Peace out 20s!

Well... I'm here. It's the very last day of my 20s. (Annnnnnnd my 300th post!!)

The.last.day.of.my.20s.

It's amazing how much one changes in their 20s. People say that all the time, ya know?! But, I was still such a baby at 19 turning 20. I mean... I thought I knew about life, of course. Most college kids do.

But, man. How much I have grown up.

At moments, my 20s FLEW! At other times, I feel like they have been sooooo slooooooow.

I have done things that people only dream about. And, I haven't done things that I have only dreamed about. They have been so full. So amazing. So blessed. They have also been hard. Scary. Frustrating. Sad. Will you join me as I take a little look back at my crazy 20s?!

I had the very best time in college- RA, alternative spring break, working hard.

Went to a bar for the first time.

I finally found the missing piece to my life that I didn't know was missing- Jesus.

I witnessed my momma fall in love.

My brother got married.

I graduated college.

I went on a pilgrimage in France.

I became a registered nurse.

I lost my beloved Rosie (my wonderful dog I grew up with).

Figured out how to make my faith my own.

I lived with a whole bunch of wonderful ladies.

Bought my very first bed!

Figured out how to pay my own bills.

I worked at one of the top pediatric hospitals in the world.
(which brought with it so many amazing opportunities!)

Entered the world of online dating.

Went on many good (some bad!) dates.

I went on mission trips.

My best friends got married.

My best friends had adorable babies that I could love.

I became an Auntie.

I  lived and served in Honduras.

I became a godmother.

I went on a pilgrimage to Italy, and had an audience with the pope.

I looked for and started new jobs.

I went to Spain.

I traveled soooo much, really.

I lived by the beach... in FLORIDA.

I witnessed my dad quite smoking! :)

I prayed a lot. I laughed a lot. I cried a lot. I hugged a lot.
I lived my life.

But in between all of those awesome and amazing "big" things, my 20s were full of moments with the people that I love(d). The visits to their homes. The coffee dates. The intense conversations. The belly laughing. The crying. The hurt. The rejoicing. The fun. The adventures. The praying. The love.

I am so blessed. There is no other way to describe it. So very blessed.

With that... I will say, SEE YA LATER 20s!
It was great ride, but I am ready to see what my 30s will bring!



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NAS: Selfies




Do you support the selfie trend? Do you think it promotes self absorption, vanity and narcissism? Is there a way to incorporate selfies into the Church's teachings of modesty, authentic beauty, humility?Thanks to Hannah!


Ohhhhh selfies. When I was in college... they were called self-portraits. They were used when you wanted to get a bunch of people in a pic without missing anyone. Often, you cut people out. Only got their mouths. Or were reeeeeally zoomed into an eye. :) But, that was part of the fun! You couldn't see what you were doing... so, it didn't really matter how ridiculous you looked! 

Now. Things have definitely changed. The technology has changed (hello front facing camera on my phone!). We seem to always be ready to be in a selfie. You take ONE MILLION pics until you find thee perfect one to tweet or 'gram or snapchat (if that's your thing- I still don't get it). You take moments out of an IRL moment to perfect your selfie.

Not everyone, of course. But, a lot of people. And, I am guilty of it.

I love pictures. I always have, always will. I love capturing the people/things I love and looking back on those moments. And, I do enjoy selfies. I do. 

There is a tendency to allow selfies to be just that - all about yourself. To prove to the world that this generation is a wee bit more self-absorbed and narcissistic than others (although I do think this is perspective- previous generations it seems, always think that the new/current kids are selfish). 

It's all about the intention and purpose of your selfie, right? There are many, many people who post selfies on social media solely for the purpose of getting the most "likes" or "retweets" or comments or whatever. They will do anything with their pic to get some attention. 

And, well... that is unfortunate. They seek attention (and often get it) because they are seeking something more, ultimately.  If you are relying on likes and comments to define your worth, you've got some other things going on. That attention is not going to be fulfilling in the long term. It's immediately gratifying, yes, but it's also temporary. Once that runs out... then what? How do you measure your worth?

You are worthy just for the fact of being YOU. Plain and simple. That's a whole other post for another time. :)

So, can you post a selfie without the purpose of the attention?! Obviously. I think many of us do that, too. If you look on my Insta feed... you will find many, many selfies. Like I said... I enjoy them. :) I don't know... I post them for me, really. They are moments I want to remember. They are moments that mean something to me. 

I think if our purpose of posting selfies is to bring beauty, joy and Truth to others, then we can do an awesome job of evangelizing. There is such great opportunity to share our daily lives with others in a way that is relatable. Understandable. Funny. - - if we are honest in our selfies, of course. As with all social media, we share the pics and moments that we want people to see. That make our lives look a certain way. Because, no one wants to share the hard. Nor should we have to.

But, when we can share in the authentic moments of life... we have a greater chance of connecting with others. We have a chance to bring real beauty to the world. Amongst the hard things. Amongst the frustrating. In ways that will call us to be humble. The more humility we seek, I'd like to think more room will be made to love better, and deeper.

