Summer’s Coming

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

Thinking-Out-Loud

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!

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Virtual Breakfast Date

virtual breakfast date

…I would usually hug you before we sit down, but I’ve been sick these past few days, so we’ll nix that for now.

…I would be eating leftover green banana pancakes via The Healthy Maven that I made yesterday.

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topped with plain Greek yogurt, “My Maine Squeeze” almond butter, and peanut butter + glass o’ almond milk on the side

…I would ask you if you’ve been watching the Olympics. It’s funny; I feel like I become more sedentary as I watch ALL the sports all the time on TV. I’ve been enjoying the gymnastics, tennis, beach volleyball, diving, and swimming the most so far!

…I would take a second to fan over Simone Biles and Oksana Chusovitina, that 41-year-old gymnast from Uzbekistan who is STILL KILLING IT at the Olympics. Literally almost three times older than some of the gymnasts competing.

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I just want to finish everything I do in life with gymnastics arms from now on

…I would tell you that I leave for Ireland to study abroad in less than a month, and I have very few (if any) emotions about it. I tell people that I’m excited, which is half true, because I’m looking forward to the adventures and travel. But I’m also NOT excited, because I know how much I’m going to miss my family at home and friends back in Boston. I’m just gonna go and see what happens, honestly!

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I just need to start thinking about what to pack…and stuff like that.

…I would recommend that you read Kylie’s post about why she hasn’t weighed herself in 2.5 years. Whether you have a history of an eating disorder or not, this is a great read for anyone with body image issues (which is most of us living in an affluent society). Kylie rocks.

…I would tell you that my new veggie obsession is Thai “pun” (wraps, not funny puns). Lettuce + some kind of protein + cucumber + cherry tomatoes + Thai basil + cilantro + mint + spicy peanut sauce. The fresh herbs are ESSENTIAL.

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For this week’s version, Madre grilled up some lemongrass-scallion-black pepper pork patties. For her peanut sauce, she mixes her classic spring roll dipping sauce (similar to this recipe) with peanut butter to taste.

I’ve also had the combo on a big bed of salad greens.

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JUST DO IT.

…I would tell you that I think baking skills are a prerequisite for becoming a physical therapist. All the the treats that the PTs bring in to work are phenomenal. Like these cookies and cream cupcakes for someone’s birthday:

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oreo on the bottom, chocolate cupcake, homemade cookies and cream frosting, mini oreo on top

Other treats this summer have included cake pops, homemade chocolate chip cookies, the moistest (sorry) banana bread ever, and pound cake. #help

…I would perpetuate Asian stereotypes for giggles.

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Italian pasta originated from Asian noodles anyway

…I would tell you that I got to hang out with Daliza twice this weekend! She took me to the movie Cafe Society on Thursday night, which I really enjoyed (check it out in smaller, indie movie theaters!). It stars Steve Carrell, Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, and Blake Lively.

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Then on Saturday I met up with her and our other high school friend Apaula to see our high school chorus teacher at one of his gigs. Fun to catch up with all of them!

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…I would gush over the weather we had last week and hope that it continues into this week.

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…I would tell you that eats at home recently have been on point. It’s been fun eating out these past few several weekends, but I loooooove eating home cooked meals.

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classic overnight oats

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Mom’s comforting meal on Friday night after a long, sick day at work: whole wheat spaghetti with tomato sauce, grilled spicy chicken, and fresh basil

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banana nectarine hot oatmeal with “My Maine Squeeze” almond butter

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classic avocado egg toast with sriracha

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delicious panini a la Madre: whole wheat roll with turkey, swiss, greens, homemade carrot and radish pickles, spicy hummus, and sriracha *drool*

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artichoke hummus that I finally popped open from Stowe, VT with baby carrots

…I would tell you that moves and grooves were low-key this weekend since I was sick. Thursday was yoga, Friday was rest, Saturday was Pilates + one day of the 100s challenge (sort of…I didn’t do all the sit-ups), and Sunday was some walking and random playtime on a playground.

…I would tell you that it’s already been a year since I went to the local Indian festival with Rachel! I went with Ben and Pop yesterday, where we shared some Indian grub and walked around the park.

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 …I would ask you:

Which Olympics sports are you following?

If you studied abroad, how did you feel before going?

