Getting Personal #112: March Goals Recap


Image Credit: BeautyBeyondBones

So far, 2018 is turning out to be very busy. Most of our weekends have been chock-full, although we have had a blessed few where absolutely nothing was on the calendar. March seemed to drag on a little bit, probably because of the crazy weather! At least now it’s a bit more spring-like. Temperatures in the 60s and 70s – I’ll take it!

Here’s the link to my March Goals post:


Here we go!

  1. Work at least one hour on my Lady Lounge every weekend. — Semi-Achieved.
  2. See A Wrinkle In Time. — Did not accomplish.
  3. See Ready Player One. — Accomplished!
  4. Attend a meet-and-greet with Old Dominion Greyhound Adoption. — Accomplished!
  5. Update the Household Bills spreadsheet by the end of the month. — Accomplished!
  6. Prepare for my P.E.O. officer transition. — Accomplished!
  7. Make chocolate mousse for the office. — Accomplished!
  8. Make at least one thrift store donation run. — Accomplished!
  9. Continue to make progress with my 2012 NaNoWriMo endeavor. — Accomplished!

Here’s the breakdown:

Work at least one hour on my Lady Lounge every weekend. — Semi-Achieved.

  • I was able to do this for a few weekends, but not all.
  • I spent two solid hours on one Sunday afternoon, and I was immensely proud of myself. I’m slowly carving a path through!

See A Wrinkle In Time. — Did not accomplish.

  • This wasn’t a priority for us. Maybe one day soon!

See Ready Player One. — Accomplished!

  • We have tickets to see it TODAY! Cannot wait!

Attend a meet-and-greet with Old Dominion Greyhound Adoption. — Accomplished!

Update the Household Bills spreadsheet by the end of the month. — Accomplished!

  • It feels good!

Prepare for my P.E.O. officer transition. — Accomplished!

  • I was officially elected and installed as the chapter’s treasurer!
  • Thankfully, almost everything is logged and recorded through Excel. That makes me happy!
  • I’m excited for this new role!

Make chocolate mousse for the office. — Accomplished!

  • Al helped me make it, and I brought it to the office last week. Out of three I’ve made since Thanksgiving, this one was the best of them all. It was awesome!
  • My department director was even able to find the original recipe online, and sent it to everyone.

Make at least one thrift store donation run. — Accomplished!

  • We dropped off all the clothing donations, plus the big boxes of books and DVDs.
  • Then, after that solid two hours of work in my Lady Lounge, I had quite a bit to donate. We loaded up the car and dropped it off at the CHKD Thrift Store near our house.

Continue to make progress with my 2012 NaNoWriMo endeavor. — Accomplished!

  • I signed up for CampNaNoWriMo for the first time, with a singular focus on this endeavor.
  • Read more in my March 27th post: Getting Personal #111: Camp NaNoWriMo
  • Feeling inspired, I went on an awesome sprint this past week. When Al was in the shower on Thursday morning, I wrote over 1,100 words! Woohoo!
  • And then, last night, I wrote another 884 words!
  • I’m up to 37 pages now. It’s really starting to come together, and I’m enjoying writing again.
  • I wrote approximately 2,025 words!! Happy dance over here!!
  • Current word count: 13,241 words.

Final Thoughts:

  • I was able to put Accomplished next to seven out of nine goals. More than 75 percent – I call that a win!
  • The one goal that was Semi-Achieved: This was mainly due to time constraints. However, I’m happy with the progress I made.
  • The one goal that I did not accomplish: I’m not too worried about this one. Movies will always be there to watch.

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

Come back tomorrow to see my April Goals!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Commentary #67: “God Hears His Children” – A Music Review

Pinterest 2

Image Credit: Pinterest

I have an amazing friend, Chloe, who lives in Tennessee. We’ve struck up a friendship because of our shared love of American Girl dolls. We’re involved in multiple AG groups on Facebook, and we message each other several times a week. Chloe has autism, but nothing is stopping her! She has competed in several pageants, including Miss Shining Star, several online Facebook photo pageants, and Tennessee Miss Amazing!

Recently, she shared on Facebook that she had written a poem, titled “God Hears His Children.” Well, a family member helped her put music to the words. The iTunes release of the “God Hears His Children” single happened today!

To purchase, go to iTunes and search for “God Hears His Children – Single.” The thumbnail image is yellow lights with a microphone. Chloe’s name is in the upper right-hand corner, and the title is in the bottom right-hand corner.


