Joyful Exhaustion

So I cried on Sunday night.

Crying is pretty much a weekly occurrence just to let out all the emotions that have built up from the week, which might sound like there’s a problem that I need to fix, but crying is a very normal and therapeutic thing for me. Sometimes I cry by myself, and sometimes my parents kindly let me cry irrelevantly in the middle of our conversation (love you, Madre and Pop).

Needless to say, it’s been a long week. I started developing a very “woe is me” mentality by the end of the weekend, but the more I pray and talk about what I’m feeling with others, the more I realize that I have been given nothing but love through the people and circumstances God has placed in my life.

9 hours of sleep on Sunday night wasn’t a bad thing either.

Besides keeping up with school, here are some other things that have kept me joyfully exhausted lately:

1) Grabbing a cheeseburger with Fr. Barnes (the priest at our Catholic Center) for lunch on Thursday.

2) Gearing up for Holy Week!

3) Making time to spend with friends, even if only at the dining hall. This dining hall dinner involved double the carbs, which meant double the fun.

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seafood and sausage paella, so fancy!

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cheese ravioli

4) Cooking allllll the things at work, which gets so tiring after 5+ hours! I have so much respect for chefs and stay-at-home mothers/fathers. Yeesh.

5) Colby from You Make You (@be.happyhealthyfit) came to Beantown this weekend!! She crashed at my (now roach-free!) place, which meant a lot of quality time together 🙂

Some scenes from our foodie/fit/fun adventures:

Salads + corn bread at the food court on Friday night, followed by some bona fide college comedy.

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We had some study sessions. This one featured a Quest cinnamon roll cereal bar that Colby gave me. It totally brought me back to the cereal bars of my childhood.

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Friends who sweat together…

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 (even though we were both really sore this day)

Nothing some good pho can’t fix! This was my first time at Le’s, and it crushed the game.

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We split an XL bowl of chicken pho…

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…and a pork/shrimp vermicelli bowl, all for a grand total of $20! College wallets rejoice!

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We finished almost all of it.

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But our dessert stomachs were ready for [vegan] ice cream. Colby is sadly allergic to gluten and dairy, so FoMu was a Godsend.

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FoMu serves vegan, coconut milk-based ice cream. I got strawberry (per the server’s recommendation) and “f’oreo” in a waffle cone.

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Verdict? Delicious, rich, and creamy! But you have to be okay with coconut, because you can definitely taste the coconut in all the flavors.

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Colby got peanut butter (made with Teddie’s pb!) and strawberry

Then Colby spotted this gluten-free, vegan ice cream cookie sandwich and, being allergic to dairy/gluten and being deprived of places like FoMu at her school, she said, “when in Boston…”

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So we split it 🙂 (’twas a whopping $7+ though, what the freak!?)

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We took an Uber home because a) very full; b) raining.

Ugh, it was so fun spending the weekend with Colby. She is such a kind and genuine soul, and she has a refreshing presence in the healthy living social media world. I love you and am so honored to have spent this time with you, Colby!

6) This is the opposite of exhaustion, but shoutout to Megan for being the best roommate and always cleaning up our apartment without complaining or really saying anything. I see ya and appreciate you greatly, girl.

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egg in a hole on my Rainforest Cafe plate // Megan: “you have to see the logo if we want to be endorsed”

7) Workout/Bible study on Sunday mornings! This week, we had a great conversation about combatting the fear of living with our own selves.

8) Brunch with my fellow future PT friend, Selena! We went to Tatte on Sunday, and it was glorious.

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I recommended that Selena get the shakshuka, which is what I got last year. She loved it!

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And I got the turkey B.L.A.T (bacon, lettuce, avocado, tomato), which was fan-freaking-tastic. Thick cut applewood bacon, chipotle mayo, toasted and buttered multigrain bread MMM. Finished every last bite!