What is your favorite way to eat vegetables lately?

Have you seen any good movies recently?

The Great and Small Things I Learned {Sophomore Semester II}

My legs are ombre.

They’re pale on top, medium-shade at the knee, and dark at the bottom. And then I have a sexy ankle sock tan. #aeriereal

Besides my tan lines signaling the start of summer, the end of spring semester also signals the bittersweet time when everyone in college parts and goes their separate ways for a few months (or longer if you’re a senior or if you’re studying abroad like I am).

I am so grateful to be spending this week in Boston with my friends without any studying required of us. Rachel and I have checked off a few food bucket list places, the sun has been shining, and I’ve been SLEEPING. Oh, sweet sleep.

On Monday, Rachel and I walked over to Jugos in the morning for acai bowls (from our bucket list). I felt so Californian and trendy.

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growing their own wheatgrass of course

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“Sao Paolo” for Rachel + “Los Verdes” for me

In my hipster-wannabe pride, it pains me to say that acai bowls do indeed live up to the hype. They were fantastic. BUT I do feel like I could make them at home. They’re pricey, but we were very full for a while after these, and it was lovely to have something so fresh.

We enjoyed a leisurely walk back to campus since it was such a gorgeous day and it wasn’t like we had any studying to do (!!!).

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Monday night involved going to a fancy playground with friends, ungodly amounts of white cheddar popcorn, chocolate pudding eaten with a plastic knife, and Psych.

Solid.

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Tuesday included another bucket list place— Emack & Bolio’s for their cereal cone (basically a rice krispie treat wrapped around the cone). The cereal cone was a cool concept, but Rachel and I agreed that the ice cream was just average. But it was still ice cream, which is delicious, and I thought the cone was good!

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“beantown crunch” with a cocoa pebbles cereal cone for Rachel + maple walnut with a rice krispie cereal cone for me

Followed by hours of girl talk.

Yesterday I helped my brother move out of his apartment, ate lunch with him and my mom, played outside for a bit (perfect weather), and helped cook a dinner at the Catholic Center for the graduating seniors (and they let me join in on the feast!).
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Grateful.

As with all my previous semesters here (I, II, III) at college, I have learned many lessons— some beautiful, some painful, all gifts.

the great and small

Lunch dessert is fabulous.

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I don’t have to go to the gym most days of the week, and I’ll be okay. I can still stay active and do challenging things without a gym.

Working out with friends outside might be one of my favorite things.

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We cannot attach ourselves to people. We can only attach ourselves to God. (via my friend Rachel via our friend Sarah)

Pride is probably my biggest vice and the root of all my internal struggles.

Social media can be pretty toxic for me. I need to take regular breaks from it.

I am an abstainer, not a moderator.

I don’t need to eat as much protein as I thought, and I feel best with a more carb-heavy diet.

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I cannot be complacent with my faith. I need to address my doubts, as little as they may be, and actively seek truth. (appreciate Julia’s honesty on this topic)

It is so painful to see good friends move away, but God has a beautiful plan for each of us and we need to trust Him.

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Walking is such an amazing human mechanism (thanks, biomechanics!).

I hold a lot of tension in my head and neck when I dance.

Electroswing music is a thing, and it. is. ART. (shoutout to my girl Lauren for introducing me to it)

I like plain yogurt better than cottage cheese these days.

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I can track my calories/macros objectively without restricting.

I am definitely an emotional eater.

Boston weather is more mercurial than Donald Trump’s words.

Writing at least one thing for which I am thankful in my planner every day before going to bed was a game-changer for my perspective.

Going without makeup for a while ain’t so bad.

I am at a pretty good place regarding my body image, but I am not immune to hard times and temptations to restrict.

My best friend and I have the same brain sometimes, and it’s freaking weird.

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It is improbable that we’ve had the friends, experiences, and circumstances that we’ve had.

God can show you very clearly that He is near. Sometimes He won’t make it clear though, but that doesn’t mean He’s not near.

Talking out loud to myself is the best form of studying for me. I need to hear it said.

I should be aware of my face in lecture, or else the professor might call me out with a laser pointer in front of my classmates.

I embarrass my friends sometimes/often/always.

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I need to make sure I bring enough snacks to work.

My friends are like my personal trainers, except spiritually. They push me outside of my comfort zone to become a better human.

