Writing Prompt #63: “52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge” (Week 25)

Week #25: Education.

I’m incredibly grateful for the education that I have received. I was so fortunate that my parents picked an excellent school district when we moved to Chesapeake. Overall, I had really good experiences throughout elementary, middle, and high school. I think fondly of many teachers that I had over the years!

After high school graduation, I was one of the very few that didn’t have to take out any loans to be able to earn my college degree. I don’t say this to brag, not at all – I say this out of incredible gratitude to my parents, who worked so hard to help me get a great education from Longwood. I have multiple family members, co-workers, and countless friends that have student loan debt. That makes me sad! It also makes me angry. Higher education has changed so much, and it’s even changed in the six years since I graduated.

Now, I’m grateful that I have a job that offers educational assistance to its employees! I have used it for several semesters, and it has been a significant benefit. I’m almost done with my Paralegal Studies degree after nearly five years.

I can’t say enough good things about the quality of the education that I have had over the years. With that said, I’m inspired by countless others and their stories.

  • The ones that have worked multiple jobs plus loans to pay for their education themselves
  • The ones that raise or have raised children while working full-time and attending classes
  • The ones that work tirelessly for years to educate themselves in the field that they are passionate about.
  • The ones that go for the Ph.D.
  • The ones that simply have a high school diploma and are just amazing husbands/wives, mothers/fathers, hard workers, volunteers, and so much more than their educational experiences.

My hat goes off to you all!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #62: “52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge” (Week 24)

Week #24: A Book You Learned From.

I wasn’t a big science fiction fan for a long time, but one book helped change my view.

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card.

I wasn’t thrilled when it was assigned summer reading when I was getting ready to start the IB program in 2003.

However, I was pleasantly surprised when I started reading it. The story was so intriguing, that I didn’t want to stop.

As I delved into the world of Ender, Valentine, his family, and the intricate / complicated world of Battle School and Command School, I learned several things. I learned to better appreciate the genre of science fiction, but I also identified with several of the characters. I saw parts of myself in Ender, Valentine, Rackham, and Colonel Graff. Thinking about it now, some of the wars and political themes aren’t so far off from our real world at the moment. I think this book also helped me become a better writer, and to be more considerate of other genres.

I learned later that there are other books with Ender. Eventually, I want to read them all.

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #61: “52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge” (Week 23)

Week #23: Favorite Physical Trait.

I love my eyes. They’re one of traits from my dad. Most people can tell that I look a lot like my mom (We have the same face shape, and our voices are very similar), so I love the traits from my dad slightly more. I have his hair, eyes, and skin.

I love that my eyes are hazel. I think it makes me unique! Green is also one of my favorite colors, so I’m happy that I have eyes that reflects that part of me.

I can’t say much more than that. Come back next Wednesday for more!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #60: “52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge” (Week 22)

Week #22: Something You Use Every Day.

I’m incredibly grateful to have a safe, reliable car! I’m glad that my dad helped me choose my Camry. “Sandy” has been with me since the summer of 2010.

She’s been on many adventures with me in the last seven years. She was with me during my senior year at Longwood.

She’s been there throughout my entire history with Al, with the exceptions of our first date and our wedding day.

She’s been on many road trips, through multiple moves, ability to get me to several different jobs, years of continuing education, and more. Her wheels take me back and forth to the gym, to work, to meetings – All around Hampton Roads, and beyond.

I try really hard to take care of her. I’m able to change the oil myself. When she had a flat tire in April, I was grateful that I have AAA and they came to change it in the rain.

She’s about to cross the 200,000 mile mark in a few months (We got her with 66,000 miles). I sincerely hope she lasts several years longer!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #59: “52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge” (Week 21)

Week #21: Things You Like About Summer.

For the longest time, I always proclaimed that summer was my favorite season. It makes sense – My birthday is in August, and I have many fond memories of being out of school and enjoying family vacations.

As an adult, the heat and humidity here in Virginia is very annoying, and my favorite seasons have shifted to the spring and fall.

But, I’m grateful for all the summers that I have had on this Earth. I remember numerous trips to Florida to see both sets of grandparents, and friends of my mom and my dad. All the amusement park visits – Disney World, Sea World, Busch Gardens in Williamsburg and Tampa Bay, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, Hersheypark, Kings Dominion, and a variety of aquariums and museums. We went to West Virginia several times to see my mom’s extended family. Every summer until I was 16, we went to New York City to go back to the hospital where I was born, sight-see, and visit Mom’s cousin Sherri. Several of our friends had beach houses in North Carolina as well.

My church hosted Russian children for three weeks almost every summer, starting in 1999. It was so much fun – They always loved the beach, going to the mall, swimming, and exploring what our small part of the U.S. had to offer. They were absolutely fascinated by the ocean and swimming pools. They begged to go back to Virginia Beach multiple times – I think one year we took them five or six times in the three weeks they were with us. When summer starts to arrive, I always think of them.

Summer also makes me think of fresh-cut grass, watermelon, BBQ, being around water a lot, swimming, riding my bike, roller-blading, endless library trips, traveling, the beach, going to the movies, Super Soakers, water balloon fights, and catching fireflies.

This summer, I hope to make more library trips, buy our own bikes and take many rides around the neighborhood with Al, take a few days off from work to enjoy the outdoors, watch the fireflies, and listen to the crickets.

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #58: “52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge” (Week 20)

Week #20: A Friend 2.

When I think of this challenge and the prompts every week, I think of the wonderful friend who first introduced me to it – Kristian!

She’s amazing in so many ways! She’s a wonderful wife to her husband. She’s a beautiful friend. She’s incredibly dedicated to her work. She loves so many nerdy and geeky things – Wonder Woman, Sherlock, awesome libraries – There’s too many things to list!

We have quite a bit in common, and I love that we found each other through our blogs.

Thank you, Kristian, for doing your own gratitude challenge. It inspired me to do these! I’m incredibly grateful for your friendship 🙂

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #57: “52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge” (Week 19)

Week #19: Health.

I’ve touched on this subject a few times recently, but I’m grateful that I have almost no health issues. I try hard to take good care of my body – I only get this one – and I’m glad that I was taught healthy habits from childhood.

The one big thing I’m combating at the moment is stress. My work environment was turned upside down in mid-April, and my whole department has been affected. I haven’t been writing or blogging as much. I do miss it, but most of my weekdays have been long days at work on the computer. By the time I come home, I don’t want to do much of anything else involving screens.

Other than the stress issue, I’m grateful to have been relatively healthy so far in 2017. I battled the flu and acute sinusitis for a few days back in February, but that’s been about it for major illnesses. We’ve gotten back to the gym for the most part, going almost every weekday. I’m meeting or beating my water intake nearly every day. We’re hoping to get our own bikes for the neighborhood here soon, so we can be a bit more active on the cooler nights and the weekends. I’m actively researching and stockpiling healthy recipes as well.

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