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Of course, we finished our meals with a pastry from the bakery. She got the creme brûlée croissant (!!!), and I got the pear almond muffin. Both were incredible.

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8) Lots of gross anatomy studying. We already have another exam next week?

9) Giving tours in the snow and the sunshine. This spring weather is sloooooooooooowly but surely coming along.

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10) Keeping up with relationships with friends, family, and God. I often take advantage of one or the other, but I am constantly reminded of how precious these relationships are.

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So my exhaustion is mostly first-world-induced, I know. But fast-paced, privileged lives can be surprisingly threatening to true peace and joy, which can best be found in the silence and simplicity of God’s Love.

Hope you all have a great Tuesday!

So tell me:

Have you felt super busy/exhausted recently?

Have you ever tried vegan ice cream? 

Two things you’re grateful for!

 

 

Good News, Bad News

What a week!

As the title suggests, things have been an ever-exciting cocktail of highs and lows. Life is a rickety wooden roller coaster, but fortunately, those are my favorite kinds of rides. Also, there is more good news than bad news!

Good News – Gross anatomy exams went so well last week! I am grateful for intelligent and motivating classmates/friends who helped me through that intense study period.

Good News – The men at the Catholic Center put on an incredible “Women’s Appreciation Night” last Thursday, complete with real plates and silverware, a three course meal, and SWING DANCING. Chivalry is not dead!

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look how dressed up they are!

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that bacon-wrapped chicken was bomb

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shoutout to Evan and Veronica for giving the swing dance lesson (and to all the guys for actually dancing with us – I tried hard to not be the leader 😀 )

Are we queens or what!?

Bad News – Megan and I have found SIX cockroaches in our apartment in the past two weeks. The first one was not cool, the second one was a problem, and the next four have been borderline traumatizing.

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And she really did leave a singular rain boot for me in the kitchen.

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As well as the delicious corn bread, which made matters slightly better.

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We finally just called Emergency Facilities yesterday, so they’re coming to fumigate the place today.

We’re clean people, we promise! We also tried spraying the place ourselves, but apparently, using bug killer spray on the perimeter of the floors just makes the roaches crawl on the walls and on top of the refrigerator (!!!????!?@#$!@#%!).

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How I currently walk around the apartment more often than not. Although, squishing the roaches is potentially worse, because it might attract more?? Whatever the case, Megan and I take at least 20 minutes to recover from each huge roach we encounter.

Me to Rachel:

Good News – We have a warm bed, food, and shelter. There are worse things that could be happening.

Bad News – Speaking of housing though, my roommates for next year and I are scrambling with apartment searching/landlord issues. GAH adulting is hard.

Good News – I have been drinking and eating delicious mango things.

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champagne mangos that go down like buttahhhh

Bad News – Last night I had one of those “oh crap I have so much work to do these next few weeks” moments. Naturally, I started writing this blog post in the midst of it all.

Good News – On Saturday, my friend Rebecca and I attended a free trial class at CrossFit Fenway! It was a pretty basic class, understandably, but I really enjoyed the atmosphere of the Crossfit “box”, and our instructor was very knowledgable and motivating.

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After going through the warmup + basic movements, our short WOD (workout of the day) was:

90 second max calorie row

1 min. rest

8 min. AMRAP:

  • 12 squats
  • 9 abmat situps
  • 6 ring rows

Nothing fancy, but it was fun to do it with a group. Other people at the gym were doing Open Workout 17.5 and I was wishing I could participate! Thrusters and double unders are two movements I can actually do.

Bad News – I think it would be fun to join CrossFit box, but it is expensiveeee and your girl can’t afford that right now. Also, our Fitness and Recreation center on campus is fantastic already.