Cycling is HARD.

VO2max test equipment is really flattering.

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I’m over trying so hard to impress boys. OVER IT.

^^^I will tell myself that I am over it, but still fall into that trap. C’est la vie.

It’s okay if I don’t have all the answers/advice for someone. Being a good listener can be what exactly someone needs.

Tori Kelly continues to slay with her music that describes my life.

Tears are truly a gift from the Holy Spirit.

God continues to show how much He loves us, and it is the most beautiful, amazing, heart-wrenching, humbling thing ever.


I’m linking up with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud today! I’ve missed this party!

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Hope you all have an awesome Thursday ♥︎

So tell me:

If you are a college student: Lesson(s) you learned this semester/year.

If you are not a college student: Lesson(s) you learned since the beginning of 2016.

Have you ever tried/do you like acai bowls? 

Lately + Swallowing Pride

I am done with sophomore year of college!!

I guess you could say I’m halfway done with undergrad, but I guess I have one more year of undergrad + 3 more years of grad school…so…still lots of school left.

Needless to say, these past two weeks have been crazy with exams and things, so I haven’t been talking to you guys as much. I apologize! Let’s catch up.

Last Saturday, our dear friend Emma came to visit from Ohio, so we went to breakfast at Tatte!

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I ordered the shakshuka because I’ve always wanted to try shakshuka (from any restaurant), but for whatever reason, I never had the opportunity/the restaurant didn’t have it that day. THIS WAS THE DAY and what a glorious day it was! Shakshuka is a North African spiced tomato-based dish with poached eggs (and feta in this case). Toasted challah on the side. UGH.

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Luckily for Rachel and me, Tatte was on the food bucket list for their nut boxes, which are essentially pecan pies except 100x more fun and delicious. Rachel and I shared their mixed nut box.

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shortbread cookie box with mixed nuts and caramel goo (unofficial term) holding it all together

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Shakira should sing about shakshuka

I miss Emma already!

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Then I went to work and made this one pan chicken that I wish I could eat myself. I always do this to myself— make tantalizing food that I can’t eat.

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I keep forgetting that it’s May. What is this weather!?

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At least we students don’t feel as tortured being inside as we study.

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Lots of good food has been fueling me through the week. A good balance of nutrients + soul food.

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There are no photos of the soul food because sometimes you just need a moment with your warm cookies.

Some solid moves and grooves kept me and my friends sane this finals week. A few friends joined me for a yoga study break on Monday!

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My body has been pretty tired from lack of sleep, being sick, stress, etc., so workouts have been pretty low key. But my favorite workout this week was on Wednesday:

  • lots of lat pulldowns + single arm dumbbell press
  • 20-18-16-14-12-10-8-6-4-2 cals on rower // 12 overhead kettlebell swings + 5 burpees over rower

MY LUNGS.

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Last night I took my family out to dinner since my parents just arrived for my brother’s graduation! (And since I had a lot of dining points to use 🙂 ).

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And last but not least, Five Minute Friday! We’re talking about swallowing pride and letting go of control. (p.s. that is a regular jacket hood, not a nun habit)

Have a fantastic weekend, friends! I can’t wait to talk with you guys more since school is over 🙂

So tell me:

Do you struggle with asking others for help/letting go of control?

Have you ever tried shakshuka?

What is your favorite way you moved this week?

What are you doing this weekend?

Pray, Eat, Move, Groove, Nap, Repeat

When this happens during spring…

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…you think…

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…so when this finally becomes real…

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…you GET THE HECK OUTSIDE.

I’m typing this on Monday night, but it feels like a Sunday because we had an extra day off for the Boston Marathon! But the weekend fun definitely kicked off on Friday…

Friday

Class, lunch, bible study…

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tuna salad, artichokes, lettuce, tomato, roasted vegetables, and pesto in a whole wheat wrap

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corn muffin 🙂

…and some moves and grooves outside with mah girl Christina from @foodietunes and Fit University! We warmed up and started with a 12 minute HIIT workout. 3 rounds of 30 sec work, 10 sec rest:

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12 minutes can take it out of ya

Then we messed around with some yoga-y moves and partner pistol squats!

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She also convinced me to have force-fed me a couple bites of her Zinneken’s waffle with chocolate, cookie butter, and whipped cream. Life isn’t fair sometimes.

