God, why did you seem so mean?

pray.

Gosh I feel like I could say so much here. I guess the big thing on my mind yesterday was the Sunday Gospel reading.

At that time, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 
And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out,
“Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David! 
My daughter is tormented by a demon.” 
But Jesus did not say a word in answer to her. 
Jesus’ disciples came and asked him,
“Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us.”
He said in reply,
“I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
But the woman came and did Jesus homage, saying, “Lord, help me.” 
He said in reply,
“It is not right to take the food of the children
and throw it to the dogs.” 
She said, “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps
that fall from the table of their masters.” 
Then Jesus said to her in reply,
“O woman, great is your faith! 
Let it be done for you as you wish.” 
And the woman’s daughter was healed from that hour.

Matthew 15:21-28

I’ve heard this reading so many times in my life, but it never fails to make me feel confused and unsettled. Why does Jesus use such harsh and…mean words to this woman who is genuinely asking for help? Jess @thelivingheart.co also had the same questions on her Instagram story.

Before sharing my own reflections, I must share that I found Fr. Mike Schmitz’s homily on this reading to be particularly helpful. He gives good Scriptural context and takes on an interesting perspective that I hadn’t heard before.

As great (and important) as it is to listen to other people’s narratives on Scripture, I needed to pray about it real hard on my own too. Here are some nuggets of what came to my heart while spending time with this Word (please note that I’m not a Scripture scholar):

  1. I notice how, although the disciples ask Jesus to send the Canaanite woman away, Jesus never actually obliges. He does not want her to be sent away.
  2. The Canaanite woman has a faith and humility that I have seldom seen in my life, if ever. It is a faith that I myself would not have if I was faced with those responses from Jesus…so what is it that gave her such conviction to keep asking Him for help (besides maybe desperation for her poor daughter)?
  3. It seems that, in everything Jesus replied to the woman, He knew that she would win over His Heart all along. He knew what her desires were, and He knew He would give them to her in the end. And in a way, the woman also knew, in her “great faith,” that Jesus did in fact care and love her enough to grant her exactly what she asked. Sort of like… He knew that she knew, and she knew that He knew that her daughter would be healed.
  4. So why did Jesus have to do it in such a way? Why did He make is seem like this woman had to be degraded and humiliated just to receive help? What came to my mind were images of Jesus’ Passion and Death, where He Himself was made docile and subservient to mankind, whom He created, for the sake of mankind’s reconciliation with Himself. In those moments of His brutal death, He showed the most powerful love and faith in His Father’s plan, to which He was completely obedient until the very end. Moreover, He allowed the Canaanite woman to demonstrate a similar extraordinary grace of love and faith that endures, even when it truly feels like God has forsaken you (though He never does).

If you are familiar with this Scripture passage, I’d love to hear your thoughts and reflections on it as well.

eat.

On Friday night I hung out with another high school friend and had my first ever “créme ice” from Ralph’s Famous Italian Ice! Créme ice (aka sherbet on their menu) is essentially like shaved milk (?) instead of shaved ice, which gives it a creamier texture and the ability to add mix-ins without it being weird. It was pretty good, but I definitely don’t prefer it over ice cream.

I got a “Twister,” which is créme ice sandwiched between layers of soft serve, which was the move. I got strawberry cheesecake créme ice. It had a bit of an almond extract flavor to it, which wasn’t bad.

Other eats highlights since I last checked in:

  • yogurt bowl with banana, blueberries, granola, and pb
  • teriyaki salmon with rice and broccoli (such a bro meal)
  • overnight oats in a jar!
  • warm banana muffins with yogurt and pb
  • eggs + avocado over rice with soy sauce, sriracha and rice vinegar
  • SUSHIIIIIII
  • random pandan coconut cupcake that I found in the fridge LOL (it’s the green muffin in the middle bottom row)
  • green overnight oat smoothie bowl! I haven’t had this in forever because I didn’t have a blender back in Boston.

move.