Good News – I had my first workout/Bible study this past Sunday, and it was great! Four girls are in the group, and I take them through a 30-45 min. workout + a 30-45 min. Bible study based on Theology of the Body (trying to tie together that body-soul idea ya know). I’m really excited for it! The girls killed this workout I put together:

4 rounds (10 sec rest/30 sec work)

  • burpees
  • squats OR squats with overhead press
  • plank OR spiderman plank
  • side jump lunges
  • pushup to T OR plank to T
  • high knees

And then we had a good discussion about body image!

Bad News – It’s rainy all week.

Good News – I finally got to watch Inside Out, and I LOVE IT.

Bad News – I didn’t actually get to finish Inside Out, sooooo now I’m at a cliffhanger and I need to find another time to watch the rest.

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Good News – I watched all of Beauty and the Beast in theaters with Rachel on Friday, and it. was. magical. Wonderful animation and music, and Emma Watson is gorgeous. Highly recommend! (p.s. Disney is making a live-action Mulan movie coming out November 2018!!!)

Bad News – Eh, I’m done complaining. No more bad news.

Good News – I made and ate enchiladas for the first time ever last night. I bought a can of Hatch enchilada sauce from Thrive a while ago and finally put it to use with this recipe. They ROCK and I can’t wait to eat the rest of them this week!

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I hope you all have a great Tuesday! Laugh about the little problems and have faith that it will all be okay.

So tell me:

One piece of good news (you can share a bad one too if you want, but at least one good one!) 🙂

Have you ever had a pest problem?

Have you ever eaten enchiladas before?

 

Beginnings Are Stressful

Winter decided to show up this weekend.

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And it ain’t too bad so far! Now that I’ve said that, mother nature will probably release her wrath in another snowpocalypse soon. But ugly nights can turn into the most beautiful days (#wisdom).

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Four days of classes down, how many to go? Not that I’m counting, because I’m actually really diggin’ my courses this semester. However, I must admit that the start of the semester has brought about some stress already.

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not stressed about that large hunk o’ cornbread though ♥︎ 

Whenever I begin a new semester/activity/phase of life, I become extremely focused on the tasks at hand so that I stay on top of my stuff. That’s what people are supposed to do, right? I guess so, but when I become extremely focused, it becomes extremely hard for me to let go.

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A million things are always on my mind, and I {irrationally and subconsciously} fear that if I don’t have those million things on my mind at all times, I won’t get them done. Simply put, I worry. I end up doing what I need to do, but not without feeling a lot of stress and self-imposed pressure before/during.

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side note: this wrap was fantastic (tuna, lettuce, roasted vegetables, artichokes, pepper jack cheese, and honey mustard)

To be 100% honest, for a few days, my stress-mess also included invasive, slightly obsessive thoughts about working out. I did get some workouts in that felt good to me when I had time, which actually helped relieve some stress, but I never worked out for the sole reason of feeling anxious about it. Nevertheless, I was definitely thinking a lot about exercise for the first half of the week. Thankfully, the fixation is fading.

Rachel made a good point that when I’m stressed, I seek control, and thinking about workouts all the time was probably one way for me to cope (in addition to onto the school/social/work/faith-related thoughts in my head).

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more cornbread is never a bad thing

All this said, I am grateful that God has put me through very similar situations in the past. Thus, I feel fairly equipped to deal with times like these. Some pep talks that help me:

  • It’s okay that you feel anxious.
  • Worrying is not going to get it done.
  • You already wrote it down in your planner. You will see it and get it done.
  • One step at a time.
  • You’re living right NOW. You can only do what you’re doing right NOW.
  • Rest in God.
  • This too shall pass.
  • Look outside of yourself.

I’m fairly confident that this just a case of  beginning-something-anxiety* and it will pass once we get the semester rollin’. I almost feel as if I need to get out of the “habit” of feeling stressed, if that makes sense.

*Not a technical term. May or may not have scientific basis.

A good dose of friend time is some powerful medicine too, lemme tell ya.

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Our team won, just saying.

Yesterday was national peanut butter day, so naturally, I brought peanut butter to the Catholic Center pancake breakfast and slathered that stuff on my johnnycakes (← does anyone actually call them that?).

