Getting Personal #190: Fourth Wedding Anniversary

Amazing.

Happy Anniversary, Al! Four years have truly flown by.

We love our house. It was an expensive year in 2018 – We bit the bullet and replaced our entire HVAC system. But, we’re almost done paying it off. Yay!

We adopted Pablo, a greyhound, in September. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out. The poor baby had such severe separation anxiety that we couldn’t keep him or felt it was safe for him. Thankfully, he went to a good home.

In December 2018, we adopted Phineas and Ferb from Saver of Souls Rescue, and it’s been an amazing experience. As I write this, they are snuggled under the giant sherpa blanket by my feet.

The biggest life change was me changing jobs. I’ve been with Sentara since early September, and I’m so glad I took the plunge. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Riverside – I was there for nearly seven years. But, making the switch has done wonders for me in many ways.

It’s almost time for the holidays! We’re excited to celebrate Thanksgiving with Al’s family, and then Christmas will be a bigger affair with both sets of parents and more.

Cheers to many more years! I love you!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #185: Happy Birthday, Mom!

Today is my mom’s birthday!

I’m so happy to have been able to celebrate with her. Today was our regularly scheduled blood drive, and she ran it like a champ. Everyone sang to her, and I bought a fun rainbow birthday cake! We had a good time. She was going to take a nap later.

Hoping to take her out to eat sometime tomorrow.

Happy Birthday, Mom! I love you!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #242: “September WIP Challenge ANNIVERSARY”

September WIP Challenge Anniversary

Image found through Didi Oviatt

Didi has a lot to celebrate every September!

As for me, I celebrate my dating anniversary with Al every year on September 4th.

Here’s the link to Didi’s September WIP Challenge:


Will wanted make their 10th dating anniversary special. Their first date that September Saturday, 10 years before, changed both their lives forever.

Bethany had diagnosed anxiety, but her anxiety preparing for their 10th dating anniversary was especially high. She couldn’t quite put her finger on it. She wanted to impress Will, knock him out of the park, in some way.

Separately, they had shopped for new outfits. But, they were going to a familiar place. Back to where it all began.

In the driveway that wound around the side of their beautiful house, Will polished his red sports car to perfection. It made Bethany get those butterflies again. She thought about how her brother-in-law’s former girlfriend had pointed out the car was Will’s, all those years ago.

Red was a theme for them, quite by accident. Will’s sports car was red. The top that Bethany wore on their first date was red. It was far too small now, but Bethany never wanted to part with it. She wanted so badly to wear it for the momentous occasion, but she certainly wasn’t 120 pounds anymore.

And red was part of their colors for their beautiful fall wedding. Their 10th dating anniversary in September would be followed by their fifth wedding anniversary in November. They were finally taking a proper week off from work. It was going to be their first significant getaway since their first wedding anniversary. Sad, but true.

Bethany steadied herself as she emerged from the shower, still in the hazy fog of wonderful memories. The red dress she’d found through her favorite consignment group on Facebook had been hidden away for months. She couldn’t wait to surprise Will.

She heard the sports car start up, knowing Will would be inside in just a few minutes.

The door slammed shut, causing the dogs to bark. Will was so good with them. They were quiet again in a minute or two. Bethany didn’t have to say a word.

As Bethany toweled off her hair, she heard Will climb the stairs. She caught her breath.

He let out his customary wolf whistle as he saw the dress hanging on her closet door.

“Wow, Bethany.”

She smiled, opening the bathroom door a crack. Steam, perfume, and deodorant wafted through the air.

“You smell amazing, sweetheart.”

“Thank you, baby.”

“Wanna give me a sneak peek?”

She smiled, unable to resist.

Fooling around was going to make them late for dinner, but neither of them really cared. Bethany loved how Will took his time with her, and enjoyed every inch of her.

When they finished, Bethany flicked her towel at him as he headed toward the shower. She put on the dress, and realized her anxiety was gone.

The sports car shone in the September sunshine as Will drove toward the beach. Bethany felt the butterflies give way to nostalgia and excitement. They were going back to the restaurant where it all began.

Dinner felt like old times, but it was full of reminiscing and making new memories. The food was just as good as it had been 10 years ago.

The symphony was warming up for their concert series as Bethany and Will strolled the boardwalk. The only difference was the musical act, and maybe 10 years of age.

Bethany and Will laughed as they stopped around the same place where Will had kissed her for the first time. Memories flooded both them.

This time, Bethany spoke up first.

“I have something to tell you.”

“What’s that?”

“I’m pregnant.”

