Challenged

I’m forgetting that the weather usually gets colder once fall hits.

I have to wear socks and sweaters in my dorm room, which currently seems like a foreign concept to me. Like, I can’t just be in athletic shorts and a t-shirt all the time now? I have to “keep warm”!?!?

That doesn’t mean I’m giving up cold overnight oats though.

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strawberry banana peanut butter overnight oats overfloweth

Also, who knew strawberries were so good in Ireland!? I feel like I already talked about this. Deja vu.

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Lunches have been looking mighty similar these days, but I don’t hate it. Eggs and veggies are always welcome in my belly.

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As are cheese and carbs.

Lunchtime is a madhouse these days, because we often only have a one hour break to come back to the kitchen, prepare our meals, eat them, and then walk back to class. Plus all the cleaning and maneuvering around 10 other people doing the same exact thing. It sounds like I’m complaining, but I kinda love the rush of “we all have to eat! NOW!”

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Food brings people together 🙂

I would say that the challenge of sharing a kitchen is nothing compared to the moral and mental challenge of my classes so far. It’s not that they are too academically difficult (yet), but all my courses (contemporary Irish society, ethics in healthcare, and healthcare practice and policy) have something to say about the Catholic Church and all the hot topics that surround it these days.

And I get it– just a mention of the Catholic Church stirs up a lot of hubbub.

Sure, I get uncomfortable in class being one of the two practicing Catholics here (especially because everyone knows that I’m a devout Catholic), but I’m loving every minute of it. Not because I want to get all defensive or play the victim, but because I need to be challenged in my beliefs. I want to know what others think of “people like me”. I need to dig deep into why I believe what I believe, and facing the (sometimes stinging) commentary of those who oppose my beliefs is one effective way of doing that.

(p.s. I’m not leaving the Church anytime soon.)

The best part? We all still get along and respect each other. And there have been a couple of very kind people who have shown their appreciation for my POVs, even if they don’t necessarily agree. This was especially comforting yesterday after I expressed my opinions in class, practically shaking with nervousness. (I’m not kidding, but I’m also not asking for pity.)

I might make a vlog expanding on all my thoughts later. My brain is exploding with thoughts and reflections all the time these days!

Anyway, let’s get back to food for some relief from this rather serious topic. Dinner this week has been pork chops with sautéed onions, potatoes with red pesto, and roasted broccoli. A delicious and satisfying meal. Yay for fats!

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Moves and grooves have been short and sweet. Except on Monday when I did a 50 minute Fitness Blender HIIT workout. Tuesday was 35 minutes of yoga + a slow and easy 12 minute lunchtime workout, and yesterday was a 100 burpee workout! 🙂

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that’s all the time it took! gotta leave time for stretching!

It’s nice to get in some kind of movement before I sit for 5-6 hours of class throughout the day. But sleeping is also a priority, which is why my workouts have been “squeezed in” so much lately. I’ve been waking up wanting to go back to sleep FOR.EV.ER. (whoa, that sounds more morbid than I intended).

I used so many parentheses in this post.

I hope you all have a fabulous Thursday! I will be playing Gaelic football and possibly some other Irish sports today for class. God help me.

So tell me:

Have you ever felt challenged in your beliefs in school?

What have you been eating for dinner this week?

Do you forget that the weather changes too?

What is your favorite quick workout?

So Many Emotions

Hello there!

Sorry for disappearing on Friday— I had my fascinating links and everything, and I was trying to type up a post in school, but there just wasn’t enough time. Thursday night was also a whirlwind, which you’ll see in a moment.

I’ve cried {good tears} THREE times in the past four days, so I’ve just been on an emotional roller coaster this weekend. Maybe I’m just hormonal??

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Linking up with Katie’s MIMM, because being emotional is marvelous 😉

Thursday

Feeling sad yet thankful at our last school concert. I’ve been involved in the music program at my school for 6 years now, so I’ve developed a great relationship with not only my peers in the music program, but my teachers as well. They’re some of the coolest people I know.

