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Saturday, October 25, 2014

A Southern Homecoming

Unbeknownst to me, last week was homecoming down here.

It was also homecoming back in Indiana, which made the weekend slightly unbearable. But the gorgeous weather certainly made it better.

We realized Friday evening that it was homecoming, so I suppose it was nice that some of us had plans to tailgate early in the morning, no?

The weekend was overall fantastic. And surprisingly, the actual homecoming game was not remotely the highlight of it. I spent most of the weekend out and about in the community giving back in some of my favorite ways.

Friday evening my classmates and I cooked dinner at the Ronald Mcdonald House. 

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the RMH, it is temporary housing for families of children in the hospital. There's one near pretty much every major children's hospital. It is an amazing resource for families going through a hard time. If you're curious about it, you can read more here.

After class, we booked it to the grocery store to gather the goods, then high-tailed it over to one of the cutest houses I've seen since arriving in South Carolina.

The other RMHs I've worked at have all had a very hotel-esque vibe. Rather cold, unfeeling in the common areas and generally somewhat uninviting. This house felt like home right away. From the welcoming families and staff waiting at the door to help us with our groceries to the rocking chairs on the porch- it was very clear that this was a home, no matter how temporary.

We made tacos. Nothing too fancy, something very easy to make in bulk. 

They were delicious. We stayed to eat with some of the family members who were staying there, listening to their stories. Honestly the strength some humans have is incredible.

It was a wonderful start to a weekend that I used to associate with only crazy parties and hangovers. I've been so busy with studying and work that I forgot how good it feels to get out into the community, give back, and get to know people who you wouldn't normally have the opportunity to spend time with. It made South Carolina feel just a bit more like home. 

Speaking of home, the next day was homecoming. Instead of going home and going to bed like good girls, the roomie and I, along with another classmate, stayed up way too late enjoying the Harry Potter marathon on ABC Family. (Best. week. ever. Just sayin'.) And still managed to wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed to head out for some mimosas before the tailgate.

The weather was absolutely gorgeous, which I may have gloated about to my friends back home. I never thought I'd be able to run around in a dress in the middle of October. I love it though! Gave me another opportunity to don one of my lbds from Forever 21, along with a garnet scarf I picked up from one of the adorable boutiques down here.

After spending ample time wandering the fields o' tailgate soaking up the sun and people, we trudged back home where I decided the weather was far too nice to stay inside. Also, I was far too sleepy to get any work done. So, what else is a girl supposed to do except put it in park at the pool and take a cat nap? Exactly.

I never thought I'd be able to say I go to the pool (and don't get hypothermia) in October. I know I sound like a broken record, but the weather down here is just impeccable. 

After spending a bit too long in the sun (fear not, my rosy face was tan by morning), I returned home to catch the end of Harry Potter week. Priorities, am I right?

The rest the evening was tragically lazy for a Saturday night, but I was up bright and early Sunday for some more outdoor enjoyment and volunteering at the 15th Annual Columbia Buddy Walk. Honestly one of the best days I've had since moving down here. 

I fear I've talked too long though, so I will share more about the buddy walk later. 

How is your homecoming season going? What is your favorite way to celebrate?

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