Why Am I Catholic?

Sorry to interrupt the [not-so-]regularly scheduled programming here. But here’s a real life thinking out loud session for anyone who wants to listen.

This is a long video, and I’m not expecting anyone to watch it in full (I pause a lot because this is literally me answering my own question for the first time) or to press the play button at all, but I want to put this out there for anyone who might be struggling with their own faith or values in a time when it seems that no one can be trusted and everyone has their own idea of goodness.

This is part of my story.

link to the video

It’s rough, incomplete, and it might not make that much sense, but saying these things out loud helped me personally.

Happy Sunday! You are loved more than you could ever imagine.

Now I’d love to hear any thoughts from you! About any moral challenges or questions you’ve faced recently.

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Chronicles of Becoming a Grownup II

This is the most hippie thing I’ve ever posted.

I posted “Chronicles of Becoming a Grownup” a year ago (right about this time in the summer too!). And since they are chronicles, there must be subsequent posts!

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I even posted a photo of this exact breakfast in that post. This was yesterday’s breakfast (oatmeal cookie dough cereal via Fitnessista)

This is a quote from my first chronicle post a year ago:

“And don’t get me started on the mental/emotional/spiritual changes and revelations that are occurring as I become a grownup. To be chronicled in the future…”

Lo and behold. ‘Tis the future, and I am going to tell you about some of those mental/emotional/spiritual changes and revelations riiiiiight now.

Alternative title for this post: “Oh, That’s Why That’s a Cliche!

1) Revelation #1: Long story short— my coworker and I were blamed by a patient for unfairly helping another patient at the first patient’s expense. I have learned that I literally cannot make everyone happy, even if my colleagues and I are trying our very best to do so.

2) Adding on to revelation #1: I have to remember not to take things too personally and not to ruminate on how bad I feel about disappointing someone. It reminds me to help people NOT because I gain validation and appreciation but because I truly do care for them. I have to be willing to help, even if I know someone does not like me or he/she might have a negative response.

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3) Revelation #2: It’s easy to revert back to my former self when I’m back at home with my family. Sometimes I forget that I don’t “have to” be the baby of the family and I don’t have to bicker with family like I used to.

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4) Revelation #3: I find little things a lot funnier than I did when I was a teenager (yes, I know I just became a non-teen 2 months ago). Older folks have so many funny antics and hilarious things to say! Sometimes they’re not the nicest, but that applies to human beings in general.

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5) Revelation #4: I find it easier to understand why people act/react in inhospitable ways, especially as I work in a healthcare setting, and I thus feel a little less offended if someone is rude towards me. Not that rudeness is justified, but it can be more understandable.

6) Adding onto revelation #4: I’m (more often, but not always) slower to judge others by isolated character flaws.

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6) Revelation #5: The more I learn about others’ hard realities and the stresses that everyone works through in order to “make it”, the easier it becomes to despair sometimes. But there is a difference between empathy and straight up despair. Despair doesn’t help anyone. I cannot justify my sulking just because everyone else is sulking. Get out of your hole (and it’s okay to ask for help!), and someone else might be inspired to pick up his/her head as well.

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7) Adding onto revelation #5: Spread joy. ← I used to cringe at how cliche and grossly cheesy that phrase is, but the world can never, ever get enough of it. I don’t know about you, but a genuine smile or compliment can seriously make my day.

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8) Revelation #6: You want to be loved. I want to be loved. The person next door wants to be loved. Everyone wants to be loved, so START LOVING. Don’t wait on others. How to love is a whole ‘nother post (or two).

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9) Revelation #7: Cliches remain cliches until you realize why they’re cliches. Then they become ingrained life lessons. But of course, just because I learned these lessons a few times doesn’t mean that I don’t completely ignore them and allow my selfish/itch-bay side come out at times. #It’sAProcess

10) Revelation #8: GIFs are my favorite modern way of communicating the inner recesses of my brain.

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Hope you have a marvelous Thursday! Just love (like Us the Duo says in this great song):

So tell me:

What are some revelations you’ve had as you became/are becoming a grownup? Can you relate to any of mine here?

What is one cliche that is particularly relevant in your life right now?

Something that has brought you joy this past week!

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joining Amanda’s party today!

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!

Current Mood(s)

It’s been a funky weekend.

