Getting Personal #161: “Way in the lake, Lipnik Park in Ruse, Bulgaria” (Reblogged)

I feel at peace when I’m surrounded by nature, especially water, trees, or both.

This photo also symbolizes a path. A path, a journey to the other side.

We are all on our own journeys. The good thing? We can choose our paths. We have that choice. No one can take that away from us.

I’m constantly inspired by nature and landscapes. This particular photo looks like it was taken in autumn, when the leaves are changing colors and the trees are changing seasons. Here in Virginia, we don’t always experience four seasons. But, the trees do. I like to think so, anyway.

What’s your favorite season?

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Just Wunderlust

Way in the lake, Lipnik Park in Ruse, Bulgaria

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Tag #32: Fall Activities Book Tag


Image Credit:

The lovely ladies at Thrice Read did this awesome seasonal book tag! It doesn’t quite feel like fall right now here in Virginia, but the leaves are starting to change, we’re decorating for Halloween, and planning for so many amazing things!

Here’s the link to the original post:

Apple Picking:
A book on your TBR that looks so great you can’t wait to get into it.

The Hate U Give

Image Credit: Amazon

The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas.

I can’t tell you how many people have recommended this book, in blogs, in book reviews, and a few personal recommendations, too. This is the next one I’m getting from the library!

Corn Maze:
A book to get lost in.

The Last Song

The Last Song, Nicholas Sparks.

I love most of Nicholas Sparks’s books. I remember eagerly awaiting for this book to be available from the library. I got it just in time to take it on a long trip to Florida, and the hours flew by in the car with this book. The movie actually wasn’t so bad, either.

Haunted Houses:
A book that scared you.


Image Credit:

Catalyst, Laurie Halse Anderson.

I remember being shaken when I finished one. Anderson is an immensely talented writer, and I’ve read all of her books. It wasn’t a horror novel by any means, but it scared me in a real-life kind of way. I identified with the main character, Kate, in several ways, and I felt myself changing several things in my own life after reading this.

Pumpkin Patch:
The latest book you picked up / purchased.

Camino Island

Image Credit: Amazon

Camino Island, John Grisham.

John Grisham is one of just a few select authors where I strive to own every book that he will ever publish!


Scenic Drives:
A book that is lyrically beautiful.

Tuck Everlasting

Image Credit: Goodreads

Tuck Everlasting, Natalie Babbitt.

I was assigned to read this book in middle school, and we later saw the movie in theaters. I haven’t read it in years, bur I remember the impression it made on me.

Pumpkin Carving:
A book you didn’t like and wouldn’t mind cutting up.


Allegiant, Veronica Roth.

I don’t think I need to elaborate my disgust for this book!

Drinking Apple Cider:
A sweet book to curl up with.

The Vacationers


The Vacationers, Emma Straub.

Although it took me a good long while to finish it, I ended up loving this book, and Straub’s writing style. I can’t wait to read more from her.

Jumping in a Leaf Pile:
A book that reminds you of your childhood.

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Image Credit: Pinterest

The Baby-Sitters Little Sister series, Ann M. Martin.

I loved checking these out from the library, and I owned quite a few of them. I think I eventually read all of them!

Scary Movie Night:
Your favorite spooky read.

The Lovely Bones

Image Credit: Goodreads

The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold.

Just thinking of this book gives me goosebumps.

Costume Party:
A book with an eclectic cast of characters.

The Help

Image Credit: Goodreads

The Help, Kathryn Stockett.

If you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend it. I wanted to read it as soon as it was announced. I laughed so hard while reading it – It’s so funny, during a tough time in the American South. There are several generations represented, and the whole cast of characters makes for a great read. The movie was excellent, too.

I loved this tag!

What’s your favorite fall activity?

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #76: “Sunset Dock, Pelican Lake, Wisconsin” (Reblogged)

As the incessant heat wave breaks a little bit this week, I feel like this photo is foreshadowing what fall could be like. This girl is beyond ready!

I look at this photo and I think about several great things happening in September and October – Savy’s epic bachelorette weekend in the mountains, and then Nick and Savy’s wedding at the Vardaro farm!

Also, knowing this photo was taken in Wisconsin makes me think of my beloved Green Bay Packers and football!

As much as I like summer, it’s just too hot and humid! I love the cooler air and the changing leaves much more.