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Rachel yelled at me for bringing my own pb and banana. I’m obnoxious, I get it.

I hope you all have a fantastic, stress-free Monday!

So tell me:

Do you feel anxious/stressed when you begin new things?

What are some of your favorite self-pep talks when you’re stressed?

Did you celebrate national peanut butter day?

What did you do this weekend? 

Gratitude Wins, As Always

Random thought for your Monday morning: I really love the ice cubes in the dining halls.

They’re actually more like mini ice logs, but they’re kind of…light and airy? It’s so easy to chew them, and it kind feels like a snow cone texture when you do.

Hooray for really COOL [sorry] ice!

Now that I’ve celebrated that simple joy in life, let’s talk about how Friday morning sucked any kind of joy out of me.

Friday morning: Cloudy, damp, dreary, early. I walked approximately half an hour to my gynecology appointment with hopes of hearing results after the lab work from the previous Friday. That is, the lab work that I was supposed to have done two Fridays ago. The lab work that I (the worst “grownup” ever) didn’t actually complete because I didn’t realize that I had to go into a separate room after my appointment to get blood drawn.

Doc: “For some reason, the system has no indication of any lab work. Do you remember if you go that done?”

Me: “…Um, I don’t know. Actually, maybe I didn’t…”

Doc: “Did you get blood drawn?”

Me: “…No.”

Doc: “Oh okay, that was the lab work.”

Me: “Agh, I’m so sorry. She did say to go get lab work done after the appointment, but I guess I was just kinda confused and didn’t actually do that.”

What was actually going on in my brain: WTF, ALISON!?!?!?!?! 

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The super sweet gynecologist apologized for the inconvenience of me coming there for basically nothing. I apologized for being a dimwit, essentially. I then got my blood drawn like I was supposed to do the week before, and then I walked back home. The next earliest appointment they had for me is two months from now, so I must wait some more.

I was frustrated. Embarrassed. I felt so stupid. I cried.

I could have gotten answers by now. I could have gotten this out of the way sooner. I could have been smarter. I could have…

…wait, Alison.

I could be grateful. For quality healthcare. For being able to walk to my appointment. For such kind and compassionate gynecologists. For family and friends who are praying for me. For the new day of life that God granted to me.

Life ain’t so bad. This will all work itself out in due time.

Thank you to all of you who have supported and loved me through all of this. You know who you are.


The theme of gratitude only magnified as the weekend went on.

On Friday night, I had a long dinner with my friends, followed by a beautiful Mass in the North End with more friends.

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this was actually my lunch, but I’m grateful for corn bread

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Saturday morning came quickly with an early morning wake-up call for service! Some people from the Catholic Center spent the morning volunteering at the Red Cross Food Pantry, where there was nothing BUT gratitude. The people who work there are living saints, and the people whom we were serving are examples of grace and joy.

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Saturday night involved burritos— always a reason to be grateful.

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Oh, and the people who were eating the burritos with me—grateful for them too. Sophomore bonding night!

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Saturday night ended with girl talk with Rachel. Sunday morning started with breakfast also with Rachel. Ugh, it’s like we’re best friends or something. She’s everywhere!

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Lunch dessert was pretty bomb too.

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berry crisp a la mode

Lastly, Rachel and I have decided that we’re making this our BU bucket list: “50 Things to Eat in Boston Before You Die.”

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IT’S HAPPENING.

I’m grateful for a rejuvenating yet productive weekend. I’m grateful for YOU.

O Lord God: Thank you. Forgive me. Help me more.

Here we are at Monday! Hoping you find simple joys like really awesome ice cubes.

P.S. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOMMA! ♥ ♥ ♥ I love you lots.

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So tell me:

What did you do this weekend?

Have you ever messed up on something that made you feel really dumb? 

Crushed or cubed ice? Crushed! Or mini logs!