My mood is currently a slurry of the following:

Upset, confused, uneasy, and heartbroken by the shootings (Christina Grimmie + mass shooting at Pulse) in Orlando this weekend.

I’m having a hard time just typing this blog post, because I’m watching several videos, reading tweets/statuses/articles, and just grappling with the whole situation and with the state of the world. May God be merciful to all, and may He grant rest to the souls of those who died and console their loved ones.

Friends, keep loving more deeply every day. Reflect on your purpose in this world. I don’t mean to be preachy right now, but when it comes to life and death, it’s important to ask yourself: What if my life on earth ended today? 

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Enraged, saddened, yet awe-inspired by the powerful letter the Stanford rape victim read aloud to her attacker.

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Unsure if cutting down on dairy is helping my tummy troubles. I’m currently drinking Lactaid milk (surprisingly, it’s exceptionally tasty milk) and avoiding Greek yogurt and cheese. I think I feel better with less Greek yogurt in particular (*tear*).

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the day before my mom picked up some Lactaid // carbs+pb isn’t the same without a glass o’ milk

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leftover green banana pancakes + banana cream sauce + glass o’ Lactaid (← doesn’t have the same ring to it)

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overnight oats made without Greek yogurt but with extra Lactaid milk, chia seeds, and half a scoop of vanilla protein powder — not bad!

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classic banana egg white oats (video tutorial coming soon!)

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baked banana bread oatmeal for this week’s breakfasts

I’m also unsure because I’m weak. I had a tiny bit of ice cream Saturday night with our leftover apple strudel from the farmers’ market 🙂 And I had a few cheesy jalapeño Popcorners yesterday.

I didn’t keel over or anything though, so it’s all good.

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Another likely culprit is definitely stress. I don’t notice my stress, but I think my body/mind has objectively been stressed these past few weeks.

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All that being said…

I’m ashamed and disappointed in myself. Honesty is the best policy. I feel ashamed that maybe my tummy troubles were actually coming from a few too many days of eating until I was stuffed, even if it was just a bunch of vegetables.

I have definitely not been binging by any means, but I do know that I sometimes stress eat and/or eat too quickly when I’m stressed. I was struck by the possibility that maybe my insides haven’t been cooperating because I just haven’t been too kind to them in regards to the volume I eat.

So I’ve been more aware of my stomach cues (without worrying about calories or anything), which (DUH) has been helping me feel more comfortable. I’m tempted to beat myself up about my recent eating habits, but I know that will just do me a disservice. Evaluate, learn, make the changes, and move on.

Somewhat off topic: Lunches these days have been all about eggs, which I find are easy on my stomach.

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two egg omelet with greens and onions + cherry tomatoes + avocado toast

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avocado toast with sunny egg and sriracha (among other things) for lunch on Saturday

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delicious bowl of quinoa, roasted broccoli, sautéed greens, onions, cherry tomatoes, chorizo + sunny egg + sriracha added post-pic

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Thankful that my body can move and exercise. I always try to be, but I’ve had to especially remind myself to be thankful this weekend because of some recent body image issues that I’ll talk more about tomorrow.

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Mom and I have been doing 7 minute workouts and Pilates together. So wonderful to move and groove with Madre.
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Working at a rehabilitation hospital has also done wonders for my perspective on physical ability, movement, and health.

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scene at lunch break

Saturday’s workout was a doozy! 4 rounds for time:

  • 10 burpee tuck jumps
  • 20 crazy Russian twists (10 each side, 15#)
  • 30 side jump lunges
  • 40 air squats with side leg lift
  • 50 mountain climbers

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HUSTLED on those last squats and mountain climbers when I saw that I could finish at 20 minutes

I did this yoga video yesterday, since everything was sore and my body had been craving good, organ-nourishing twists.

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Happy that I get to spend quality time with my parents on the weekends. We went out for sushi on Saturday night after Mass, followed by an evening walk.

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Mom and Pop’s sashimi for two

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cutest soy sauce dish

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my order: “Soho roll” (tuna, salmon, yellowtail, avocado, rice, roe, wrapped in soybean paper) + eel cucumber roll

Ain’t nothing like gooooooood sushi.

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Excited for friends and family in their adventures and endeavors. It’s so cool to see loved ones explore the world, learn, grow, and allow God to work through them.