Lots of walking, working on pull-ups, a leg workout… I’ll highlight this “fun” burpee workout yesterday from @trainerkindal:

EMOM (every minute on the minute): do 10 burpees ➔ rest for the remainder of the minute

Repeat x20 #ouch

groove.

This week will be busy but exciting! I am hoping and praying that I can say yes to a job soooooon.

Hope you all have a good-kind-of-full week too!

So tell me:

Have you ever questioned God’s kindness or care for you or others?

Have you ever had a créme ice before? Do you like it? Do you like Italian ice?

What is the best thing you ate this weekend (the sushi was it for me!)?

What’s on your schedule this week?

Italian Food and Soccer

Hi!

My mom, Daliza, and I are currently Florida-bound! My dad is joining us at the end of the week, but we’ve been traveling a couple days via auto train, which is basically the coolest form of transportation on the east coast (it transports you AND your car!). They also feed you, and we all know how much I would appreciate that.

Daliza and I did some fun activities with our friends before saying farewell to New York for three weeks though!

On Friday night, my parents, Daliza, Jordan, Michael, and I (after prom crew!) went to La Festa Italiana at a local church. It was a cute little carnival with games, fantastic Italian food, and fun music. My parents were burning up the dance floor the whole night while I pretended I didn’t know them…. Just kidding, they’re actually fabulous ballroom dancers, and they looked so adorable!

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We didn’t win anything at all.

  The best part was definitely the food (you knew I was going to say that, didn’t you?). I actually had my mind set on the meatball wedge alllll day long.

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Craving satisfied.

Except Jordan and Michael kept staring at me while I was eating it, which made me quite uncomfortable because I probably looked like a barbarian trying to fit the huge, saucy, meaty sandwich in my mouth. Thanks, dudes. ‘Preciate it.

It was obligatory to get some sort of Italian dessert too:

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Lemon Italian ice, baby!….

…followed by a food baby.

On Saturday the four of us played soccer along with Daliza’s cousins. I should say that they played soccer, and I was a disgrace. I don’t play soccer (I wish I could!), so it was a big mistake whenever my teammates passed the ball to me. The only thing I was good at was running to get the ball whenever I kicked it out of bounds.

Hey, I was giving 60% effort, 4000% of the time (<— such a funny video).

Nevertheless, it was a really fun time! It was also pretty dang hot, so we cooled off with ice cream at Baskin Robbins afterwards. Ice cream #becausefutbol.

And now, we start our adventure in Florida! I’ll be updating you all as much as I can while we’re there! Daliza and I are as stoked as two little girls going to Disney for the first time. Well, I’m excited to go to Publix Supermarket. 😉

Have a fantastic day, everyone!

So tell me:

Which Italian food do you crave?

Are you good at soccer?

Secrets of the Weekend

Good morning!

It’s gettin’ hot up in here!!!….

…Because our AC isn’t working and it finally hit 80F in our area this weekend. I mean, I guess I’ve been wishing for heat since the black hole of winter seemed to take forever to leave us, but I’m not a fan. I just WANT a fan. (I’m over-exaggerating. It’s really not that bad at all— I get to sleep without a blanket and I don’t have to dry my hair!)

Besides that, my weekend was pretty darn marvelous!

MiMM

Check out all the marvelousness of Monday over on Katie‘s blog!

For this weekend recap, I’m gonna tell you all the fun stuff that happened as usual, but I’m also going to let you in on a few secrets about each thing. Consider it a trip inside my noggin (remember when I was pondering calling my Thursday thoughts posts “Loggin’ the Noggin?“). That is, if you even want to go into that weird place that is my brain.

Friday

Dance company auditions for the 2014-2015 company were on Friday, and even though current company members do not have to re-audition (and senior company members are leaving for college), we all still attend and do the audition class to set an example for the potential incomers. I think it went well for everyone!

