The Great and Small Things I Learned This Semester {Junior II}

I needed to use both handrails to get up the stairs yesterday.

That squat-burpee ladder workout (originally from Peanut Butter Runner by the way!) I did on Monday? Annihilated my legs. I have not been this sore for as long as I can remember, but it has taken me 2.5x longer to get anywhere these past few days. I used to take pride in feeling so sore that I couldn’t walk, but it’s honestly the worst. It’s fine every once in a while, but waddling at turtle pace all day is not functional.

Besides the woe of my quadriceps, today I am sharing the SIXTH edition of…

the great and small

…second semester junior year! Time really does move more quickly every year. Studying abroad in Ireland for the first semester made junior year disappear especially quickly, but second semester was also gone like *snap* ← that.

The culmination of lessons up until now: Freshman I // Freshman II // Sophomore I // Sophomore II // Study Abroad

1) I love being able to cook for myself in an apartment (it literally feeds my overnight oat obsession).

2) I still don’t really know how to deal with cockroaches, but I do know that I can survive after living amongst those six-legged demons.

3) The origins, insertions, actions, nerve supplies, and blood supplies of nearly every muscle in the human body.

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4) How to commit to things that I don’t feel 100% comfortable with (within reason). 

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5) I can meet more native Irish friends my age in Boston that in Ireland itself.

6) Megan has taught me so much about humility, simplicity, and embracing the little things. She has been a wonderful travel buddy and roommate this past year.

7) The dynamic of friendships may change, but that doesn’t mean the friendships have weakened.

8) I can survive 40+ days without peanut butter (or any nut/seed butter).

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9) I really like enchiladas.

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10) It’s still difficult for me to prioritize sleep, but when I do, life is so much better.

11) I do like running, and I need to get over saying, “ehhh I don’t LOVE running.” I love it when it’s with good friends.

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12) Buying regular carrots rather than baby carrots is not as convenient but it is a heck of a lot cheaper.

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13) How to better pray with Scripture. God’s Word becomes meaningful and relevant to you only if you give Him permission to speak through it.

14) Avoid melancholy like the plague. Like when I used to listen to sad songs because feeling sad was better than feeling nothing at all? None of that anymore.

15) I still struggle with perfectionism, but God has really brought me down to earth this semester and taught me that I don’t need to have it all together before going to Him or others.

16) According to my friends, I’m really good at taking selfies.

 I’ll put it on my resume. Is this a transferable skill?

17) How to direct skits.

18) “We are most authentically human when we give ourselves in love.” – Fr. Mark Murphy

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19) I’m happier without Instagram.

20) I should check cancellations online before walking (and royally wiping out) over treacherous ice to reach my destination.

21) Emotional persecution is real. I’m almost numb to it in some of my classes, but although it can be hurtful, it also forces me to become more understanding of why others are so ready to bash on certain beliefs rather than others.

22) Megan and I are solid bread chefs: scones, brown bread, focaccia, French toast. Let us know your carb needs; we’ve got the hookup.

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23) I cry at least once a week for a positive or negative reason (or both).

24) I very much enjoy classic Disney movie soundtracks, Hannah Montana and High School Musical songs (listening to that right now, TBH).

25) It’s SO FUN when blogger friends visit you in college (@Colby)! 🙂

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26) Apparently I look quite different now from when I was a wee little freshman lass.

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my first photo with Lauren ever, I think

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I mean, we ARE two years older. My hips don’t fit into those red jeans anymore, nayyyyy.

27) The sushi and bagels in Boston do not compare to those of New York.

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28) I’m really bad at consistently stretching.

29) The best part of a Red Sox game is the singing and dancing. Sweeeeeeet Caroline {bop ba baaaa!}

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30) The people are what make BU a great school. Walking around campus after most people have left feels sad and empty.

31) Writing when praying is incredibly helpful in regards to staying focused and remembering what happened during my conversation with God.

32) My blog still encompasses food and fitness, but it has naturally incorporated more faith and life subjects recently, and I’m okay with that.

33) God truly is present at all times in infinite ways.

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Thank you to my parents, brother, family, professors, the Catholic Center, friends (including all of YOU reading this), and strangers who have somehow influenced my life for yet another wonderful and fruitful semester of college. ❤

So tell me: 

Three things you learned this semester/since the beginning of 2017! 

Bittersweet

What is your record number of times you’ve moved within one year?

By the end of the summer I think I’ll be at 7. College student, ya know…c’est la vie.

This past week has been a bittersweet whirlwind as I’ve gotten to spend quality time with many of my best friends yet watch many of them graduate and move on to the next chapter of their lives. It happens every year, but it never gets easier.

