Archive for the ‘That’s Life Wednesdays’ Category


Trash or Keepsake?

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So I’m starting to go throw boxes and bins in the attic in the hopes of finding things I can throw out, and keeping better track of things I can’t (like keepsakes). I know there are some in this world who will throw away anything and everything regardless of memories, but that’s not me. I know how important tangible links of any kind can be to someone who has nothing else.

The first box I got into had some of my news clips from my journalism days.  It was pretty culled already, with only a handful of my best stories from each different paper where I was employed. How much fun to look back on some of the things I wrote–including a column I wrote at 22 that talked about wanting to write a book and “maybe get it published one day.” I know my kids would get a kick out of that.

I know I have lots more things to go through, my memorabilia from my first few jobs (particularly ones where I wrote things) was fun.

What kind of things do you have saved from your life in your attic/basement/wherever?

~Elizabeth (aka Laura)


Still Learning, Still Growing

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It’s official. I’ve hit that birthday. You know, the big one. Now, first up, let me say I’m grateful. Each birthday in and of itself is another gift. A beautiful one. Yet somewhere in adult-hood it stops holding significance in the way it does when we’re children. No more pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey party games, no more themed invitations for our friends, etc.  In some cases, a birthday is even dreaded because of a particular number. And honestly, I think that’s kind of sad. Birthdays are for celebrating–period. Regardless of your age. Because as I said a few moments ago, they are a gift–a gift of time. What we do with it is up to us.

I was always the wise beyond my years kid–the one who was all about responsibility and walking the line. I don’t regret that at all, but it also made me a little serious when it came to special milestones for myself, whether that was a birthday or an accomplishment. Even now, the vast majority of my book releases are merely a date on the calendar. I rarely go to the store to see it on the shelf anymore. And birthdays, well my loved ones always make a effort with cake and presents, but I’m just as fine seeing the day wrap up.

Sometime over this past year though, I started making changes. Not big, monster changes that won’t stick, but more thoughtful tweaks that made me think–tweaks that I like and will most definitely keep and build on.

The standouts? First, taking almost 8 weeks off from writing this past summer. I didn’t get to a lot of the “other stuff” I wanted to get to, but that’s okay. I’ll work on that next time. 🙂

Next, I’d have to say the daughters-and-me 3 night trip this past summer. We got in the car and headed off for some fun and it was amazing. I didn’t worry about what I should’ve been doing instead, etc. We just went and enjoyed. This will definitely happen again.

There’s also that ever-growing desire to stop and smell the roses. One example where I had to consciously make myself do it was when I visited DD # 1 back in September. My weekend with her was at the front end of a crazy few weeks of work-related travel. I remember being in the hotel pool with her and quietly thinking about all the stuff coming up. And suddenly, something inside my brain clicked in and said, “stop. That stuff is coming whether you think about it or not, so just breathe and enjoy THIS moment.”  Still not sure where that voice came from but it was eye-opening and so very right.  Since then, I’ve found myself thinking back to that and trying hard to keep living that way.

And finally there’s the lead-up to today. A lead-up that had me taking the family to Disney (my favorite place on earth next to home) to celebrate my day. It didn’t matter that it was a few days earlier because everyone got to be there and that’s what I wanted most. Of course the old me reared its head on the way through the gift shops when DH said I should pick something out that I wanted (I didn’t), but I’m a work in progress. 🙂

Here’s to making tweaks and taking Ah-ha moments to heart…


~Elizabeth (aka Laura)

P.S. Check out this fortune I got at the Chinese place in the airport the other night…



Holiday Three

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Posts this week will be a bit sporadic with the holiday week and all, but I couldn’t let an opportunity for a “holiday” three things to go by…

Christmas Eve brought cookie making/decorating. Although we should use icing bags, we just use butter knives and go.  Here’s my assortment…


Then it was off to church, to look at lights, and then come home and partake in a Christmas Eve dessert bar…


We played some games, got on our jammies, and off to be to wait for Santa to come.  Angus set up a sting by the tree…


In the morning, we woke to a white Christmas (photo taken through closed/screen window)!


Now it’s your turn (whenever you read this). Tell us three things from your holiday weekend!

~Elizabeth (aka Laura)



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My mind is kind of all over the place this week with so many things I have to/want to do. Needless to say, my thoughts for today’s post are all over the place to…

*I spent a lovely day in the city yesterday with my aunt. We did an audio tour of Grand Central which was quite interesting. I’ve been in that building dozens and dozens of times and even I saw/learned things I hadn’t known before. And we had a nice, leisurely lunch with lots of talking (which I adored).

When I got home, I finally swapped my summer/winter clothes (I know…I’ve been pretty much wearing the same 5 or 6 things for weeks).