Bethany smiled and her eyes filled with tears as she watched Will’s face.

“Really?”

“Yes, really. I took a test this morning. I didn’t think it was true, but it is.”

Will wanted to pick her up and spin her around, but he just kissed her.

The stars and fireworks Bethany had felt 10 years earlier, on that boardwalk on a September Saturday, were still there. And now, they were starting another chapter.


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #180: Nine Years

True Love

Image Credit: TheloveBits

I love writing these “dating anniversary” posts every year!


Today, Al and I celebrate nine years together!

Here are nine photos that are special to me.

June 2014: One of six weddings we celebrated that year. This was taken at April and Steven’s wedding reception.

December 2014: Al’s first company Christmas party! I loved that dress so much!

Our first Tidewater Comic-Con!

November 2015: I will always share wedding photos.

November 2015: One of our many honeymoon photos.

December 2015: Cheesin’ with my new iPhone.

December 2015: Taken at lunch before seeing Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

December 2018: The day we adopted Phineas and Ferb!

August 2019: My birthday party at Circuit Social!

Happy Anniversary, Al. I love you!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

 

 

Getting Personal #164: Happy Birthday, Uncle Richard

Happy Birthday, Uncle Richard. This is your first one in Heaven. We know you are celebrating with Grandma and Grandpa! We miss you so much here on Earth. You are loved!

I think back to this day last year. It was the first Saturday in April, which is always a blood drive day, I kept telling Al to remind me to call Uncle Richard, to tell him Happy Birthday, before we went out to dinner with our friends Casey and Beth. I had such a wonderful 20-minute conversation with him, and I could hear his smile in his voice. I was so thrilled to have remembered to take the time to do that. Little did I know what would happen next.

My Uncle was a life-long bachelor, never married, no kids. He went to Vanderbilt. He was a flight attendant for National Airlines, and then they merged with PanAm. He lived 15 minutes from my grandparents for decades. He loved history, movies, food, and laughter.

He selflessly took care of Grandma Grace and moved her in with him from 2010 until she died peacefully in July 2013.

He always called me his favorite niece. I always laughed, since I was his only niece.

We worried about him for several years, but he persevered through happy times and challenging times.

I called him on Saturday. On Tuesday, the world as my family knew it came crashing down. He’d been in a car accident, four blocks from his house. We found out later he’d suffered a massive stroke. My parents, bless them both, literally dropped everything here in Virginia and got to Miami as fast as possible. My mom, Richard’s kid sister, took charge, and my dad bent over backwards. I stayed put, checking on their house and getting their mail.

Everyone in Florida were wonderful. The church community gathered together and offered everything, especially prayer.

After several weeks, the difficult decision was made to bring in hospice care. He’d fought hard, but his body was failing. He was coherent until the very end, saluting my dad, as he always had since my dad had served in the Coast Guard for more than 23 years. One of them brought the wedding photo of us to his room, and he knew who I was. I was able to call one last time. He wasn’t able to speak or respond to me, but my mom said he was nodding and recognized my voice. I told him I loved him, and then I couldn’t talk any more. I’d said my piece. I felt at peace.

He died peacefully on April 25th. It was the hardest four weeks my parents had been through, and many more months of challenges would follow, making sure his estate was taken care of. Months later, my mom gave an incredible presentation at a church fellowship dinner, dubbed “The Miracles in Miami,” where so many amazing God Things happened during this horrible, tragic, trying time.

Here’s to you, Uncle Richard, from your favorite niece.


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #233: Romantic Movies (Day 31)

Romantic Movies

Image by Nietjuh on Pixabay

Easy A (2010)

A teenage girl standing in front of a green chalkboard, labels are pointing at her and she is holding up a page which explains how this is the story of how she ruined her reputation.

Al and I watched this movie together. I’m pretty sure we didn’t see it in theaters, since I was still away at college when it was released.

I love Emma Stone, especially in this movie!

If you’re looking for a good laugh, with a modern twist on The Scarlet Letter, this is a great choice. Also, Emma Stone and Penn Badgely are adorable.


Thank you for being with me on this wild ride of Romantic Movies posts!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #232: “March WIP Character Writing Challenge: ‘MOONLIT ROMANCE'”

Moonlit Romance

Here’s the link to Didi’s challenge post:


It was Brennan’s idea to rent the beach house. He wanted to gather the friends he’d made at Camp the summer before. Selfishly, he wanted the whole house to himself and Kristin. But, he made do with ten friends.