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some of the beautiful grads straight outta Compton commencement

I also feel like I’ve kind of graduated, since I’m done with undergraduate studies and am now a graduate PT student, even though I don’t officially graduate until next year. So I tell my friends that I feel like an insignificant blob: “Am I an undergraduate? A senior? A grad student? I’m moving on, but not really. Most of my closest friends have graduated. I have to do adults things, but I’m still dependent on my parents.”

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Anyway, this past week was such a blessing. Buckle up, there’s a lot to catch up on!

Monday 

I went to coffee at Trident Cafe (one of those trendy bookstores/cafes) with my friend Connor, but we neither ordered coffee nor read books. We just sat there and had great convo for a while.

Later that night, I invited some non-senior friends who still hadn’t moved out yet to my apartment for dinner, ice cream, and High School Musical 3. It was the BEST.

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Tuesday

I worked from morning until afternoon on Tuesday, did 100 burpees for time at home (the fastest workout in all the land), then went to the Catholic Center to help our superwoman of an office director, Fran, set up and cook the annual dinner for our graduating seniors.

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we (“the help”) got our fair share of the delicious food as well!

Fran works exceptionally hard for our community, and even for this one event, she was up literally before dawn to make sure everything was perfect for the seniors. What a woman.

After dinner, some of the senior guys invited everyone over to their apartment for game night. We decided to play “Salad Bowl” (aka “fish bowl” to some), which is a cross between Catch Phrase, Taboo, and charades. Highly recommend this game for a crowd — ’twas a hilariously good time.

Wednesday

By the middle of the week, the temperatures were [finally] getting steamy and summery!

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I did one of my favorite workouts sometime in the morning before cooking a picnic lunch for my friend Casey and me. Casey has been a mentor and one of my best friends here at BU, and this was one of our last formal mentorship meetings since she was graduating.

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I made us some Korean BBQ salmon, sautéed frozen veggies and brown rice to eat by the Charles River on the gloriously warm and sunny day.

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My friend Briana left me with a bunch of frozen salmon and frozen veggies that sustained me during my last days on campus. Thanks, girl!

Casey and I ate and chatted for hours, so you know it was quality time.

That night, my friend Lauren invited people to go swing dancing at MIT, and you bet I came along to move and groove!

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Thursday

Domenica, Sarah and I (as non-seniors) helped out our dear senior friends with their photoshoot in the morning. Their photographer, Kelsey, was also among the graduating seniors, so she needed to be photographed too!

The following ten photos are property of my talented friend Kelsey!

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UGH I’M GOING TO CRY. I love them all so much.

After Mass that night, a bunch of us went out for $0.25 wings at Thornton’s! Wings aren’t my favorite things in the world, but I definitely couldn’t pass ’em up when they were so cheap. Plus, they had sauces other than buffalo (← yuck).

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4 BBQ, 4 teriyaki, 4 honey mustard = $3

Finger-lickin’ goodness.

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As the sun set, we headed over to Cafe 472 for some froyo. Domenica and I split a cup of vanilla peppermint that was super refreshing.

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I ended my night with some packing and more frozen veggie cooking, haha.

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sautéing them with fresh onions, salt, pepper, thyme and oregano makes them pretty gourmet, if I do say so myself

Friday

Graduations begin! First we attended the College of Communications graduation for Kelsey. Then we had a couple hours before the next graduation, during which I did a 20 minute workout in my apartment and inhaled lunch. We have a couple friends in the Business School, so we attended that one as well, but it was LONG.

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There were approximately 900 students in the school of business, so some of us had to leave for potty and snack breaks during the diploma presentations.

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I went home to pack some more afterwards, and Rachel kept me company and joined me for dinner!

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more of the same — this time, pesto salmon for me and sriracha salmon for her

Connor and Louis invited some friends over to their place to watch Shawshank Redemption, which neither Rachel nor I had ever seen. I could only stay for half since I needed to go to sleep early-ish, but I want to finish it soon!

Saturday

I needed to sleep early the night before so that I could work out with my fellow Spartan, Ben at 7am Saturday morning. We did a hodgepodge of things at the park, including suicide sprints, burpee pull-ups, planks, sit-ups, push-ups, and squats.

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I showered at home and took a nap before my parents arrived to help me move out of my BU apartment and into a friend’s apartment just for June and July. I so appreciated their help in making move-out/move-in so smooth! It was also just lovely to see Madre and Pop ♥︎

They took me and my friends out to lunch at a ramen place called Pikaichi, which was fantastic.