Secret about the audition: A lot of girls dancing together in a stuffy studio = STINKY. It was a little tough to breathe in there sometimes, not gonna lie.

In the evening, I went to go get ice cream with my friend Michael (my super cool prom date)! We had a nice time chatting about college and such. We also went to the grocery store next door so I could buy bananas, because I need more spotty bananas in my life.

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Secret about this ice cream: It’s “almond cream” Italian ice, and I was kinda disappointed because I really wanted creamy gelato instead.

Secret about when I got home: I ate a spoonful of peanut butter.

Saturday

On Saturday morning, company had a quick and low-key dance rehearsal for a show coming up in June.

Secret about the rehearsal: I was practically falling asleep because those dance studios are like saunas.

When I got home, I ate lunch and made these “Carrot Spice Scones” from a box mix my mom bought from Bed, Bath, and Beyond for $1.50.

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Secret about this “scone”: The package falsely advertised these as scones, because they were WAY too fluffy to be scones. These were more like muffin tops, which isn’t a bad thing at all. 🙂

Mother’s Day Sunday

Breakfast in bed for my beloved mother! She is obsessed with all things coconut, so I was basically obliged to make her something coconutty. I decided on coconut-crusted cinnamon raisin French toast for the queen.

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Secret behind this breakfast: I only made one thing on this plate— the French toast. My dad cooked the turkey sausage and my mom had cut that fruit a few days before. Heh.

I made some French toast for myself as well while we were at it. I topped mine with Greek yogurt, peanut butter, seared banana slices, and maple syrup. Glass o’ soy milk on the side.

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So awesome.

Then, since I went to bed super late on Saturday night and woke up early to make breakfast, I took a super long nap on the couch. It was gloooorious and it got me energized for some outdoor moves. I was really in the mood to jump rope, so I completed Julie’s Jump Rope + Lower Body Workout with just bodyweight.

Secret about working out outside: Since I was using my phone as a timer, I left it out on the mat under the sun, which resulted in my iPhone getting a short fever.

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I also practiced double unders (which I showed off on Instagram)! They’re my new favorite thing to do now (behind burpees of course).

Secret behind the double unders: I got lucky with this shot because this is probably the most I got in a row all day yesterday. I’m still happy I can do them though!

Hot weather means SMOOTHIES, so I had one of the green (and very nut-buttery) variety for lunch:

  • ½ c. soy milk
  • half banana
  • handful of frozen strawberries
  • big handful of spinach
  • ¼ c. oats
  • ½ scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 heaping tbsp. peanut butter
  • 1 heaping tbsp. almond butter

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With Greek yogurt on the side of course!

Secret behind this smoothie: This plus a ton of water and a bunch of crackers with hummus gave me a food baby.

After a few more hours of homework and procrastinating in the form of Instagram stalking, we headed out to dinner at a Korean/Japanese restaurant! Guess what. No Groupon this time. :-O

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Traditional Korean side dishes that came with my dad’s meal

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Mom’s seafood pancake

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My eel and tuna rolls

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Complimentary cold cinnamon ginger tea as a palate cleanser/dessert

Secret about dinner: I made the mistake of wearing pants that are getting too small for me. You can probably guess why that was a problem.

Secret about what I’m doing right now: Watching Fantastic Mr. Fox — one of my favorite animated movies ever.

And those are the secrets of my life from this weekend! I hope you’re not too mind-blown by my exhilarating life.

Hope you all have a lovely Monday!

So tell me:

Did you go outside this weekend?

Italian ice or gelato?

What did you do yesterday?

Any secrets you’d like to share!

 

 

 

Last Hurrah

Alrighttttt. So remember in my last post how I felt kinda crappy during my workout after too many nights of desserts? Heh heh…well, we went here this afternoon.

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And I got frozen custard. But we’ll get to that in a sec.

First let’s talk about last night! Dinner was again made by my lovely cousins. They made chicken and beef kabobs! My cousin Megan was the grill master, and she cooked the meat perfectly.

