A Deep Breath of Gratitude

I could C R Y.

It’s been oh so long, friends. Posting this blog post (after a 2+ month hiatus) feels like a huge virtual hug to any person out there who is reading this right now.

This semester has been a wild ride. Graduate school (+ life / growth / relationships) has proven to be quite different and much more challenging than I could have expected, but c’est la vie, eh?

But in the spirit of {American} Thanksgiving tomorrow, I thought this would be a fine time to take a hot minute to breathe and show gratitude for the things of life — the happy, the hurt, and every detail in between.

This semester…

I’ve experienced profound friendships.

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I’ve studied more than I ever have, but at the same time earned the most humbling and disappointing grades in my college career.

I’ve eaten some good-for-the-soul food.

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I’ve doubted my ability to become a competent physical therapist several times.

I’ve been ceaselessly encouraged by friends, family, and God to keep on keeping on.

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I’ve seen blue skies, gray skies, purple skies, and orange skies.

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I’ve had fun nights filled with line dancing, cheers-ing, and singing at the top of my lungs.

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I’ve had nights that didn’t seem to end even when the sun rose.

I’ve seen friends, family and strangers with even longer nights of the soul than I could imagine.

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I’ve made myself some wholesome foods.

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I’ve made myself think I’m eating wholesome foods.

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I’ve felt hurt in ways that I’ve never felt before.

But I’ve felt joy and the feeling of being cared for in ways that I’ve never felt before.

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I’ve seen what it means to be among beautiful women of God, who love to the very end.

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I’ve hurt others in ways I never intended but still wish I never did.

I’ve had to humble myself and apologize for my wrongdoings, which happen more times than I can count.

I’ve accomplished things in mind, soul, and body through God’s grace, and I’ve seen others do even more.

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I’ve seen tears of sadness, tears of guilt, tears of anger, and tears of joy.

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I’ve cried until I didn’t know why I was crying, and I’ve smiled until I didn’t know why I was smiling.

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I’ve dropped the ball in some friendships and allowed others to help me pick it up.

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I’ve seen God in every single day, in all of these things which remind me that, although we are dying, we are living all the more. I am beyond thankful for every person and every motion of the heart that has made this semester, this year, this LIFE… something beautiful.

God is good. All the time.

p.s. if you want to read something nourishing for the soul, please do yourself a favor and check out my friend Kelsey’s blog – she writes about beauty and about humanity so eloquently it hurts.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I am grateful for you.

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We’re Gonna Freakin’ Make It

Hey hi hello.

This has officially been the longest blog hiatus in the history of Daily Moves and Grooves! Not that I’m proud of this new record, but alas, it happened.

Needless to say, grad school is kicking my gluteus maximus, gluteus minimus, gluteus medius, short lateral rotators BUTT.

It’s been hard, but I am grateful that each day has been its own beautiful adventure. God has blessed me with wonderful people, a solid education, food, shelter, health and more things than I could ever count.

My daily survival kit includes five essential things:

  1. At least twenty minutes of prayer.
  2. Moves and grooves of some sort.
  3. A good laugh.
  4. A hug.
  5. The phrase, “We’re gonna freakin’ make it.”

I miss blogging, and I wish I could catch you up on everything from these past 3+ weeks, but for now, I’ll leave with you some photos — just a fraction of the scenes from life lately. IMG_033421556199_368073360273627_1490380746_o

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omg the sweat was REAL

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Have a wonderful week, friends ♥︎

So tell me:

WHAT IS GOING ON IN YOUR LIFE!?

Shoutout to the Good People in the World

I am in denial that fall has arrived.

I know that the autumnal equinox has not happened yet, but for all intents and purposes, fall seems to be here.

Colder. Shorter days. Pumpkin spice recipes assaulting my Facebook newsfeed. School started. This text from Rachel:

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I used to despise the heat of summer, but as I’ve grown older, I’ve become soft and now prefer to be a sweaty mess 24/7 than a frigid bundle of misery who does not want to move, even though I know that movement makes me warmer.