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fried shrimp shumai and fried chicken to start

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spicy miso ramen for me (finished it ALL)

Next I went to Mass and then rushed to work for a wedding in Cambridge all night. It was a Catholic couple who was looking for young and competent people to help out for the night, so a few friends and I hopped on the opportunity. It was a busy and tiring 7 hours, but also very fun to help make the couple’s night smooth and special.

We also got to eat some of their food, which included BBQ and Colombian food(!!!).

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Sunday

Another busy but wonderful day! It started off with the Neuroscience graduation for Rachel.

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She graduated summa cum laude and got invited into a prestigious honor society! What a babe!

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Rachel’s mom kindly took us out for brunch at Panera afterwards. I got something substantial to hold me through the long, school-wide commencement to follow.

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The weather was perfect for the big outdoor commencement — sunny, not too hot, not too cold. Sitting in the sun for 2+ hours gets intense no matter what, though, but check out these fun hats they provided!

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lol

Rachel’s mom, Dom and I were betting on how long it would take for the 6,300+ graduates just to process in and take their seats. We were thinking 15 minutes or less…It took 26.5 minutes.

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Yeesh. But the ceremony and the speakers were great. I’m so proud of these people!!!

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I spent the rest of the day and night with Rachel and her mom, who took care of me so well. Her mom took us out to all you can eat sushi and let me stay at her hotel for the night. What generosity! It was so fun spending time with both of them.

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Monday

Yesterday, I said goodbye to more friends who were either going back home, moving on to work elsewhere, or going on vacation. It was a gloomy day, which definitely reflected my emotions.

Some other happenings of the day included a killer workout…

…getting some work business done, unpacking, getting interviewed randomly by two women on the sidewalk, getting asked out to coffee but a completely random stranger on the sidewalk (I know, it was a weird day to be on the sidewalk), Mass, and hanging out with PJ and friends at since PJ is leaving for a long time 😦

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we shared nachos + I got chicken fajitas

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We will miss you, PJ!

And now here I am catching you up on these million and one things that have happened this past week from my mess of a bedroom.

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But while everything changes constantly, two things always remain the same: God and peanut butter in my breakfast.

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Hope you all have a fantastic Tuesday!

So tell me:

What have you been up to recently!?

Did you watch anyone graduate this month/did YOU graduate?

What’s your favorite party game?

What’s for breakfast?

 

Summer’s Coming

It’s been forever and a half since I thought out loud with the lovely Amanda!

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what’s thinking out loud?

1) I am never not surprised that it’s almost May. What the heck!?

2) Last week was the “Easter Octave”, which means that the Church celebrated Easter for eight days straight, since the joy of the Resurrection cannot be contained within one single day. Let me tell you, I celebrated. With lots of alleluias and just as many desserts (I definitely had two desserts on several days).

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thanks for the cute cookie, Megan!

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Sometimes I went for a slightly more nutritious dessert, but nevertheless, I let loose with my sweet tooth.

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Amanda’s banana bread mug cake — one of my favorite things ever

3) The day after the Boston Marathon, I went on a beautiful run with my two beautiful friends, Kelsey and Sarah. You all know I’m not a huge fan of running, but my body didn’t want to do any sort of strength/HIIT or even yoga, so I asked Kels and Sarah if I could run with them after Mass on Tuesday evening.

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I would say that I was inspired by the Boston Marathon, but…

Kels: “Do you wanna run a half marathon with us?”

Me: “…ehhhhhhhhhhhh.”

For now, I’ll stick to spontaneous runs when I feel like it 🙂

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3) I didn’t sign up for a half marathon, but my friend Ben and I did sign up for a Spartan Sprint Race!!! We talked about it on Marathon Monday and decided it would be a fun thing to do this summer. I’ve always wanted to do an obstacle course race for fun, so the time has come!

Our training regimen is really coming together:

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Finbar is our priest’s dog

The Spartan Sprint Race is a 3-5 mile course with 20+ obstacles. Although I want to be relatively in shape for the race, I’m not really changing anything about how I work out right now. My mind and body are happy with my 4-ish workouts per week, varying based on how I feel that day.

But I’m SO EXCITED FOR THIS RACE! There’s also beer at the end I think, and I’ll be 21 by then 🙂

4) It’s strawberry season/the grocery store has strawberries on sale!

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5) Last weekend was filled with so much a cappella, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. My talented friends Adrienne and Connor each had their last a cappella concerts of their college careers, and they were both phenomenal.

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Our whole Catholic Center fam came out to support like proud (and very loud) relatives. Adrienne and Connor, you guys are amazing!

6) I am officially in finals mode now (even though classes end next Wednesday). I am finished with regular exams and now just have one research paper for religion & medicine, a final for health policy, and a final for gross anatomy. Nighttime study sessions are all the rage these days.