On her flight from Kansas to Texas, Kristin felt a swarm of butterflies. She wasn’t quite sure what had compelled her to accept Brennan’s invitations. Yes, plural. He’d created a general Facebook invite for all ten friends, for planning purposes. But, just for Kristin, he’d asked her while talking to her on the phone, and then again via FaceTime. He wanted to be sure.

Her phone was off for the flight, but she thought about the last text she’d sent to Brennan before boarding.

Hey, B. See you in about three hours. I’ll text you when I land. Can’t wait to see you!

She felt her words were genuine. She was trying so hard to move on from the end of Camp last summer. But, it wasn’t easy.

A bit of sudden turbulence turned her stomach. Trying to relax, she scrolled through her iPad for good music. Taylor Swift gave her comfort, for a while. She didn’t dare listen to Chris Young or Ed Sheeran. Not yet. It still stung.

Brennan was busy at the Corpus Christi airport, fielding texts and calls from all ten friends. Thankfully, the beach house was only 20 minutes from the airport. With Mom graciously lending him the minivan for the week, Brennan could take up to five people at one time. He figured it wouldn’t be more than three trips back and forth.

Amidst the droll of flight announcements and airport security warnings, he sighed, finding his way back to Kristin’s texts.

Reading her last text, he wanted to believe her. He could sense she had been hesitant about this trip. Her flight alone ate up a good chunk of the money she’d earned over the summer. But, Brennan reassured himself.

If she didn’t want to come, she would have said no.

The first wave of friends – Stephen, Ace, Stephanie, Gabe, and Sheila – arrived smoothly. Brennan had Stephen man his phone while he drove to the beach house. Everyone was in awe – Brennan had picked a great place. Less than a quarter mile from the beach, a in-ground pool, a hot tub, a hammock, and more. Everyone chattered away as they took turns unloading suitcases, sleeping bags, food, and fun pool floats. The bedrooms were supposed to be girls only and boys only.

As the first five were unpacking, Brennan’s phone buzzed. His heart sank with Kristin’s text.

Hey, B. Bad news. We had to make an emergency landing in Oklahoma City. I won’t be there for another two hours. Everyone’s OK, we’re just switching planes. I’ll keep you posted. Thanks! Love, K

Brennan’s heart fluttered at the sight of “Love, K.” Had the spark reignited?

As quickly as Kristin’s text came through, an incoming call from Angie made Brennan almost drop his phone.

“Hey, Angie! Okay, great. I’ll be there to get you and Tina in about 20 minutes. Awesome! Bye.”

Brennan tried not to worry as he headed back to the airport. As Angie and Tina rolled their suitcases out to the van, Kristin was FaceTiming him.

“Hey, K!”

“Hi, B. How’s it going?”

“Good. Angie and Tina just got here. Are you taking off soon?”

Kristin turned her phone to show the interior of the plane. “Yep. About 20 more minutes. I just wanted to see your smiling face before having to turn this off again.”

Brennan swallowed, feeling excited in more ways than one. “Awesome. I’m excited! Text me when you land, okay?”

Kristin flashed her signature smile. “You got it. See you soon!”

“Bye!” Brennan waved before ending the call. Angie and Tina gave him grief, but he didn’t care one bit.

Dinner time approached as the nine got settled. Brennan was finally able to unpack, and it was quickly decided to have hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill. Brennan was three bites into his cheeseburger when his phone buzzed.

I’m here! Finally. Can’t wait to stand up and stretch my legs! Can’t wait to see you. Love, K

Brennan’s heart thudded. He wolfed down the rest of his burger, and grabbed the keys before anyone else noticed. He texted Angie on the way out, not caring any more. He was on his way to reunite with the girl of his dreams.

It was warm enough to roll down the windows outside baggage claim. Corpus Christi was notoriously slow with baggage. Brennan started to grow impatient. Finally, he spotted Kristin with her zebra-print bags. Brennan nearly collided with another car, he threw open the door so fast.

Kristin giggled, watching Brennan’s face. He popped the back door open, took her bag, and then hugged her. Her lips grazed his forehead. Brennan sighed, a bit too audibly.

“It’s so nice to see you, B. I’ve missed you.”

Brennan carefully let go, and Kristin let him hold her hand for a few minutes. “Hi, K. I’m so glad you could come. Thanks. It’s going to be fun.”

Kristin gently kissed his cheek. “Me, too. Let’s go!”

They hardly spoke during the 20-minute drive, but both were excited. They both found each other blushing. Brennan offered music, but Kristin politely declined.