Wahh wahh wahh.

To get myself to stop complaining about things that should not be complained about, I am going to express my gratitude for good people in the world by giving some of them — friends and strangers alike — an old fashioned SHOUTOUT.

Shoutout to strangers driving in Boston who stop the endless stream of traffic to let passengers walk.

Shoutout to Rachel for still being my #1 foodie friend. We knocked out TWO bucket list places within an hour: chocolate chunk cookie from Blunch and sticky bun from Flour. We split each of them, which was the perfect amount of dessert, and both of them were fantastic. Highly recommend both if you’re ever in Boston!

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I made a good life choice and decided to do a “murderous workout” (upon Ben’s request) right after this. Shoutout to him for working out with me three days last weekend! This was the “murderous” workout from Friday that I came up with:

2 ROUNDS:

  • 10 double lateral jump over burpees (over partner doing plank, 5 each)
  • 50 air squats
  • 10 elevated pike pushups
  • 50 tuck jumps
  • 10 spiderman pushup burpees
  • 50 jump lunges
  • 10 supermans to pushup
  • 50 skaters
  • 10 roll backs to jump up
  • 50 prisoner squats
  • 10 inchworm triple pushups
  • 50 side jump lunges
  • 10 burpee bench jumpovers

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’twas a beautiful (slightly chilly) day outside on Friday!

On Saturday, he came up with this one:

3 rounds:

  • 10 prone tricep extensions
  • 10 step ups each leg
  • 10 overhead tricep extensions
  • 10 decline situps
  • 20 tricep dips
  • 10 inverse rows
  • 10 down up pushups

8 minute abs

And then on Labor Day, we did Julie’s “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop” Workout, which is always a fun challenge.

Shoutout to people who hold open doors for others. I feel like I say this often, but it seriously is such a nice gesture these days.

Shoutout to two of my favorite couples who let me fifth wheel with them on Friday night. Our newlyweds, Sean and Alicia, along with Ben and Casey, invited me to go bowling and dancing with them, and though I honestly thought I would not be the only non-couple person there, I still felt pretty comfortable being the fifth wheel. We’re all good friends.

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Shoutout to house apartment guests who insist on washing dishes for the host.

Shoutout to friendly yet non-creepy Uber/Lyft drivers.

Shoutout to my apartment-mate Lauren for inspiring me to be a more thorough cleaner of our apartment. It’s so great to live with people who care about cleanliness and hygiene as much as you do. (Also shoutout to Lauren for being understanding when I accidentally used all her ripe bananas, thinking they were mine, for baked banana oatmeal.)

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Shoutout to Fiona for walking and talking with me for an hour through miserably cold rain to go to a church downtown to pray and go to confession. Always a lovely time with that girl.

Shoutout to my friends who go out on a miserably cold and rainy night to give sandwiches, socks, water, prayers and love to people who are homeless in the city. They truly inspire me to be a better person.

Shoutout to my aunt for giving me this delicious homemade organic pineapple coconut jam.

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Shoutout to people who are going above and beyond to help with hurricane relief.

Shoutout to my brother’s girlfriend for giving my family special pasta (applewood smoked tomato fettuccine!?), which I was able to cook and toss with sun-dried tomato pesto, fresh tomatoes, fresh basil, and homemade turkey meatballs.

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meatballs with an absurd amount of onions in them

Shoutout to India Quality for making QUALITY Indian food. I went there with some friends on Labor Day, and it was everything I needed.

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veggie samosas, papadum, chutneys, and NAAN to share (the NAAAAAAN ♥︎)

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chicken saag

Shoutout to the Catholic Center community for being my home and my constant inspiration to invite others into the love of Christ.

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and for giving out freeze pops on Labor Day

Shoutout to my old roomie Jordan for letting me celebrate her 21st birthday with her!