Plus, Papa Francesco loves him some selfies. So, we can have fun with them, too, right?! ;)

Tell us what you think! And link up over at Morgan's!


NEXT WEEK! 
Qualities in our Husbands
What are the qualities and characteristics that you are looking for in your future husband? We have talked about what we don't want, but it's good to have an idea of those things that are important to us. Discerning religious life? This applies to communities, as well!

2/10: Loneliness
We all have times when we feel alone. What are ways that you combat loneliness? Pray? Join a group? How can we encourage each other to stay positive? 
Thanks to Laura P!


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An Oil Cleansing Method Update




I am here to do a little update on my Oil Cleansing Method (OCM) experience, using coconut oil. Surprisingly, my original post has been the most viewed post since I hit publish way back in June! If you randomly found my blog by searching about OCM, WELCOME! I am so happy to have you. I hope it has helped a little bit in your search of finding something that works for your skin. :)

If you haven't read that post in a while... go ahead and refresh your memory. Enjoy!

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Welcome back! :)

So, this is where we left it:


By June... I was feeling pretty good with how my skin was reacting to the OCM and my Clarisonic. Especially after writing that post, man! I was so happy to see the results, honestly. It felt good to actually see what my face looked like, instead of what I thought my face looked like in my head. You know how you always see your imperfections worse than the world around you... that was me.

July and August, I continued... and then I was given a new product to try. And, let's just say, that didn't do too much. I didn't have a horrible reaction or anything, but for the amount of time it took each day to use it and to not see any great results wasn't worth it for me. Oh well!

I am not sure what I did after that, but I got a little lax about the OCM. And, well, my face suffered for it. Finally in October, I got serious again.



Same routine as before: "Wash" with coconut oil, wipe off with warm wash cloth, use Clarisonic and end with a little Witch Hazel.

And this is where I am today!

I think my face may be BETTER now than back in June, even with the break thrown in there (and a stressful December!). :) :)

I still have ways to go, but I am happy with what I am seeing! I know it will never, ever be the "pill perfect," but I am thrilled to have something actually... working.

There is still so much scarring. I am not sure what to do about that. If you out there who read this and have any suggestions, please let me know! Anything!




Other Random Things:

  • Organic, unrefined, expeller pressed coconut oil seems to work the best for my skin.
  • Switch out your wash clothes regularly (I notice a difference in my skin if I haven't changed to new clothes at the 2 week mark)
  • As a commenter pointed out, try not to stick your dirty hands in the jar of oil. The bacteria will stay there and then you'll be spreading that around your face. Mmmm! Wash your hands, use a clean spoon, or keep a smaller amount in a little tupperware (which is what I do!).
  • I use my Clarisonic Mia 2 once a day, which is at night.
  • No really, change the brush head about every 3 months!
  • OCM + the Clarisonic can actually be REALLY drying (especially in the colder, dryer parts of the country). I used my Clarisonic every other day when I was in DC and even used a moisturizer.
  • I will mix part of my moisturizer (BareEsentuals) with some oil. The oil alone doesn't always help when my skin is dry (which is rarely, down here in FL)
  • Change out your pillow cases regularly, too. I try (don't always get to it) clean them weekly.


 Annnnnd, that's what I've got. I hope this has been a useful update for you. Let me know if you have any other questions! Or, have you done/are doing OCM?! I would love to hear about it!

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NAS: All the Childrens


Do you have children in your life? What is your relationship with them like? Do you have godchildren, and how do you form a relationship with them? Does having children in (or not in) your day-to-day life make you feel happy, wistful, or wary (of having your own someday)? 
Thanks to Lindsay!



I mean... do you read this blog?! HA! I feel like all I ever do is talk about the adorable kids that I am blessed to have in my life. :)

I have always, always loved kids. From the time I was little, I remember always wanting to dote on and take care of any children that were younger than me. I never had any younger siblings of my own, so perhaps it was my way of experiencing that joy, just a little bit.

Without knowing it, I was taking my spiritual motherhood role very seriously!

I babysat. I coached swim team. I worked in the kidscare at multiple local gyms. I became a pediatric nurse. I worked in a children's hospital. I taught CCD. I went to serve at an orphanage in Honduras. I am a school nurse now.

To say that children are my life is.... an understatement. I can't imagine ever working with kids in some way for the rest of my life. I LOVE KIDS. And there is nothing else about it. :)

And then, I had the honor of becoming an Auntie (and again) and a Godmother. I didn't think I could love kids as much as I love those girls. I joke all the time (but I am kiiiiind of worried) that I will not love my own children as much. :) I love them in a way that I didn't think was possible. And I know that, god-willing, I will indeed love my own babes as much, probably more. But, it's a love that's hard to fathom!

Kind of like God's love for us, really.

But, I digress.