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I had a chicken kabob, and it was ohh so tender. She says it was her first time grilling kabobs. I dunno if I believe her. They were too amazing. 😉 We also cleaned up some of the leftovers from lunch.

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My cousin and aunt commented on my “interesting” choice of salad dressing. I mean, if it’s gonna be on my plate, might as well just eat the salad with it. Salad dressing is too much work.

No dessert last night! (Different story today.) Megan and I plopped on the couch to watch a movie. We decided we were in the mood for a cheesy, girly teen movie, so the choice ended up being The Last Song with Miley Cyrus (before she became “twerk queen” as my other cousin calls her) and her now fiancé Liam Hemsworth. How shweeeeet.

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It was sappy, sweet, sad–the norm.

We also showed each other some of our various yoga poses and break dance moves in the living room. It was a good time. Then we said our goodbyes 😦 Thanks so much, guys, for hosting us these past couple days!

This morning we left our hotel at around 6 AM and surprisingly passed swiftly across the border. We didn’t bring a plethora of sandwiches to eat on the road this time, so we made a pit stop at Binghamton for lunch…and a college tour at Binghamton University!

First we ate at a Korean and Japanese restaurant called Ebishura, and it had conveyor belt sushi!

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I’ve never really been a fan of having my sushi touring the restaurant, but this place had good reviews on Yelp. Yeah, we listen to those people.

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You get charged by the number and type of plates you take off the conveyor belt.

We shared a bunch of sushi plates (all came with 4 rolls each) from the conveyor belt and ordered a few extras from the menu. Ben also ordered the pork katsu bento box. It was a pretty good lunch overall. Definitely no the best sushi I’ve had, but for a college town in upstate NY, not too shabby!

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Next up was the Binghamton University info session and its nice, long campus tour. Our tour guide was really cool and hilarious, which was a plus. I’m still not sure if it was him or the actual college that sold me, but I really like it, so it’ll probably be on my list! It was also great to get in a long (sweaty) walk after sitting in the car for 6 hours. Sick. of. sitting.

Since we were nice and heated after the tour, we agreed that a cold treat sounded good…which brings us back to Rocco’s Italian ice and frozen custard. Hey, I’m considering it our last hurrah for the summer since this was the last day of our last official vacation. Sounds like a good excuse at least 😉

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Black raspberry frozen custard. CREAMY GOODNESS.

Back into the car we went, and a few hours later, we stopped by a new-ish Vietnamese restaurant for dinner. It’s the only Vietnamese restaurant close to our house, so despite not-so-great reviews on Yelp, we wanted to try it out. It was pretty delicious to us! Again, we’ve been to lots of Vietnamese restaurants, so this wasn’t THE best, but good enough considering the proximity.Image

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Pho for mom, dad, and Ben. Grilled lemongrass chicken for me.

Now we are at home, sweet, home! That’s a wrap, folks! This was probably a lot longer than you even cared to read (if you’re still reading…).

One last thing though! (please?) Since school is starting for so many people already, how ’bout a little prayer for the start of the year, eh? (<–under Canadian influence) Whether you are a student, teacher, parent, or none of those, the school year has a way of laying a whole lot of pressure on everyone in the community. So…to the Lord we turn!

Dear God,

Help us as we start this hectic, yet blessed time of year.

May we grow closer to you through our works, studies, and activities.

Strengthen us to make the right decisions. Enlighten us as we learn, not just intellectually, but spiritually.

May we be well-rested, but grant us patience and perseverance when we are tired and weary.

Help us to be supportive of one another yet humble enough to accept the assistance of others.

May we glorify YOU through our works and achievements, not ourselves.

Fill us with joy for learning, growing, and improving.

Help us to strengthen and nourish our relationships with family, friends, teachers, and anyone else we encounter.

Thank you for all the opportunities ahead of us.

Amen.

So tell me: When does the school year start in your area? What was your last vacation? Have you ever tried frozen custard?