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Annual concert selfie with Daliza

My friend Daliza was bawling on stage (love you, lady), and the rest of us teared up a little bit too for our last song, “I Will” by the Beatles. Nope, this doesn’t usually happen to seniors at their last concert. We’re just a special breed.

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Daliza, Apaula, and I with our super awesome vocal teacher {what da freak is up with my arm?!}

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We ate our feelings at the diner with our music teachers and all the seniors that performed.

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Shared banana pancakes with Daliza

“Banana pancakes” just like Jack Johnson!

Friday

Feeling stunned that my friend Michael bought me not one, but TWO jars of no-salt, organic peanut butter. As if his prom-posal wasn’t awesome enough!! He says it’s a gift for all the times I’ve given him a ride and the one time I made him a strawberry banana smoothie, but uh…other than that, I didn’t do anything for these!

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Kid knows what he’s doing. Thanks so much, Michael! I’m set for a month now. Maybe. 😉

Feeling just pain emotional while listening to this heart-tugging original song:

Like, sobbing in my bedroom by myself.

Feeling disappointed that the avocado for which I had been patiently waiting to ripen turned out to be a dud. I cut it as usual, and when I twisted it open, the skin just came off by itself…

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I tried to salvage the avocado by cutting around the pit, but it was actually still really hard despite being on the counter to ripen for several days. When I tasted it, I could tell that there was something funky about it, so I chucked it. *sigh*

Saturday

Feeling blessed to see some of my third grade religion students receive their First Communion on such a glorious day!

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Little angels

Feeling like a bro driving with my window down and sun roof open. Heh.

Feeling energized after a nap and some awesome moves outside. I’m gettin’ a little better at those double unders! The most I strung together was 20. I also got some unassisted pistol squats in there! (I guess eating more helps you become stronger or something ;))

Feeling blissful eating peanut butter banana soft serve again (aka the most ingenious dessert known to mankind).

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Feeling inspired while watching the Crossfit Games Regionals online. They are all INSANE athletes. (<— Feeling guilty because I totally used this as procrastination from my economics paper…whoops.)

Sunday

Feeling touched by the support and love for our pastor at church who is retiring this year. I teared up when one of the other priests sang a song for our departing pastor at the end of our big thanksgiving Mass for him.

Feeling proud that I am Asian…Because I have a mother that can make things like coconut sticky rice with sweet, ripe mangoes.

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Mom: “It’s like a five-star restaurant!” 

Indeed, ma!

Feeling confused because our power went out for about 15 minutes, even though the weather was perfect yesterday.

Feeling in awe of my superhero dad. He was serving others non-stop yesterday—giving out report cards at Sunday School, serving Mass, talking to people in the church, going to a pro-life rally, doing political campaigning, and mowing the lawn. Not a peep of a complaint came out of him.

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Feeling triumphant finishing my economics paper and presentation!!! I deserve a superman cape too.

And that, my friends, is the palette of my colorful emotions this weekend. Hope you all have a great Monday!

So tell me:

________ made you happy/sad/excited/disappointed/confused this weekend.

What is your favorite ethnic dessert?

Have you ever had an avocado that did what mine did?!

 

Being Humble Hurts

Good morning and Happy Fat Tuesday!

“Joyeux Mardi Gras!” sounds a lot classier, doesn’t it? French is just glamorous like that.

Before I get into Lent and deep-ish talk, I’ll catch you up on what happened in my life yesterday. First and foremost, I had a nut-butter-happy breakfast of banana bread English muffins with almond butter + peanut butter + banana slices!

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I also finished the last bit of Greek yogurt with a few more banana slices. My mom knows me so well and bought FOUR big containers of Greek yogurt for me since she’ll be leaving for Florida soon. Those might last me 2 weeks. 😉

School was swell, and then I headed to the gym in the afternoon. I didn’t forget my gym shoes this time! I did, however, nap in the car at the gym parking lot for about half an hour again. You would think I would be a little more self-conscious, but sleep trumps image at this point in my high school career (or any point in my life). I just park in the corner of the lot and snooze for a lil’ bit. I doubt anyone even noticed. A cat nap can go a long way, folks!

