Writing Prompt #88: “52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge” (Week 50)

Week #50: Lessons Learned This Year.

I feel like I learn more things every year. This year, 2017, was no exception.

I’ve learned more about being a wife, and a homeowner.

I’ve learned more about my job, and my career aspirations. I learned how to deal with the devastation of a supervisor leaving for a better opportunity. It hurts, but I’m so happy for them.

I learned how to have fun while balancing work and school. I’m giving more time to myself to enjoy little things, like playing Roller Coaster Tycoon for a few hours on the weekend!

I’ve definitely grown this year, and looking to grow even more in 2018!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth ๐Ÿ™‚


Writing Prompt #87: “52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge” (Week 49)

Week #49: Things You Like About Winter.

This post comes as we’re preparing for some of the coldest weather since the beginning of the year. It was 70 degrees yesterday, and today it’s falling into the 40s! It’s possible that we will see some snow flurries on Friday night, too. That’s exciting to think about!

I’m grateful for simple things, like working heat at our house. Being cold-natured, I also love different blankets. A few years ago, a friend gave me a fleece blanket that’s red and green and Christmas-themed. It’s time to pull it out of the closet!

As much as I gripe about being cold, I enjoy seeing the snow on the trees and the ground. The cold weather also seems to make the sunrises and sunsets prettier.

We’re planning to put up our Christmas tree this week. I love listening to Christmas music while we work – Al used Spotify last year, and it was awesome! With recent car issues (All good now) and some stress at work, I’m in need of some holiday spirit.

I drink more hot chocolate in the winter. I also love making peppermint bark! Delicious!

Winter is colder, and it gets darker sooner, but I love feeling the warmth, celebrating the Christmas season, and ringing in the New Year!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth ๐Ÿ™‚

Getting Personal #97: December Goals

December Goals - Pinterest

Image Credit: Pinterest

I’m just stunned that we’re one day into the last month of 2017. I can’t believe it!

Here are my goals for the month of December:

  1. Decorate for Christmas.
  2. Enjoy Al’s company Christmas party.
  3. See Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
  4. Celebrate Lyndsey’s birthday!
  5. Host Christmas Breakfast for the first time.
  6. Make chocolate mousse for Christmas dinner.
  7. Get back into reading.
  8. Make at least one thrift store donation run.

Here’s the breakdown:

Decorate for Christmas.

  • We’re already planning to put up the tree, hopefully this weekend!
  • I’m excited to go to Michael’s and switch out the Halloween ribbon on our monogrammed wreath.

Enjoy Al’s company Christmas party.

  • This year’s theme is the roaring ’20s / The Great Gatsby. I’m so excited!!

See Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

  • We have tickets for December 14th, but I’m pretty positive we will see this more than once before the month ends.
  • I was excited for The Force Awakens and Rogue One, but my enthusiasm for this one is at an all-time high.
  • I know I will cry every time I see or hear Carrie Fisher. May she rest in peace.

Celebrate Lyndsey’s birthday!

  • Lyndsey’s turning 30! We can’t wait to celebrate at Wintergreen Resort!

Host Christmas Breakfast for the first time.

  • I’m looking forward to having Al’s parents, Nick, Savy, Mia, and hopefully my parents to our house on Christmas morning. We’re already planning sausage casserole, cinnamon rolls, coffee, and more!

Make chocolate mousse for Christmas dinner.

  • Al and I were successful in making this for Thanksgiving, so we’re looking forward to making it again for Christmas dinner at my parents’ house.

Get back into reading.

  • I have been in such a slump. I can’t explain it. I want to dive back in, but nothing on my bookshelf has peaked my interests. Suggestions are welcomed!

Make at least one thrift store donation run.

  • There’s already two gigantic piles of things to be donated. It all needs to go!

Do you have any goals for the month of December?

Until the next headline, Laura Beth ๐Ÿ™‚

Getting Personal #96: November Goals Recap


Image Credit: Mathnasium

November felt like a long month, but it was full of excitement!

Here’s the link to my November Goals post:


Here we go!

  1. Celebrate our second wedding anniversary! — Accomplished!
  2. Keep our kitchen table clean. — Did not accomplish.
  3. Write some snail mail! — Did not accomplish.
  4. Start organizing my โ€œLady Lounge.โ€ — Accomplished!
  5. Enjoy Thanksgiving! — Accomplished!

Here’s the breakdown!

Celebrate our second wedding anniversary! — Accomplished!

  • We celebrated our anniversary with a wonderful dinner at River Stone Chophouse in Suffolk. Al had their biggest steak, and I enjoyed their Colorado Lamb Chops. Everything we ate was fabulous. We didn’t have room for dessert, but we will be returning. They just started brunch service on Sundays, too!

Keep our kitchen table clean. — Did not accomplish.

  • I de-cluttered some of our old mail, but I don’t feel satisfied with my progress.

Write some snail mail! — Did not accomplish.

  • This didn’t happen. I even forgot to mail several birthday cards!

Start organizing my โ€œLady Lounge.โ€ — Accomplished!