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7) Should it be warmer than 60*F at this point in the spring? Boston will have one day per week when the temperature exceeds 70, but the rest of the days are still pretty chilly. I don’t even know what normal temperatures are anymore (going from Ireland ➔ Florida ➔ NY ➔ Boston in less than two months).

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There have been some gorgeous days, though, as you can see. I do like the mild weather too, so I guess I shouldn’t complain before the heat hits.

8) I feel like I haven’t been cooking as much in the apartment recently, but when I do, it always feels like I’m trying to use up as many leftovers/things in the pantry as possible. It’s never too shabby though!

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omelette with spinach, onions, lots of cheese, and ketchup

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salad with sundried tomatoes, artichokes, feta, and grilled chicken

9) Campus dining has had some pretty good hits too.

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Thai chicken salad + sandwich (roast beef, gouda, veggies, artichoke herb spread [omg so good!] on whole grain ciabatta) + apple

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breakfast-for-dinner at the dining hall: actually, this vegan breakfast burrito was just okay (breakfast burritos definitely need real eggs and bacon)

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Sarah got this delicious-looking Monte Cristo at breakfast-for-dinner night

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fantastic maple banana bread pudding a la mode (Easter Octave is over, but when do I ever not have dessert?)

10) This week was filled with a lot of goodness, but I also had rough patches. I realized that I always try to emerge from trials a little more perfect than before (which isn’t bad in and of itself — God calls us to be perfected in Him), but I end up discouraged and even surprised when I find myself in the same weak and confused state that [I thought] I had overcome before.

I needed to re-learn that, even when I feel confused, weak, or like a failure: a) it’s okay to feel that way, because I am a weak human being; b) I don’t have to try to fix myself before asking others/God for help to be better. I can’t fix myself once and for all. That would be trying to dodge this thing called life.

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Hope you all have a great Thursday!

So tell me:

Have you ever done an obstacle course race?

How’s the weather where you are? Rain all week for us :/

Which in-season produce are you excited for?

Two fun things you did this past week!

Alleluia!

He is risen! He is risen indeed!

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Oh mannnnnn. Easter just gets better every year — more meaningful, more beautiful, more joyful — because “God is infinitely interesting,” as Fr. Barnes once said!

It’s been a wild ride this week, but I think what makes Holy Week leading up to Easter so special is that:

a) people are getting baptized, confirmed, received into the Church!

b) everyone is laser-focused not on themselves but on God Himself. Work, worries, fears, doubts… nothing seems to matter in the face of the reality that Christ gave Himself for us and rose from the dead as He promised. It’s something Christians/Catholics know, but it’s not always something we stop and truly, deeply think about. Holy Week is the time for it, and it is like nothing else in the world.

Festivities included the longest (but most beautiful) Mass ever on Saturday night, followed by a party to ring in Easter!

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I made carrot cake for the occasion using Alton Brown’s recipe. ‘Twas a hit (only because I made sure to make some with AND without raisins and walnuts).

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My body was ready for allllll the food after [just a little bit of] fasting.

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like these mini chicken and waffle bites that Veronica made!!

I got to reunite with peanut butter after giving it up for Lent, and it was quite an event. I literally packed half a pb&j sandwich to bring to the party because I’m ridiculous.

My face can be described as “blissful baby chipmunk” whenever I eat things I enjoy.

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left: last year at a relay race where we had to eat bananas // right: breaking the peanut butter fast this year

Eating, drinking, and being merry 🙂

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On Sunday, I helped prepare brunch for the masses of people after the Easter Mass.  First, I ate my first peanut buttery overnight oats in 40+ days for breakfast.

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I thoroughly enjoyed it.

My friend Louis headed a bunch of people in flapjack flipping, ham carving, table setting, and dessert plating.

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Then we feasted!

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It was a hot and gorgeous day for Easter yesterday too!

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Louis the brunch MVP

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junior ladiez

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Special shoutout to Fiona who rucked (sped-walked with 35-lb. of army gear on her back) 26.2 miles for the Tough Ruck Marathon on Saturday!!! You’re my hero.

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Lauren is my dance partner of choice for life

I also FaceTimed my family + worked out by the river yesterday since it was so nice out!

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At the end of all the celebration madness, when everyone is gone and moving on with their lives, we remember again the One who this is all about. To the quietest, most precious Source of Life — all glory and honor to Thee.

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Hope you all have a wonderful Monday! We have the day off because it’s Marathon Monday/Patriot’s Day 😀

So tell me:

The best thing about your weekend!

If you celebrate, what did you do for Easter or Passover?

One beautiful thing in your life.

 

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!