Brennan unloaded Kristin’s bags, and showed her the bedroom on the third floor. Brennan was directly below her. How he longed to be in the same room. He could barely stand it.

Famished, Kristin eagerly accepted a hot dog and hamburger. Brennan tried hard not to stare, but it was nearly impossible. He felt goosebumps as the sun set, and a full moon started to rise.

Everyone else decided on a moonlight swim and dip in the hot tub, but Kristin surprised everyone by declining.

“None of you went through an emergency landing today, haha. I’ll veg out tonight. We have the whole week!”

Everyone laughed, giving side eye to Brennan. While Kristin was changing her clothes, Brennan stayed busy, cleaning the kitchen and texting his mom, thanking her again for letting him use the van for the whole week.

At long last, Brennan heard Kristin pad down the stairs. He thought she looked amazing in the faded county fair T-shirt and butterfly-print boxer sleep shorts. He moved his gaze before she noticed, but not before he blushed.

As he wiped down the counter, Kristin offered to help. Brennan laughed. “No thanks, all done now. But, your company is nice. I’m surprised we’re alone this quickly, haha.”

Kristin smiled. “Everyone in the backyard knows our history. Come on. How could anyone not?”

Brennan winced slightly. “Are you … still mad about the end of Camp?”

Kristin turned to face him. “A little … but I figured being here with you is a good way to make up for it. I’m sorry … for everything. Will you accept my apology?”

Brennan felt sweet relief. “Yes, I do. Thank you for apologizing. And, I’m sorry, too.”

Kristin slipped her hand into his. “Thank you. I think the couch may be more comfortable than standing here on the cold tile floor.” Brennan looked down at their bare feet and laughed.

For a good while, they held hands and talked. It felt like the beginning of Camp all over again – Nervous, but electric energy. They caught up on their lives in their respective states. As Kristin talked about that year’s county fair, which had ended the week prior, Brennan noticed she wasn’t wearing a bra.

She scooted closer to him, cross-legged. She gently took his hand and let him put it on her knee. Both had instant goosebumps. He gently stroked it before moving down to her feet. She giggled as his hand tickled her toes and the soles.

She looked up, catching her breath from giggling, and melted at Brennan’s gaze. He had that slightly goofy, charming look on his face – The exact same one when they were on the dock the first night at Camp, where it all started. She held her breath slightly as he moved in to kiss her. It was amazing, just like the fireworks spectacular.

“Brennan, I think …”

“What’s that, Kristin … What do you think?”

“I think I want you to take me to my bedroom. Is … that okay?”

Brennan clumsily stood up, offering his hand. “As you wish.”

They kissed all the way up the stairs, secretly thrilled no one else was in the house. Brennan caught a glimpse of the gorgeous full moon as they made their way to Kristin’s room. Hearing Kristin’s sigh knew everything was going to be all right.

The light of the full moon filled the bedroom as Brennan carefully shut the door, as Kristin’s fingers itched for the hem of his shirt. They took their time undressing each other, enjoying every second. Both of them wanted this to last as long as possible.

Brennan was struck by Kristin’s beauty as the full moon illuminated her creamy skin. Her hair fanned out as she let Brennan explore her for the first time in nearly a year. She felt beautiful. Brennan certainly thought she was beautiful, relishing every second.

Before he entered her, Kristin kissed him. “Brennan, I have to say something.”

“What’s that, Kristin?”

“I’m so happy I’m with you. Right here, right now.

She paused, watching Brennan’s goofy smile fill his face. “I love you, Brennan. Thank you for this – Everything.”

Brennan smiled, and whispered, “I love you, too, Kristin. Thank you for being here. You’ve made my year.”

They kissed over and over. Her moans and whispers were like music to Brennan’s ears. She kept repeating, “This is amazing.”

As they finished, Kristin opened her arms. Brennan nestled in next to her, gently stroking various parts of her. Her skin was still bathed in moonlight. Brennan was fully taken, wanting to freeze-frame every second.

Kristin kissed his forehead, and then his lips. “Can we break the rules? I want you to spend every night right here with me.”

Brennan smiled, slightly shaking his hand at her impulsive streak. “Tonight, yes. The rest of the week – We’ll see.”

Kristin smiled. “Even if it’s just tonight, that’s okay with me.”

Brennan kissed her deeply. “I don’t want to forget a single second. But, do you want to do that all over again?”

Kristin smiled, her hand ambling below his waist. “Yes, Brennan, I do. I love you.”

“I love you, too, Kristin.”

Brennan and Kristin ended up breaking all the rules that week. And they enjoyed every minute of it.


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