Image Credit: eBay

When Chloe gave me a sneak preview of the single, I loved it!

I’ve already downloaded it, and I anticipate listening to it often.

It’s a good first start for her, and I’m thrilled that she took such an awesome leap of faith. First, she wrote the poem. Then, she asked her family member to help her set it to music. And, she wanted to get it submitted to iTunes!

I’m so proud of her!

Her passion, drive, and determination has blown me away from the day I met her on the American (AG) Girl Doll Obsessed BST Facebook group!

In addition, she’s a faithful member of the American (AG) Girl Dolls Obsessed: His Rock Facebook group. She also recently created the Amazingly Ag free online doll pageants Facebook group!

I hope she continues writing poems, and maybe creating more music in the future!

Congratulations, Chloe!!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Adventure Time: Norfolk, VA Edition (Round 3 – American Red Cross “Celebration of Heroes” Luncheon)


This was the luncheon program. I think the “Ordinary People, Extraordinary Acts” tagline is so fitting!

I had such a unique and special adventure today!

My dad and our church have been honored several times from the local chapter of the American Red Cross, headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia.

Today, my dad, Jim, and two co-coordinators of the church blood drives, Kathy and Michael, were honored and recognized as the American Red Cross Coastal Virginia “Blood Drive Heroes” during the “Celebration of Heroes” luncheon. It was held at the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel. It was outstanding!

Shannon Revels, our blood drive Donor Recruiting Account Manager was the one who submitted the nomination. We were also introduced to Marissa Nihill, Executive Director, Coastal Virginia American Red Cross, Norfolk.

The room was full. Kathy and I had the opportunity and honor to sit with heroes Daniel “Dan” Jones and Gilbert “Smitty” Smith. Dan saved a woman from drowning in the James River in Richmond last summer, and Smitty performed the Heimlich maneuver and other lifesaving acts on a family member, thanks to his first-responder training.

Photo montage!

The tables were beautifully decorated!

The welcome slide of the PowerPoint.

Blood Drive Heroes!

The food was amazing!!

Emcee Ashley Smith, from 13 News Now, was outstanding!

Marissa Nihill, Executive Director, delivers closing remarks.

Every hero/heroes had a framed biography / back story outside the ballroom.

This is Dad’s award. Kathy and Michael’s are identical, with their names engraved.

I know I’m a little biased, focusing on Dad, Kathy, and Michael. However, every single person who was honored today has an amazing story. Everyone was so humble and appreciative!

Here’s the full list of heroes:

  • Disaster Response Hero – Keene Black
  • Coastal Chapter Humanitarian Hero – Jennifer Boykin
  • Community Impact Hero – Judy Fundak
  • First Aid Hero – Daniel Jones
  • Services to Armed Forces Hero – Jason Redman
  • Community Impact Hero – Samuel Clyde Smith
  • Emergency Responder Hero – Gilbert “Smitty” Smith
  • Lifesaving Heroes – Shane McCoy & Clifford Johnson
  • Water Rescue Heroes – Desiree Joseph, Sean Logan, Josh Turner
  • Blood Drive Heroes – Jim Stricker, Michael Strickland, Kathy Williamson
  • Corporate Humanitarian Hero – Dollar Tree

Together, these heroes provided significant relief after Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, saved people from drowning and choking, served our country bravely through the military, organized countless blood drives, and much more. It was incredible. Kevin Gaydosh, Co-Chair, Board of Directors of the Coastal Chapter, gave several statistics about the chapter’s efforts in 2017. We noted that there were more than 48,329 units of blood donated!! That’s incredible.

It was such a special event. I got emotional several times. Several heroes received standing ovations. It was incredible to witness, and I’m glad that I was able to be a part of it.

It’s fitting this luncheon was held a week before our next blood drive. It’s also our 18th Anniversary blood drive! If you’re in the Hampton Roads area on Saturday, April 7th, we’d love to see you stop by and Give the Gift of Life.

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Tag #41: The Listicle Tag


Image Credit: Kristin Kraves Books

Thrice Read came up with an intriguing tag post!

Here’s the link to their post:

What is the Listicle Tag?

Listicle means a piece of writing or other content presented wholly or partly in the form of a list.

In this case, it’s a prompt for a particular top five related to books.

The Rules:

  • Create your own listicle tag, using the prompt from the person who tagged you.
  • Tag the creator of the post (not-so-modern-girl!) so that she can read all your brilliant posts and see how the joy of listicles is being spread.
  • Nominate as many people as you want!
  • Set those five people the subject/prompt of their listicle post!