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So there’s a lot happening in the head and the heart right now. A lot of it is growing pain, I think, which is encouraging and comforting. God is good, always.

I’m sorry if this post seems like a big, negative smash on your Monday, but that’s not my intent. This is just a reminder to myself and to all who read this that we need to support and uplift one another. Joy, beauty, heroism, and love exist, and it starts with you.

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So tell me:

What are your current moods?

Have you ever gone through periods of “meh” eating habits, even if you have a healthy mindset?

What are you thankful for today?

What is the best thing you did this weekend? Mass + dinner and walk with the parents ♥︎

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Friends Pushing Me to Be Better

I just ate a dinner of popcorn, Chex Mix, celery, chocolate cake, an apple, “gorilla dip”, and a singular chicken wing.

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#nutrition

Also, the only thing I watched from the Super Bowl last night was the halftime show and the Honda commercial with the singing sheep, and that was everything I needed.

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I love Coldplay, Beyonce, and Bruno Mars, but did anyone else feel like the halftime performance as a whole was a weird combo?

Anyway, I have nothing more to say about the Super Bowl, so let’s talk about how my wonderful friends have been kicking my butt in the best way possible.

Rewind to Friday: I had biomechanics in the morning, a good lunch with friends, bible study, a workout, homework, and productive procrastination (working on a birthday gift for someone!).

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Two of my dear friends, Mai and Kelsey, are in my bible study, and listening to their perspectives and insights on Scripture and faith in general was so inspiring. Most of all, their willingness to share their own doubts and trials humbles me to face my own doubts and trials.

Saturday started off with a walk through winter wonderland to get to work (unintentional alliteration).

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I tried to pack more substantial snacks so that I wouldn’t be so lightheaded and cranky like I was last week at work, but I guess all the walking, cooking, and cleaning I do (and the fact that I end at 2pm) just does me in. Needless to say, lunch was again demolished.

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While I was studying, my pal Connor came up to chat with me for a bit, and he gave me nuggets of wisdom to deal with my academic stress. His words were simple and things I knew logically, but I still needed someone to tell them to me in order to internalize it. 1) Happiness is important. 2) Don’t stress out because other people have more knowledge than you. Do what you need to do, but there’s no good in comparing and worrying.

Good stuff.

Saturday night involved a workout, some studying, and Tasty Burger (!!!) with the best friend.

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A cheeseburger from this joint was on our food bucket list, and Saturday night was the night to crush it.

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We liked their milkshakes as much as we liked their burgers! The shakes were uber thick and creamy. Like, you had to work those cheek muscles to drink it through the straw.

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love at first bite

Rachel and I talked about our Lent resolutions since it starts this Wednesday, and one of my things to “give up” is makeup. I don’t wear a lot, but I do wear a little every day. I told Rachel with hesitance that I would give up makeup, but the next day I told her I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do it. She insisted that giving up makeup would be good for me, and that I shouldn’t cave just because it’s hard (it’s definitely not supposed to be easy!). I agree. Wearing no makeup will help me focus on my character and fight vanity.

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My roommate Jordan also gave me a great slice of humble pie when I told her that I’m not always early (and sometimes a little late) to things, especially if I’m meeting with a close friend. She told me that everyone, close friends or professional mentors, should have their time respected. Duh, common sense, right? But it’s easier said than done for me these days (punctuality is slacking). Jordan is 100% right though. I should never take advantage of my friends’ time just because I’m close to them.

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Lastly, my amazing friend Christina invited me to do mobile soup kitchen with her last night. I joined her and some other kind volunteers, but I knew that I wanted to make it back in time for the Super Bowl halftime show. Towards the end of the route, I started to get impatient and antsy to make it back to campus, but just watching how patient, considerate, and kind Christina was with all the people we met was a humbling and beautiful sight. A lesson in selflessness right in front of me.

I am constantly in awe of my friends and the beauty of their souls. God is definitely shaping me up through their example and words. And of course, so many bloggers push me to be better too. Thanks, guys ♥︎

Hope you all have a happy week! We’re kind of hoping that BU calls in for a snow day today…

So tell me:

Do your friends keep you “on track”?

What is one lesson you learned/were reminded of this weekend?

Thoughts on the Super Bowl/halftime show?

Best thing you did this weekend. Probably Tasty Burger with Rachel!