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Shoutout to good gal friends who not only chat with you about all things life, but who also COOK dinner for you. Thank you so much, Mai, Dom, and Sarah!!

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Shoutout to Elayne for reminding our whole study group about an assignment. #ResponsibleGradStudentsLOL

Shoutout to my whole study group for being awesome.

Shoutout to my parents and my brother, just because.

Shoutout to my friends who are just as busy as (if not, more busy than) I am, who prioritize God and maintaining solid relationships in the midst of LIFE.

Shoutout to YOU for reading this!!!

So tell me:

Who do you give a shoutout to?

Three fun things you did this past week!

Does it feel like fall yet?

 

Soaking Up the Slumber

I have goosebumps.

It’s been a little bit chilly here in Boston this week! But man, is it lovely. We have been blessed with sunshine and ~perfect~ temperatures.

Classes start again in just 4 days, so I have given myself guilt-free permission to soak up as much slumber and relaxation as I can before all hell breaks loose (← drama queen).

For example, on Monday I set my alarm for 8 am, but I closed my eyes for two seconds… and the next thing I know, it’s 10 am. LOL. It’s still been a productive week of getting some errands done, catching up with friends, praying, and (yes) even a little bit of studying to prepare for classes.

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Here are some random thoughts and things from the noggin on this Friday:

1) What is your all-time favorite fudgy brownie recipe? I made some for my friends and myself last weekend using this recipe from I Am Baker, and they were delicious, but I’m open to recommendations!

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2) The Super Premium French Vanilla ice cream from Trader Joe’s is RIDICULOUS. It is the most luxuriously creamy and dreamy ice cream I have ever purchased from a store.

3) Shoutout to my friend Evan for poaching eggs for avocado toast. We ran into each other at Mass on Sunday and decided to catch up over lunch. I offered to make us avocado toast instead of going out to eat (yo girl has been spending so much $$ recently), and we both appreciated the decision.

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I think making avocado toast is my love language to all my friends.

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more egg toasts this week (one with cheese, garlic salt, red pepper flakes and cumin + one classic avocado with sriracha)

4) I had some random determination to make a vegetarian meal for this week’s dinners, so I made this chickpea and spinach curry. The full-fat coconut milk in it warms my heart and clogs my heart all at the same time, and I love it. This was also my first time using garam masala! It only took me TWENTY MINUTES to find it at the grocery store.

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5) The BEST thing I made this week was peach blueberry cobbler — a summer necessity in my book! I doubled this recipe and obviously added blueberries.

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buttery biscuit goodness enveloping saucy sweet fruit YES

Undoubtedly had to eat it a la mode (hot out of the oven, might I add). More of that dreamy vanilla ice cream from TJs.

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I got to share it with many friends the day I made it, which made me very happy.

6) I ate out for three meals in a row, and although I felt a little “blah” from all the heavy food, it was so worth the company and conversation. The food was also fabulous.

Meal #1 was at Audubon with my dear friend Casey. We hadn’t caught up one-on-one in so long, so this was much needed.

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love this girl so much

We shared the polpette (meatballs that they made with venison and beef) with asiago, tomato sauce and the most delicious charred hunk o’ bread.

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And then I had the roasted vegetable salad, which had delicious things like sweet potatoes, beets, fennel (did not realize how much I liked fennel ’til that night!), brussels sprouts, fennel, arugula, and pine nuts. Look how pretty this stack is!

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It does’t look like much in this photo, but there were SO MANY vegetables in there. I had to take some home.

Meal #2 and #3 do not have photo documentation because I didn’t feel like whipping out my phone in the middle of conversation. Yesterday afternoon, Fr. Barnes (our Catholic Center chaplain) kindly treated me to a burger and a beer at the Sunset Grill and Tap as a belated birthday gift to me. Both the burger and the beer (I got the Great Divide “Roadie” Grapefruit Radler) were superb.