The prompt I was given: Top Five Favorite Fantasy Novels

Laura Beth’s Top Five Favorite Fantasy Novels (in no particular order)

  • A Wrinkle In Time, Madeline L’Engle
  • Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling
  • The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis
  • The Green Mile, Stephen King
  • The Princess Bride, William Goldman

I have a much greater appreciation for Madeline L’Engle now – I want to read all of her books!

At this point, most people know my love for / obsession with Harry Potter! I love re-reading them every so often. It’s a great kick of nostalgia. And the movies are awesome, too. Can’t wait to see the new Fantastic Beasts movie!

I don’t talk about C.S. Lewis very often, but I loved all his works. Like L’Engle, I’ve gained a greater appreciation for him over the last several years. And the movies based on some of his books are well done, at least in my opinion. If you haven’t checked them out, I recommend doing both.

Stephen King is one of my favorite authors. I want to watch the The Green Mile movie adaptation again soon – Tom Hanks and Michael Clarke Duncan. What a combo!

The Princess Bride is best known for the movie adaptation, but the book is really good, too.

Tag – You’re It!

Your listicle prompt: Top Five Favorite Books Published in the 21st Century

This was so fun, and challenging! I need to read more fantasy, apparently. It was hard to come up with five!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #111: Camp NaNoWriMo

I’m so excited to say that I will be a camper at Camp NaNoWriMo this year, for the very first time!

What is Camp NaNoWriMo, you ask?

Well, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, which is typically held in November of every year. However, there are camp sessions, too!

You can be placed in a “cabin” of certain preferences. When I signed up, there were different options for cabins. For me, I wanted to be placed in a cabin with writers that are around my age.

Here’s the landing page: Camp NaNoWriMo

It’s basically a writer’s retreat, in April!

It’s summer camp in the spring.

I’m loving it!

My main goal, like I commented on someone else’s blog recently, is to make significant progress with my 2012 NaNoWriMo endeavor / attempt. The last time I touched it was in September 2017, where I was on a great writing streak for a weekend.

Current word count: 11,216 words.

Goal: Write 20,000 more words by the end of camp.

Here’s the synopsis I recently put together for my work, tentatively titled “Experiences From Camp”:

Kristin, a teenager from Kansas, has heard of this experience called “Camp” in Maine. However, everyone who has gone there can’t accurately describe their experiences – Just a lot of mystery, suspense, some thrills, and a lot of chills. When she’s selected to go, she’s excited to meet Brennan, and see “camp” for herself. From the start, Kristin doesn’t get what she’s bargained for, and her excitement turns to absolute terror.

So, that’s all, for now! I’m excited to try something new!

I’ll be sure to make another post at the end of April or beginning of May, detailing my camp experiences and my successes!

What about you? Have you ever participated in NaNoWriMo or Camp NaNoWriMo? I’d love to hear about it!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Tag #40: The Cheesy Goodness Tag

The Cheesy Goodness Tag - Howling Libraries

Image Credit: Howling Libraries

This looked like a really interesting tag – I saw it on Jenna’s blog, Bookmark Your Thoughts.

Here’s the link to Jenna’s post:

The Rules:

  1. Pingback the original creator (Sydney @ Fire and Rain Books) so she can see all your cheesy goodness answers.
  2. Pingback the person who tagged you (as per usual).
  3. Have fun!


The traditional cheese: Name your favorite classic novel.

Although I’m very tempted to pick The Great Gatsby, I’m actually going to choose Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I’ve loved everything Austen has written, although I haven’t read everything (See my TBR!). I first fell in love with her books when I was watching Wishbone as a kid!


The hole-y cheese: Name an emotional roller coaster.

Looking for Alaska by John Green. This was the first of Green’s books I read, in 2011, and I had no idea how much emotion he packs into every book he writes!

Blue Cheese

The controversial cheese: Name an unpopular book opinion you have.

I despise dog-earing pages. I will use any scrap of paper as a bookmark before I fold a corner of a page. Also, I really don’t like love triangles!


The favorite cheese: Name an author you always want more of.

Tie between Suzanne Collins and J.K. Rowling! These two women, between Harry Potter and The Hunger Games, have shaped so many years of my life!


The Dutch cheese: Name a book that makes you want to travel.

The Vacationers by Emma Straub. Take me away!


The fake cheese: Name your least favorite book / a book you love to hate on.