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It was decadent and amazing

Then I cleaned myself up for dinner with my friend Zoe, followed by my roommate’s fashion show that night!

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She is FIRE. Always so cool to see her rock that runway (← sounds like an ad for a new Target teen clothing line).
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I have never felt more awkward posing for a photo than in this moment. I have a lot to learn from Jordan in terms of effortlessness:

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via Mint Julep Facebook

Saturday

I went to bed way too late for getting up at 6:30 on Saturday. I joined some friends for BU’s Global Day of Service for the morning and early afternoon. We went to the houses of senior citizens to help them with yard work. It was a lovely day to be outside, and we all enjoyed meeting new people, serving, and reflecting on the day!

Afterwards, Rachel and I proceeded to shower and take long, delicious naps. I set my alarm for a 45 minute nap, but 90 minutes later I woke up not knowing anything.

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“5:45…am? Wait no, it’s sunny outside.”

After grasping a sense of reality, I did some random things before going to dinner with my friend Mai. We had some beautiful convo ♥︎

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that quinoa-stuffed tomato was fantastic

I spent the night in my room by my lonesome, so I watched this Crossfit “Behind the Scenes” movie on Youtube, practiced handstands, did this ab workout, did laundry, and worked on a paper. I really enjoyed the “me time” to recharge (extravert who is secretly an introvert?).

Sunday

Up and at ’em early-ish again for a fabulous girls’ brunch at Sarah’s (one of the Catholic Center missionaries) house!

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THIS WOMAN. Not only a radiant and inspirational woman of God, but a killer chef. She made us a crockpot egg/sausage/bacon/hasbrown casserole, blueberry cream cheese french toast casserole, and roasted potatoes. Whaaaaaaaat. Thank you so much, Sarah! ♥︎

‘Twas a beautiful day again, so a few of us took the 25 minute walk back to campus.

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We went to Mass and lunch before doing some work (TBH, I just folded my laundry from Saturday night and took a 20 minute nap). Then I went on a short run with Zoe before we met up with  Joe for the 1000 REP WORKOUT (← caps for dramatic effect).

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I’d been asking my friends to work out with me for a while now, so I was stoked that they joined me for some moves and grooves outdoors. They made it a fun and funny workout 🙂

Refueled with milkshakes (milk = protein, so essentially protein shakes).

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The rest of my evening consisted of Back Bay Mobile Soup Kitchen, dinner, a much needed shower, and homework.

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the finish line the day before the race!

Marathon Monday!

Since Boston University is in the heart of Boston (unlike the arch nemesis, Boston College) and the marathon course runs right through campus, we get a day off of school! Some of my best girl friends and I started the holiday with a lovely pancake breakfast in the morning. Rachel was in charge of pancakes, I sautéed the bananas, and Zoe cooked the eggs. Dream team.

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I loved Rachel’s impressionist pancakes.

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one with almond butter, one with peanut butter (and then another with blueberry syrup…and another with more almond butter) + glass o’ milk!

Then we hung out before heading to the Mile 25 marker of the marathon course!

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Atsede Baysa— first place woman!

I can’t get over how fast and resilient these people are. Holy cow.

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I screamed a lot again this year, but not as much as last year. Sparing my vocal cords was a smart decision. But my favorite things to yell at the runners are:

  • “YEAHHHHHH!!!”
  • “COME ON!”
  • “YOU’RE ALMOST THERE!”
  • “YOU GOT THIS.”
  • “DIG DEEEEEEEP!”
  • “KILLIN’ IT!”
  • “KEEP IT UP!”
  • “YEAH CANADA!!!”

My friends reprimanded me for that last one.

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We also got to see one of our friends running in the marathon (he finished in 3:00:05!!!), which was so awesome.

After a couple hours of cheering, I went to eat lunch and take a nap. I felt like I could nap for an eternity, but I got myself up after an hour and went to do some errands, move and groove a little bit outside, and do some work before having dinner with my brother and typing this up.

TL; DR — pray, eat, move, groove, nap, repeat.

Hope you all have a marvelous week! Cheer someone on (including yourself).

So tell me:

Did you get to go outside this weekend?

Have you ever spectated a big race? Are you a big cheerer?

Two things you did this weekend!

How do you feel about naps?