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Just Wunderlust

Haley Woods
Sunset Dock, Pelican Lake, Wisconsin

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Hello, Spring!

Spring officially arrived on March 20th … but here in southeastern Virginia and many other parts of the U.S.A., it certainly hasn’t felt like it!

I don’t really have a favorite season. I like all four, for different reasons:



The picture above says it all. I love snow and the way it touches the landscape. I love the cold breeze and when I can see my breath. I like being bundled up in warm fleece and scarves … when the calendar says it’s supposed to be winter, anyway. See below.

However, this winter has been a major exception. I don’t like all the wishy-washy, Mother Nature can’t make up her freaking mind, mood swinging changes in temperatures. Some people (like my mom) say that they love living here in SE VA because we get all four seasons. Yeah, right. We get a few minutes of spring and fall every year (maybe), then the rest of the year is all summer and winter.

“You can’t get too much winter in the winter.” ~Robert Frost


river of flowers

If I had to pick a favorite season, I’d choose spring. I love seeing the new life sprouting from the ground and the trees. One of the best things about living in SE VA is that there are so many trees and parks and places with nature. I love that I can hear birds singing almost every morning.

Don’t believe me? Check out the links below (but I highly recommend visiting in person!)

Norfolk Botanical Garden – Norfolk

Portsmouth City Park – Portsmouth

Oak Grove Lake Park – Chesapeake

Sandy Bottom Nature Park – Hampton

Noland Trail and Mariners’ Museum Park – Newport News

False Cape State Park – Virginia Beach

First Landing State Park – Virginia Beach

Chippokes Plantation State Park – Surry

And there’s beaches and rivers, too.

Also, this spring I signed up with the Hidenwood Presbyterian Church co-ed softball team. I’m so excited to get started – We’ve been practicing for a week already, and our first game is a week away from today. Play ball!

“Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!'” ~Robin Williams



Summer is a love-hate season for me. Summer to me means freedom – Freedom from school, freedom to travel, freedom from clothing (to an extent). However, in SE VA, it just gets terribly hot and humid. And quickly. And for a long time. It depends on the year, but usually it starts to get hot and miserable sometime in May and lasts clear to the end of September. Blech!

However, with summer comes some of my best memories. My birthday is in the beginning of August.

The annual church mission trip to North Carolina happens every July – I started going in high school and this summer will be my eighth trip. Carolina Cross Connection is a great group!

Several years ago, my friend Liz’s parents bought a beach house in Corolla. Until then, I had never traveled to the OBX, outside of trips to Kitty Hawk and a family friend’s beach house in Southern Shores. The Easterbrooks’ sunny yellow house holds amazing memories for me. Talk about freedom!

Even better, summer was the season that Al and I met. We watched “Inglorious Bastards” with his brother Nick the night before I left Chesapeake for my senior year at Longwood, and I knew that night that I wanted both of them to be in my life somehow until the end. The first two weeks of school were filled with texts, Facebook, and Skype. I brought Nick’s girlfriend at the time (a new Longwood freshman) home for Labor Day weekend, and Al and I decided that we’d go out to dinner at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront on September 4th … Well, the rest is history.

“Tears of joy are like the summer rain drops pierced by sunbeams.” ~Hosea Ballou


fall leaves

Like winter, the picture above says it all. The fall represents gorgeous colors as the trees prepare for winter. I have fond memories of helping rake the leaves in my parents’ backyard and then jumping in them for hours with the neighborhood kids. My dad and Mr. Porter from across the street usually put a big blue tarp down before we started, and then they’d drag us around the yard with the leaves. So much fun.

One of my fondest memories of fall was a youth group camping trip to Sherando Lake when I was a sophomore in high school. It was stunning scenery, much like the picture above. I experienced my first canoe flip in the lake (not the best moment; the senior boys flipped us! Jerks!) That was also the trip when I discovered my first high-school crush … Sigh.

Fall also means apples and bonfires. I have never gone apple-picking, but that’s on my to-do list. Plus, I want to make an apple pie from scratch one day!

“By all these lovely tokens September days are here, With summer’s best of weather And autumn’s best of cheer.”  ~Helen Hunt Jackson

So, there you go. My thoughts on the four seasons.

Needless to say, after the long, miserable winter I’ve experienced for the last several months, I’m stoked for days of sunshine and those days that I can put my windows down and feel the breeze when I drive. Bring it on!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