Many of my regular readers know the hate that I give to Allegiant, the third book in the Divergent trilogy. Ugh!

Colby Jack

The mixed cheese: Name your favorite ship.

I can’t pick just one!

  • Katniss and Peeta, The Hunger Games trilogy.
  • The more I think about it, the more I wish Harry and Hermione ended up together!


The simple cheese: Name an old favorite you’ll never stop loving.

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

Pepper Jack

The spicy cheese: Name a book you can’t judge by its cover.

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain.


The monster cheese: Name a villain that you wish never had the joy of eating cheese again.

Many people who have done this tag already have agreed with my sentiment. I loathe Dolores Umbridge from Harry Potter. *shudders*

Tag – You’re It!

This was such a fun tag, and really different from the other tags I’ve done (so far). I loved it! Thanks again, Jenna!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂


Tag #39: 90’s Kid Book Tag

The 1990s

Image Credit: 6iee

The ladies at Thrice Read did another awesome book tag that spoke to my nostalgic heart!

Ready to travel back to the 1990s?

Here’s the link to the original post:

The Rules:

  1. Please, please, please steal this tag and spread it around! I only ask that you link it back to The Literary Phoenix so that I can see everyone’s answers!
  2. Freeze tag was all the rage in the 90s. Tag someone (or many) you think would have fun with this!
  3. Have fun!


A GBA game and trading card game where you battled pocket monsters and strived to catch them all. Back in the day, there were only 150 Pokemon.

The author you need every book from.

John Grisham. He’s the author I give credit to for peaking my interest in law, so I want all his books!


AOL Instant Messaging – how 90s kids communicated with their friends after school before everyone had a cell phone.

Book that connected you with your best friend.

Melissa will laugh when she reads this – Voyage on the Great Titanic: The Diary of Margaret Ann Brady, by Ellen Emerson White. I had never heard of the Dear America series before the sixth grade. Although we were basically best friends at that point, Melissa noticing that I was checking out the book from the Western Branch Middle School library, and mentioning that she owned all of them, that solidified our friendship for sure.


Creepy needy robots you could teach to talk and were probably demon possessed. Somehow these made a comeback?

Book that seemed like a good idea but was actually a monster.

Ugh. I didn’t even get more than five pages into Fifty Shades of Grey. No thanks!


90s quintessential boy band. You may have heard of Justin Timberlake?

A book you hated to say Bye, Bye, Bye to.

The end of the Harry Potter series. I cried!


Getting green slime thrown on you, courtesy of the show Figure it Out. Also apparently still a thing at the Kids’ Choice Awards?

A book everyone loved but you hated.

The Twilight series.

Oregon Trail

90s computer game you could usually play at school, which was great. It taught us people used to die a lot of gruesome, messy deaths.

A book that made you wish you died of dysentery.


Mixtape / CD

Back before everyone had music on their phones (remember, we didn’t have cell phones!) folks would rip their CDs and make mixes for each other.

Three (3) books you recommend to anyone, anywhere, no matter what.

  1. The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
  2. The Pelican Brief, John Grisham
  3. The Notebook, Nicholas Sparks

Dial-Up Internet


A book that took FOR FREAKING EVER to read.

Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins. I loved it, but it took me a while to get through it.

Keenan Thompson

He’s that guy who’s been on SNL forever. Also Mighty Ducks. Good Burger. Keenan and Kel. All That. Everything.

That book that you see referenced everywhere and is in everything, but that’s okay because it’s awesome.

The Wizard of Oz.

Thumbs Up, Seven Up

A game where most the class closed their eyes and seven people tapped someone’s thumb and you had to guess who did it without peeking.

Book where you peeked just REAL quick at the ending because you don’t like guessing game.

I don’t remember ever doing this. I like to be surprised!


These were basically just Teddy Grahams dipped in frosting, which is still a wonderful snack idea.

Your ideal bookish snack.

Nothing. Not even water.

Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark

Collections of short stories that would scare any sensible kid! Plus, there were illustrations…

A book that kept you up all night.

The Hunger Games.

Bill Nye The Science Guy

Basically the coolest thing you got to do in science class was watch Bill Nye. He has a Netflix show again!

A book that taught you something new.

On My Honor, Marion Dane Bauer. This was one of the first books that taught me how important honesty was.

Tag – You’re It!

This tag filled me with so much nostalgia! I had or experienced nearly everything on this list, except for a Furby. Those things were like creepy Gremlins! Yuck.

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