I know that I am sooooo fortunate and blessed to live really close to my goddaughter, Zuzu. I was there the day after she was born, and have pretty much seen her every single day of her little life so far. This is such a blessing. So, it's easy to cultivate this relationship, ya know? I try not to take it for granted. I soak it up as much as I can (which isn't hard!) and bring the joy of the faith to her. It's super helpful that her parents are amazing at this, already. But, I love love LOVE being able to talk about God and church and Mary and the Saints with her, too. It's a part of our lives. And her little 2 year old self gets it. Sometimes more than us grown ups. :)


As far as my nieces... we don't live close. :( We Facetime. I get updates from my bro or SIL. And we take a TON of pics when we are together. I do my best to tell the girls that I am thinking about them and that I love them. But, it's hard when we don't live close and there is a time difference. But, we make it work. I am honored to be their Auntie. I hope I can show them, as well, how amazing God and His love is, too.

I am also so lucky that my friends have cute kids, too!! :) They let me dote on them and be silly and take lots of pics. Because, that's what I do!

Overall, I am just the luckiest girl. I am so blessed with so many kids that I LOVE. And then the kids that I am called to love everyday at work. I have learned so much about children, their minds, their hearts and how amazing each and every one of them are. There isn't a day that goes by that I am not smiling because of some kid.

Not one.

And for that, I will be forever grateful.  Do I hope that I get to experience the joy of my own children?! Absolutely. But, for right now.. at this time in my life, I am called to mother in this way. To the kids in my life. And, it's ok. I am happy with that.

Do you have kiddos in your life?! Tell us about it and linkup below!!


NEXT WEEK
Selfies
Do you support the selfie trend? Do you think it promotes self absorption, vanity and narcissism? Is there a way to incorporate selfies into the Church's teachings of modesty, authentic beauty, humility?Thanks to Hannah!

2/3: Qualities in our Husbands
What are the qualities and characteristics that you are looking for in your future husband? We have talked about what we don't want, but it's good to have an idea of those things that are important to us. Discerning religious life? This applies to communities, as well!

2/10: Loneliness
We all have times when we feel alone. What are ways that you combat loneliness? Pray? Join a group? How can we encourage each other to stay positive? 
Thanks to Laura P!


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NAS: 2015




How are we going to make 2015 different than last year? What goals are you planning/making to be more YOU this year? These goals can be personal growth, spiritual life, physical/health, or even your love life! Maybe you don't have concrete ones yet, but it helps to talk them out and get motivated!








I've chatted a bit about my plans already, and I have also realized that I like to make large, lofty goals for myself.  Last year.... what the heck was I thinking?!  Not to say that those things are unattainable for me, but I didn't really have a starting point to transition from to get to the end goal.

We were chatting about resolutions at my young adult group last week, where we talked about this article, and it was interesting to hear everyone's perspectives. Most people were in agreement (and I'm pretty sure that research has shown) that to make good habits, one has to take baby steps.  Create tiny goals and once you have established that as a habit, take the next step.

Makes sense, right?!  I just need to sit down and do it.

So, for right now... that's my mini goal: to set tiny goals for my larger goals. What are my larger goals? HA... that is still a very good question. The first one that comes to mind is a half-marathon. I haven't run in probably a year. A YEAR. And there are days that I miss it so badly. Right now, it seems SO far-fetched. My tiny goal needs to be something like: put the shoes back on and start. Who the heck cares if you can't get to the traffic light, or you walk. Just go.

I am still working on it though. But, when 2015 ends, I want to look back on this year and... smile. I want to look back and know that I have attempted to do things that will help me, and ultimately bring His light to everyone.

I want to do more service projects.
I want to give more hugs to all the people that I love.
I want to soak up the good, to be ready for the bad/frustrating (b/c I'm just being real).
I want to rely on the saints as friends (hey St. Jerome!).

I want all of these things... and I know that I can do it. I just need to not give up. I don't do something? I forget? I have a horrible day and think that MY LIFE IS THE WORST AND OH MY GOSH THE DRAMA? It's ok. I am not a failure. I can start again. God will provide me the grace to get back on the horse, I just have to be looking for it.

At the end of 2013/beginning of 2014 I was in such a low place. I started the year off a little shaky, but God has blessed me with an amazing therapist (I revealed that already right?!), beautiful moments, an awesome community, and reminded me what amazing people I have in my life. Today, right now... I am in a MUCH better place. What I hope most for 2015, is to continue to rise above all of that crap and focus on all the other things that I have talked about. :) Please pray for me.

As I am always praying for you.

What is 2015 looking like for you?! Link up over at Morgan's!


NEXT WEEK!
Children and Babes
Do you have children in your life? What is your relationship with them like? Do you have godchildren, and how do you form a relationship with them? Does having children in (or not in) your day-to-day life make you feel happy, wistful, or wary (of having your own someday)? 
Thanks to Lindsay!

1/27: Selfies
Do you support the selfie trend? Do you think it promotes self absorption, vanity and narcissism? Is there a way to incorporate selfies into the Church's teachings of modesty, authentic beauty, humility? Thanks to Hannah!

2/3: Qualities in our Husbands
What are the qualities and characteristics that you are looking for in your future husband? We have talked about what we don't want, but it's good to have an idea of those things that are important to us. Discerning religious life? This applies to communities, as well!

2/10: Loneliness
We all have times when we feel alone. What are ways that you combat loneliness? Pray? Join a group? How can we encourage each other to stay positive? 
Thanks to Laura P!


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