What Moves You?


I conked out a little before 7pm and woke up at almost 9am. I needed it though. This past week, I’ve gotten anywhere from 3-6 hours of sleep per night, but I am happy to report that this was mostly because of long, wonderful days.


egg sandwich that I packed with me for my flight from Florida to Texas — very happy I brought this


also very happy my flight provided Biscoff cookies 🙂


Remember the Alamo!

As I said on Friday, I was in San Antonio, Texas for a Catholic conference called SEEK. The theme of the conference is, “What Moves You?”

So with almost 13,000 (!!!) other students (plus a whole lot of religious sisters and brothers, priests, missionaries, and others), we ventured on a four-day journey to reflect on this question.


can you find Boston University?

Even though I felt like I was moving through a can of sardines the whole week, it was absolutely incredible to grow closer to Jesus Christ with so many other young people.


Our days consisted of breakfast provided by our own BU missionaries (thanks so much1 ♥︎)…


they even had pb because they’re the most considerate of souls

…followed by Adoration and Mass with over 13,000 people…


…then a little Battle of the Sexes game show fun before our separate men’s and women’s talks. Fun fact: I was the contestant on Battle of the Sexes on the third day.


thanks, Jaime 🙂

A little background: The men won the Battle of the Sexes the past two SEEK conferences. The score by the third day when I went up there was 4-3, women in the lead. But the men had one more lifeline, while the women had used both of them by third day (we had two total for the week — ask the audience and ask a religious). So the pressure of regaining the title for 7,000+ women was on my shoulders. Good thing I had a very strong sense of, “Trust in God; this isn’t about you,” in my heart by the third day.

Rachel filmed this for me:

Funny how I didn’t know the second question, which had to do with women’s rights… Rachel said the night before, “They chose the worst possible person for this.” A little bitter about that comment, but she’s not entirely wrong.

It ended in a tie (he got two right, I got one right), so later that night there was a tiebreaker that THE WOMEN WON. I’m convinced that Our Lady of Victory was interceding for us 😉



Anyway, after the Battle of the Sexes and the respective men’s and women’s talks, we all broke for lunch, which was provided every day.


always some variation of sandwich, chips, cookie, and water

After lunch, we had two 40-minute breakout sessions. There were so many talks to choose from each time. Throughout the week, we were blessed to hear a plethora of phenomenal speakers provide inspiration, insight, information, apologetics, and testimonies about different topics in the Catholic faith.


The second talk ended at 4:45pm, and then we were on our own for dinner. We usually went for some Tex-Mex food, because…we were in Texas.


tacos and tamales are my faves

Although, one night my Californian friend, Sarah, took us to In-N-Out — apparently an essential experience for all of us who had never been.


“They all just look so happy there.”


regular cheeseburger, no onions + vanilla shake


thanks for the photo, Domenica!

‘Twas delicious!! Even if I was stuffing it into my face in our Uber as we rushed back to the conference that night.

At night, we would have a keynote at 7pm, followed by different programming each night. One night there was adoration with all 13,000 people (chillingly powerful). Another night there was a comedy show by Michael Jr. Another night there was a performance by The Oh Hellos (if you like folk rock, you HAVE to check them out!). Another night, my friends and I ditched the programming and bought ourselves ice cream from CVS.


ice cream and fellowship  ♥︎ 

Also, San Antonio is a pretty sweet city. Everyone is so kind; it kinda throws off us northeasterners a bit.


our mascot living his best life in San Antonio

So now to answer the question, “What moves you?”