  • Every weekend, piece by piece, I’ve hauled boxes from the garage and started organizing. My biggest success has been my bookshelf. I’ve already filled three boxes of books and DVDs to donate to the local library!

Enjoy Thanksgiving! — Accomplished!

  • We took nearly a week off of work, and headed to the farm. Al’s mom fed us so well every single day!
  • We spent Thanksgiving Day with about 40 members of the Chambers family (Al’s mom side). We drove about 2 1/2 hours toward the mountains. There were four tables full of food, and one full table of desserts. Delicious!
  • When we weren’t eating, we relaxed. We went on several drives through the countryside, built a bonfire, and saw the International Space Station fly by!
  • We saw Justice League with Al’s dad. It was a good movie!
  • We also went bowling, and played about 20 rounds of UNO over two different nights.
  • It was so nice to get away!

Final Thoughts:

  • I was able to put Accomplished next to three out of five goals: Yippee!
  • The two goals that I did not accomplish: It was slightly disappointing, but I just need to dedicate more time and effort to these.

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

Come back tomorrow to see my December Goals!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth ๐Ÿ™‚

Writing Prompt #86: “52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge” (Week 48)

Week #48: Your Job.

I’m incredibly thankful that I was given the opportunity to come on board at Riverside five years ago. I’ve learned so much in a different field over the years. I use my Communication Studies degree nearly every day. It’s not journalism, but I’m happy to be challenged in the field of healthcare. It’s also contributed to my paralegal studies, which are almost finished.

I also enjoy the people I work with, and the people I’ve met through Riverside as an organization. I’m grateful for all the connections I’ve made so far, and I’m sure there will be many more!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth ๐Ÿ™‚


Writing Prompt #85: “52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge” (Week 47)

Week #47: Opportunities You’ve Been Given.

I’m grateful that so many people have come into my life, helping me open doors that I didn’t think were possible.

It’s funny, I write this post as I’m reflecting on the going-away party that we attended on Friday night for Emily and Phil. Thanks to my mother, Emily came into my life in 2010 and helped give me one of the most important opportunities of my life – The internship I needed to graduate from Longwood!

Sadly, Emily and Phil are getting ready to officially move to Texas. But, I have a feeling there will be many opportunities to go visit them!

Thinking back, I can list many opportunities that I’ve been given:

  • Learning different instruments – Piano, then viola
  • Traveling abroad – Two cruises in the 1990s, British Columbia (1998), Russia (2001), Europe (2005), Paris (2008)
  • Participating in the IB program in high school
  • Being a blood donor since 2005
  • Going to Longwood for my college career
  • Writing for and being on staff with Longwood’s student newspaper
  • Holding a variety of jobs since college
  • Gaining valuable experience through work and volunteering
  • Being accepted into several different organizations – Alpha Sigma Tau, PEO, etc.
  • Working toward a paralegal degree
  • Becoming a Certified Professional Coder
  • Participating in National Novel Writing Month three times, so far
  • Improving this little blog of mine over the last several years

For me, I think of every new day as a new opportunity to make a difference. It doesn’t have to be anything big. Think random acts of kindness. I’ve participated in a few drive-thru “pay it forward” chains before, as well as holding doors for people, thanking those in uniform for their service, and just being kind. I haven’t read the book or seen the movie yet, but I think of Wonder and I think “choose kind.”

I look forward to future opportunities, and I’m grateful for every one.

Until the next headline, Laura Beth ๐Ÿ™‚

Awesome Authors #9: Tom Perrotta


Image Credit: AZ Quotes

I love so many podcasts, which is a great problem to have. Last month, I finally listened to the NPR Fresh Air interview with Tom Perrotta, which originally aired on July 31st.

I remember reading part of Election when I was younger, and I have seen parts of the movie. But, listening to the Fresh Air interview makes me want to re-read it, and read more of his work.

Born in August 1961, Perrotta was raised in New Jersey. His family roots are Italian and Albanian. He is one of three children. He decided early on that he wanted to be a writer. He wrote several short stories for his high school literary magazine. After high school, Perrotta went to Yale University for his bachelor’s degree, and then earned his master’s from Syracuse University. He married in 1991, and lives in Massachusetts, near Boston.

Since 1988, he has published seven novels, multiple short stories, two collections of short stories, two essays, and at least one ghostwritten novel. Several of his works have been turned into screenplays for film and TV. The most recent adaptation was The Leftovers, for HBO.

Election (1998)


Image Credit: Wikipedia

The story involves high school and presidential elections in 1992. I look forward to reading this again, and then watching the movie (1999).

Little Children (2004)


Image Credit: Wikipedia

This book is Perrotta’s most-lauded and praised books. This is definitely on my list. Like Election, it was adapted into a film (2006).

Mrs. Fletcher (2017)

Mrs Fletcher

Image Credit: Amazon

I look forward to reading this. The Fresh Air interview about this book was spellbinding. I wonder if this one will become a film?

What about you?

Have you read any of Tom Perrotta’s work?

Until the next headline, Laura Beth ๐Ÿ™‚