*Today, it’s writing in the morning, followed by a trip to Hershey with DD # 2 for the Christmas event.  We’ve done it the past 4 years in a row and it’s become a bit of a tradition. It was also the catalyst for finally doing the summer/winter clothes swap on a more official basis because I needed to find my Christmas sweater. 🙂

*Still hoping to finish my current work in progress by Saturday night. To do this means pulling a few late night’ers so we’ll see how that goes.

*I still have more shopping to do. I’m essentially down to a few more items for DD # 2, and stocking stuffers across the board at this point.

*I need to get to the grocery store and buy a turkey for Christmas Day dinner.

What’s your have to/want to list looking like for the next few days?

~Elizabeth (aka Laura)


Stuffin’ Ideas

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stockingChris did a great job last week sharing some good “guy” gifts for the holidays. I took notes, actually! 🙂

So now I’m coming to all of you for some your favorite stocking stuffer ideas. This is not for any specific gender. I’m just wanting to change it up a bit and figure soliciting ideas from people who might do different things might spark ideas for me…

~Elizabeth (aka Laura)


First a D’oh! and Then a Day

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ipadvertical_768x1024deathgoesYou ever have that d’oh moment and think how could I have forgotten that?

Well, I had one of those yesterday when I realized I didn’t clue you all in to the fact that And Death Goes To… (Tobi Tobias Mystery #3) has released.  This is one of those series that has just been a lot of fun to write and, I hope, for my readers to read.

So now that my due diligence is done and I’ve pointed you to the book HERE, and shared the back jacket blurb…


The Tobias Ad Agency is in the running for the coveted Golden Storyboard, and Tobi couldn’t be more thrilled—until she discovers it’s literally an award to die for.

It’s an honor just to be nominated. But, let’s get real, Tobi wants to win. The St. Louis Advertising Awards are like the Oscars for her field, and Tobi is up for its most prestigious prize, Best Overall Ad Campaign. The competition is always fierce, but this year it’s killer . . .

Despite her high hopes, Tobi isn’t exactly shocked when she doesn’t win. But she is shocked when the winner, Deidre Ryan, takes the stage only to plummet to her death as a platform suddenly gives way. After the police discover foul play, Tobi’s Grandpa Stu wastes no time in nominating suspects. But was Deidre the intended victim—or was someone else meant to take the fatal fall? Now it’s a race to catch a killer in the spotlight, before another nominee gets the booby prize and Tobi gets trapped in a no-win situation.


…I shall take a moment to briefly and publically guilt myself for all the things I should be doing (getting my book stuff updated on Pinterest, making the social media rounds, writing, working out, baking) today rather than going Christmas bag

But here’s the thing. I hate to shop. HATE. IT.  So, since it’s that time of year when I must, I prefer to do it mid-week while all of the folks who work outside their home are, well, at work. I’m hoping if I’m really productive, I can get a big chunk of it done.

So tell me, how is your holiday gift buying going? Assuming, of course, you don’t give everyone the aforementioned e-book. 😉

Just kidding.

~Elizabeth (aka Laura)


Digging Deep

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I was interviewed yesterday for an article pertaining to MS. Two of the questions really intrigued me, so I thought I’d bring them here for all of you to answer, as well.

  1. What is your personal motto in life?
  2. What is your favorite quote?

I’ll share the answers I gave for myself, after you guys have time to weigh in with your own answers.

~Elizabeth (aka Laura)


A Boost of Happy

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I’m dragging this week, folks.  Some of it is probably the time change and the fact that despite what the sun says, the days seem longer. The other factor is probably the multiple projects I have on my plate for the foreseeable future. And then, let’s not forget the upcoming holiday season and all the busyness that comes with that.

I’ve been working out hard this week–always hoping it’ll give me the energy boost others talk about, but really, it just makes me tired.  But alas, I keep doing it because I know it’s supposed to be good for me.

All of that said, I could use a happiness boost.  I always get more mileage out of that than any elliptical can ever give me. Soooo… share something happy in the comments if you will.  A holiday joke… The favorite line from a movie… A surprise you’re working on for a loved one…

~Elizabeth (aka Laura)


On The Tube

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old-style-tv-setSo we’ve been watching Walking Dead lately (we just finished Season 3). Definitely not a show I ever imagined I’d watch. I don’t like violence at all. But DH was curious so I watched a show or two and while I still hate the violence (I turn away for those parts), the show itself is interesting.

Beyond that, I love This is Us. Love it. Great writing. Great acting.

What are you all watching these days?

~Elizabeth (aka Laura)

P.S. Yes, I realize I’m dating myself with the title of this post. 🙂


Right Here in the USA

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I had the opportunity to get outside and do a little hiking yesterday. And, as you can see by these pictures, I had some truly spectacular views (and yes, Kay, I found some snow! 🙂 )





And, finally, me…near the top of the highest elevation in Gatlinburg. 🙂


I’d rank the Smoky Mountains in TN, Tie Siding, WY, and Monterey, CA, as some of the most gorgeous places I’ve been to in the US.

What do you think is some of our country’s most beautiful spots?

~Elizabeth (aka Laura)