After this SEEK conference, here’s what I’ve learned moves me:

  1. The unchanging nature of things, especially the unchanging nature of being a woman in a world where the model of femininity is constantly changing (see Lisa Cotter’s talk for more on this!).
  2. The Law of God, which is based on love.
  3. God’s Mercy and the mercy of others in my life.
  4. The fact that, although there are logical reasons to believe God exists, “for most of us, God is not a hypothesis; He is a personal experience.” – Matt Fradd
  5. “We are not the sum of our failures and weaknesses. We are the sum of the Father’s love for us and our real capacity to become the image of His Son.” – St. John Paul II
  6. “God is not just the destination; He is the inspiration.” – John O’Leary
  7. The fervent prayer and worship of so many young people, as well as their support, kindness, and drive to use their talents for the sake of the Kingdom.
  8. The sight of lively and radiant nuns, brothers, friars, priests, and religious.
  9. God not just being a big part of my life but God being my life.
  10. The fact that a guilty conscience is helpful, but shame is not from God.
  11. The gift of writing, which is so helpful for focusing during prayer.
  12. The fact that what breaks my heart breaks God’s heart.
  13. The honest and vulnerable testimonies of men and women from every (and I mean every) walk of life.
  14. “If God is going to spend so much time designing the unique circular patterns on your fingertips, how much more will He care about the love that is in your heart?” -Sr. Bethany Madonna
  15. “You will become what you love.” – Leah Darrow
  16. Just as we can’t exercise and then go feed ourselves with whatever crap foods we want, we can’t just go to church/pray and then feed ourselves with media and activities that point us away from God. It’s a lifestyle.
  17. Jesus’ Real Presence in the Eucharist.13782242_1136742099682279_7064718394112318411_n
  18. These people:


the Boston University crew! thanks for the pic, Veronica!

So tell me:

What moves YOU?

A fun fact or two about last week!

Have you ever been to In-N-Out before? 


Wicked on Broadway {MIMM #12}

I don’t think I will ever see the Wizard of Oz in the same light again. If you’ve watched or read Wicked too, you know what I mean!


This weekend, my family and I went to see our first Broadway show in a long time. We had heard nothing but good reviews about Wicked, so we decided to finally check it out after only our eight years of living in New York.

But first, we went out to dinner of course. We consider ourselves a foodie family, so any time we go in to the city is an excuse to find some cool new restaurants. This time, we tried a Thai restaurant called Wondee Siam that was about the width of a hotel hallway and length of bedroom. In other words, this place was tiny!! I think it only had 7 tables. But the food was big in flavor, and we thoroughly enjoyed our meals. We went family style and shared all our dishes!


Mom’s favorite: spicy papaya salad (a.k.a. som tum)


My order: zesty, spicy grilled shrimp salad


Ben’s order: some chicken dish that was so yummy, but I forget the name!


Dad’s order: duck curry


Mom’s order: whole fried red snapper (hello, iPhone shadow)

After our bellies were full, we walked over to the Gershwin Theater for the musical! It’s a lovely venue that has showcased productions such as Oklahoma!, Peter Pan, Singin’ in the Rain, and Fiddler on the Roof.  And this year, Wicked is celebrating its 10th anniversary on Broadway!




I was NOT creeping on that guy behind me.


The stage. So impressive!

We all agreed that the show was absolutely spectacular! The actors and actresses have such strong, beautiful voices, and I was super entertained by the story line. We also laughed a ton! If you haven’t heard what Wicked is about, it’s the story behind the witches from the Wizard of Oz. It gives insight into the perspectives of each of the witches “behind the scenes” of the classic movie that has always ended with the wicked witch of the west as the evil, dead lady. I loved it! And the music is so fun and catchy.

We ended our night on a sweet (and high) note, just like the musical! <—-CHEESY. A pit stop by Uptown Swirl for froyo and crepes was the perfect way to end the night.


Salted caramel + cinnamon roll froyo with graham cracker crumbs, mochi, and Reese’s pieces. YUM.


For everyone to share: a crepe with Nutella and Biscoff spread!

Oh and we bought a jar of Biscoff spread 😀


Also marvelous are…





Have a marvelous Monday! Thanks, Katie for hosting 🙂

So tell me: Have you ever seen a Broadway show? Which ones? Which ones would you like to see if you have not?