit: brainyquote.com

I was tagged by B.G. again! I love it!

Here’s the link to B.G.’s original post:

Ready?

Here we go!


Five Things That Make Me Happy:

  1. My wonderful, amazing, handsome husband – Al. It’s hard to believe that we’ve been together for almost six years, and we’re celebrating our first wedding anniversary in November!
  2. My parents. They are amazing! They both work incredibly hard, and they did an amazing job raising me as their only child. I know that I can call either of them, day or night, for anything!
  3. My circle of friends. I’m incredibly blessed to have many friends, both male and female. I’ve met so many recently through the blogging community as well.
  4. Giving blood and helping with the blood drives at church with my dad. Giving blood is a family affair for me, and Dad helped start the blood drives at our church when I was 11. I started giving blood at the first church blood drive after I turned 17 – September 2005. It’s an incredible feeling to know that giving one pint of blood can help save up to 3 lives!
  5. Reading. I was given this incredible gift by my parents, and family, who read to me since I was born. I consider myself a voracious reader and a bibliophile. I love buying books, borrowing them, discussing them, and (eventually) donating them. I love libraries and bookstores alike. Fun fact: If I hadn’t gotten into Longwood, I wanted to find a school that offered a Library Science degree.
Happiness - quotesgram

Image Credit: quotesgram.com

Five Songs That Make Me Happy:

Before I list my picks, this one was SO HARD! I love music, and trying to narrow down this list to just five was so difficult!

  1. Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen
  2. Geronimo by Sheppard
  3. Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey
  4. Build Me Up Buttercup by The Foundations
  5. Cruise by Florida Georgia Line

I Tag:

  1. danetigress
  2. booksandbakes1
  3. wwwpalfitness
  4. darlydarly
  5. The Green Onion Blog
Happiness - wheeinstitute

Image Credit: wheeinstitute.com


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #30: “Library, Prague, Czech Republic” (Reblogged)

Here’s another jaw-dropping photo from Just Wunderlust.

As many of you know, I love reading and I love books. Libraries fit into that category as well. This photo has me drooling and lusting for another overseas trip!

Also, I’ve heard Prague is one of the most sophisticated cities in all of Europe. Have any of my readers been to Prague?

I hope everyone’s having a terrific Tuesday!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Just Wunderlust

Library, Prague, Czech Republic

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Getting Personal #29: 200 Followers!

Thank You - quotesgram

Image Credit: quotesgram.com

I learned earlier this week that I surpassed 200 followers.

Wow. Thank you all, so much!

This little blog of mine continues to amaze and astound me.

I’ve gained so much more confidence, spirit, faith, and pleasure in the last two and a half years with my writing and sharing my thoughts with you, my readers, and the world (literally).

I pinch myself every so often, still hardly able to believe that I have people who read this blog of mine that live in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Australia, India, Macau, and a lot of places in between.

In addition, I have met bloggers who write from their hearts in Australia, the U.K., India, Japan, and almost every U.S. state.

I’m grateful for getting to know you, following your blogs, having my email chock-full of fresh blog posts every single day, and conversing with you, whether it’s through comments here on my blog, on yours, or in simple emails.

I’m grateful for every single like, follow, view, and comment.

I write for myself, but it gives me great pleasure to know that so many others like a blog called Hot Shot Headlines and a girl from Portsmouth, Virginia, enough to follow it, like the posts I publish, comment on them, and offer so much incredible insight, encouragement, advice, and amazing stories.

Thank you, all.

Cheers, to all of you.

Here’s to more writing!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Tag #10: “The Harry Potter Book Tag”

 

Stephen King - relatably

Image Credit: relatably.com

I saw this tag on Thrice Read. This is an amazing blog, all about books, run by three fantastic women! If you’re a bibliophile like I am, I highly recommend them.

Here’s the link to the original post:


The One Rule:

  • I can answer the questions, but none of the answers can be Harry Potter.

Ready?

Here we go!

accio

Found on Thrice Read.

