What Moves You?

I GOT 14 HOURS OF SLEEP ON SUNDAY NIGHT.

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.

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

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also very happy my flight provided Biscoff cookies 🙂

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

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…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.

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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 😉

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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“They all just look so happy there.”

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regular cheeseburger, no onions + vanilla shake

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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.

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ice cream and fellowship  ♥︎ 

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

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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:

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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? 

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25 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Me

You know what hurts a lot?

Stubbing your toes. I get bruises, cuts, bumps, and scrapes all the time, but nothing hurts quite like when your poor little piggies get assaulted by a coffee table’s leg.

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I bring that up because I just collapsed on the couch wailing at the world after stubbing my toe, while my brother and dad were watching the Democratic National Convention. They didn’t pay any attention to me, so I’m pleading for belated consolation.

On a happier note, today I’m doing a light-hearted survey that I found on Hayley’s blog a while ago. I’ve had deep thoughts for the past few posts, so this is a little break for me (and you). And who doesn’t love a good survey!?

25 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Me

Emphasis on “probably”, because Lord knows that I share about 90% of my life and thoughts on this blog.

1. I’m happiest when I’m praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament…

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photo credit to my friend, Bobby

 2. especially if it’s on retreat. Truly a glimpse of Heaven.

3. I’ve always wanted to lay outside somewhere quiet and dark and stare at the stars with someone I love. Also to see the Northern Lights.

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via Michael Shainblum Photography

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via Michael Shainblum Photography ➔ visit this guy’s Instagram!! I’m obsessed.

4. My family and I have a tradition of “the family hug”, in which we say “one, two, three, SQUEEZE”, subsequently squeezing each other in a four-way hug. Repeat for a total of three squeezes and then kiss one another on the cheek.

5. I was a terrible thrower. Still can’t really aim/follow through with any sort of projectile object.

6. My first job was searching and entering addresses into a spreadsheet for my dad.

7. I could probably eat (besides peanut butter and bananas) a sandwich every day.

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8. I wish I could bring all my Boston friends to Dublin with me this fall. </3

9. I was born on the same day as Brooke Shields.

10. My all time favorite films are Anne of Green Gables, The Help, and The Princess Diaries.

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11. I do a pretty mean British accent (but not on the spot, so don’t ask me to do it if you see me in person).

12. I’m still mad that I didn’t keep up my rigorous stretching after figure skating and high school dance.

13. I met my husband…  Did I!?

14. I always knew I wanted to pursue a job related to human movement. I wanted to be a dance choreographer (among other things) before gaining interest in physical therapy.

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15. I’m not afraid to be vulnerable. I wasn’t always unafraid of vulnerability though! I credit a lot of good people at college for changing me.

16. I make the best overnight oats, yogurt bowls, and avocado egg toast (because I can’t actually come up with my own recipes for much).

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17. I have absolutely no patience for rudeness toward anyone who is genuinely trying his/her best to provide good customer service.

18. I always cry when there is a sky full of stars (cue Coldplay).

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via Michael Shainblum Photography (but I’ve never seen a sky full of stars like THIS)

19. I’m overwhelmed by the possible ways by which I can finish this sentence.

20. I spent 2 years playing lead roles in my middle school musicals. I was Molly in Annie, Jr. in 7th grade and Jasmine in Aladdin, Jr in 8th grade.

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too small to fill out the scandalous “belly shirt” = wrinkly Jasmine

 21. I wish that every person had sufficient and convenient access to fresh water. (Ya know what, I’ll say what Hayley said: “I wish…everyone in the world had enough food, water, and shelter. And love.”)

22. At age 5, I was deeply in love with my Sailor Moon CD. I would sing and dance to the songs in my parents’ gigantic bathroom in Kansas, and Ben would film me. Video evidence is strictly confidential.

23. I believe if people took time to learn the complete truth before making judgements, the world would be a better place. Seeking truth will lead to Truth (aka God), and there would be a greater sense of understanding and peace in the world.

24. I can’t stand port-a-potties. I choose the woods over a port-a-potty any day.

25. Whenever “Can’t Stop the Feeling” by JT or “Let It Go” by James Bay is on the radio, I listen (changed this one, because I don’t really watch TV, but I listen to music like it’s my job).


And this isn’t a fun post without some recent food photos!

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peanut butter banana soft serve with Pop on Sunday night

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Sunday lunch: lettuce wraps with steamed lemongrass salmon, Thai basil, cilantro, fresh backyard mint, and sriracha

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Tuesday breakfast: leftover banana pancakes with butter and blueberries + two eggs scrambled with lots of veggies

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Monday dinner a la Madre: honey sriracha chicken drumsticks (she used this spice blend!) + sautéed mushrooms and onions over greens (+ unpictured salad roll)

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Wednesday breakfast: blueberry muffin overnight oats inspired by Fit Foodie Finds’ recipe

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the best

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tried this new bar

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it looks more gross than my cuticles, but it tastes fine

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and lastly, here is Ben doing post-dislocation shoulder exercises using bananas #TheWorldisYourGym

Happy pre-Friday already!

So tell me:

You’ve always wanted to…

You do a pretty mean…

You can’t stand…

Or any of the other questions you want to answer!