After my mini-siesta (I still think we should have those)…

Moves

5 min. rowing warmup

Supersets of:

  • TRX rows + TRX pike to pushup
  • TRX tricep extensions + TRX bicep curls

Then I did some proper pushups (so hard!), staggered pushups, and 6 minutes on the rope climbing contraption. I finished with an 8-minute ab tabata.

Dinner was absolutely delicious, and it was a cinch to put together thanks to Mom’s prep work.

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Quinoa/rice blend + seared tuna steak + avocado + blanched broccoli + ponzu

Mom had already prepared the quinoa/rice blend in the rice cooker, and she had also blanched the broccoli earlier in the day. She’s da best.

I don’t know about you guys, but I love me some whole grains. Brown rice, quinoa, wild rice, farro… I could totally eat grains by themselves. I adore their hearty aromas and slightly chewy textures. This organic quinoa/rice blend that my mom got from Costco (I think) was fantastic!

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Guess what I had for “dessert”? You win a virtual high-five if you guessed dried figs and Greek yogurt!

Being Humble Hurts

So tomorrow marks the beginning of Lent, which is the 40-day period leading up to Easter for us Christians. A lot of people like to give up certain pleasures or do extra good deeds to grow closer to God during this time as a reminder of Jesus’ sacrifice for us.

I’m not going to talk all about Lent too much, but I’ll tell y’all what I’m going to try my very hardest to give up:

  • TV
  • listening to the radio in the car
  • complaining

And I will try do more of this:

  • Meditate/read devotional

I was considering giving up nut/seed butters, but then I thought about how we have, like, 5 jars in the fridge. Someone’s gotta eat them… 😀 But in all seriousness, these four things are going to be tough for me already. I won’t be able to live vicariously through Giada or Ina on Food Network, I won’t be able to groove to jams in the car, and I won’t be able to open my BIG mouth at times.

will be able to learn humility.

We all have several humbling experiences in our lives, but I don’t think it ever gets an easier to put our pride aside. At least, for me it never does.

Last night, I was in an argument— more like a petty bicker— where voices were raised and tensions amounted. I knew I did not start the argument, but my emotions got the better of me, and I let myself raise my voice several times to try to defend myself. (This was all over something so trivial too, but for some reason it turned into a big mess).

After breathing for a few moments and letting things simmer down, I wanted to apologize to the other person, even though I did not feel like I needed to do so. Nevertheless, I practically owe this particular person my life, no matter what the situation is. Thus, I said, “I’m sorry for raising my voice at you.”

The response I received was not as forgiving as I had expected (for privacy reasons, I won’t say what the exact response was). In fact, it stung so much that I literally stopped what I was doing and stared straight forward for a good 10 seconds. I slowly grabbed my laptop and went up to my room as tears welled up. And then I just talked out loud to myself and to God.

I was angry and upset. All that went through my head was: I didn’t even start this! That wasn’t fair to say! I apologized, and that’s what I got? WHAT THE HECK?! 

In the past, I probably would have gone downstairs and made a fit again. I definitely wear my emotions on my sleeve. But God was telling me to be humble. Not to be submissive or stepped on, but to just accept things as they were at that point. Trying to defend myself even further would have been solely for my pride. It wouldn’t have actually made anything better.

I tweeted this:

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Because it does hurt. But then I think about our great Lord and His incredible humility, and there’s nothing I can do but bow to Him. And then zip my big mouth.

Again, this doesn’t mean I’m an advocate of being submissive, but in some instances, pride is only fuel for the fire.

“…he leads me beside still waters/he restores my soul…” -Psalm 23

OKAY. That got a little deeper than I initially anticipated. Fat Tuesday!!

Have a great day, everyone 🙂

So tell me:

How do you handle moments like these when your pride is roaring?

If you observe Lent, what are you giving up/doing?

What is your favorite grain?