Late at night, my friend Elayne and her parents generously treated me to dinner at Barcelona Wine and Tapas, since I helped Elayne move earlier in the day. We shared four bomb tapas + seafood paella + crepes and ice cream. Oh my goodness.

Full of many good things indeed.

7) I am convinced that my current training goals include move-in and move-out. I work out so that I can move furniture and boxes up and down stairs efficiently and safely. #FunctionalFitness.

8) This burpee box jump workout is killer if you ever need something to get the heart rate up. I subbed 12 heavy over-the-shoulder slam ball throws for the wall balls. Your soleus might be extremely sore the next day, to the point of wanting to strangle a small animal when foam rolling them.

This is also a short and sweet 16- minute workout that will make your butt sore for days.

4 rounds, 30 seconds on, 10 seconds off:

  • goblet squats (35# KB)
  • dive bomber pushups
  • box jumps (25 in)
  • side jump lunges
  • pushup burpees
  • KB swings (35#)

9) I just enjoyed a very green smoothie, because my veggie intake yesterday included lettuce on my burger and a couple mushrooms smothered in goat cheese. And many many potatoes.

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10) I hope my American/Canadian friends have wonderful Labor/Labour Day weekends! And good luck to all my fellow college students starting the new semester. If you’re anxious…

Can any of you by worrying add a moment to your lifespan? If even the smallest things are out of your control, why are you anxious about the rest? – Luke 12:25

These words have been giving me a lot of peace amidst the worry of a very busy semester ahead.

BYE FOR NOW!

So tell me:

What is a classic summer dessert that you love to eat/make every year?

What is your favorite store-bought brand of ice cream?

Favorite brownie recipe?

What are you doing this weekend?

College students: How does the schedule look like this semester? Mine makes me a little nauseous looking at it, but we shall overcome!!

 

Summer Lovin’

I think every blogger has used this title at least once in their careers.

But that could be said for “Day in the Life,” “Recent Eats,” “Lately,” etc. etc. etc.

I’m calling this post “Summer Lovin'” because a) it’s summer; b) I went to my friends’ wedding this weekend!!

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This was my first friend wedding. All other weddings I’ve attended up until this weekend had been for aunts and uncles who seemed to be at a life stage that was eons away from where I was. But here we are kicking off the start to what I’m sure will be many friend weddings in these next few years.

I’m not complaining, because I LOVE WEDDINGS.

On Saturday, my friends Sean and Alicia entered into the beautiful sacrament of Holy Matrimony. I met Sean through the Catholic Center when I was a freshman and he was a senior, and he became one of my “older brothers” during my first year at BU.

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“Can I be obnoxious and ask for a selfie with you guys?”

Sean and Alicia are high school sweethearts (CUTE), and they continue to be a stunning couple. It was a privilege watching two holy people unify in love for the glory of God.

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Their beach-themed wedding reception was also wonderful. It was a blast being there with some other folks who met Sean through the Catholic Center.

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The speeches were short and sweet, the evening was gorgeous, the conversations were fun, the food was DELISH…

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h’ors d’oeuvres and beer at cocktail hour + fab sun-dried tomato bread and butter + bomb salad + delicious chicken with rice and veggies + a slice of vanilla with raspberry mousse cake (ok, two slices)

…and the dancing scene was ON POINT. The bride, groom and respective parties made some solid song requests. Wedding dancing is one of my favorite things in the world, especially with the right people.

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Congratulations again, Sean and Alicia! Thank you for allowing me to celebrate such a joyful occasion with you and your loved ones. I’m definitely in the top 10 people who were most excited about your wedding 😉

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I LOVE YOU GUYS. May God bless both of you as you start this beautiful journey together.

I pray for those affected by Hurricane Harvey. I hope you are all safe and well.

So tell me:

Do you like weddings?

Do you remember your first friend wedding?

WAS IT WILD (like, “everyone’s getting old ahhh” WILD)? What did you do this weekend?