A book you wish you could have right now:

You Will Know Me - yahoo

Image Credit: yahoo.com

You Will Know Me: A Novel by Megan Abbott

I instantly fell in love with this book when I heard the review of it on NPR’s Fresh Air podcast recently. I think it’s fitting with the Olympics wrapping up and the fever that the Final Five of the U.S. women’s gymnastics team has caused.

adaasd

Found on Thrice Read.

A book that surprised you in a great way, reveals to be more than it is:

The Vacationers

The Vacationers by Emma Straub

Having originally abandoned this book, it pleasantly surprised me when I sat down to try it again. Check out my book review from earlier this year. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on her newest book, Modern Lovers.

alohomora

Found on Thrice Read.

A first book in a series that got you hooked:

Chosen Ones - bookdepository

Chosen Ones (Lost Souls) by Tiffany Truitt

I was super excited when Tiffany announced her first publication a few years ago. It’s hard to believe that Chosen Ones was released in 2012. I’m a bit biased, because she is one of my sorority sisters. Regardless, she is an amazing writer! The story of Tess and her world made me desperate to read more!

Chosen Ones is the first in the Lost Souls trilogy: Naturals, and then Creators make up the series. Tiffany has several other published books, and I have read them all!

avadakedavra

Found on Thrice Read.

A killer book:

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - goodreads

Image Credit: goodreads.com

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larson

I was unsure about Steig Larson’s books, at first. I tried the book on CD method from the Russell Memorial Library in Chesapeake while driving 15 miles from my house to my high school, and I was engrossed from the beginning. It’s a killer story!

confundo

Found on Thrice Read.

A book you found confusing:

PortraitofanArtistasaYoungMan-JamesJoyce - womanandhome

Image Credit: womanandhome.com

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

I remember being assigned this book during my senior year of high school. Our teacher was amazing – One of the best English teachers ever. But the majority of my class hated this book. It was incredibly confusing, and difficult to read. We had lengthy discussions in class. However, due to this book, eventually we all learned about stream-of-consciousness and more about Irish culture!

epectopatronum

Found on Thrice Read.

Your spirit animal book:

Sarah Dessen - Just Listen

Image Credit: amazon.com

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

I’ve always loved Sarah Dessen’s books, since discovering them while I was in high school. Just Listen is the one I feel the most connection. This one, her seventh, was published in between my junior and senior years of high school. I read it shortly after it was published, and then I re-read it in college, and the connection only deepened. I love the way Dessen creates her characters, and I love the winding path that Annabel and Owen find themselves on throughout the book. It made me think of my own friendships, relationships, domestic violence, and standing up for yourself and others.

flagrate

Found on Thrice Read.

A book you found interesting but would like to rewrite:

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Image Credit: goodreads.com

Rooftop by Paul Volponi

I remember finding this book on a whim at the Russell Memorial Library in Chesapeake. I liked it. I liked the characters, the setting, and the drama. I think it was a good attempt, but I also think it could have been written better, with a faster pace.

spetumsemtra

Found on Thrice Read.

A dark, twisted book:

The Battle - scholastic

Image Credit: scholastic.com

The Battle of Jericho by Sharon M. Draper

Sharon M. Draper’s twists and turns immediately made me interested in her focus on African-American characters and their struggles. I’ve read all of her books, multiple times now. Initially, I was very skeptical about African-American characters, but this one sucked me in from the beginning and never let me go.

It follows a young man, Jericho, and his friends in their quest to join the Warriors of Distinction at their high school. Along the way, everyone, including the adults, starts to realize that the Warriors are not what they seem, and it’s increasingly dangerous and twisted. The Battle of Jericho is the first in a pulse-pounding, emotional trilogy, which includes November Blues and Just Another Hero.

nominees

Found on Thrice Read.

I nominate anyone that’s a Harry Potter fan!

I really enjoyed this tag. It was so different from most of the other tags I’ve done for the blog. It made me realize I want to read more books!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