Hippy Leeber Dee

Behind the major holidays (Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, etc.), I think that Labor Day weekend is one my favorite times of the year.  Labor Day weekend marks the start of college football, the beginning of fall and another year that’s been added to my roommate Lauren’s life. 🙂

This past Labor Day weekend did not disappoint.  Clemson played Auburn at the Georgia Dome in ATL, so many of my friends from school came in town for a reunion! I think the weekend is best described in pictures:

Most of the girls at the Buckhead Pub Crawl

Drew won the dance contest, which surprised no one. King Tut style.

We tailgated at the Georgia Dome. Love that orange.

Margy (my roommate from USC) came!

Sister, sister.

Labor Day weekend also happened to be Dragon Con weekend in ATL. We had the privilege of meeting Sasquatch himself.

The week after Labor Day was pretty busy for me.  Lauren turned the big 2-4 and we celebrated with the traditional roommate dinner at Maggiano’s. YUM. I also started on a new soccer team full of new faces.  The team is really talented and I think that I’m going to like playing with them.

Beautiful Birthday Girl!

And one of the most exciting things about last week: I’m going to be a bridesmaid in Kristin’s wedding! Kristin was my college roommate at Clemson for 3 years and she’s marrying her boyfriend of 6 years!  Most of my favorite memories of parties, football games, spring breaks and random trips include Kristin.  I’m so excited and honored that she’s invited me to stand next to her on her big day.  I received a card on late Tuesday afternoon with a picture of a wine bottle that asked, “Madison, help me tie the knot, will you be my bridesmaid?”  I immediately called Kristin after work and screamed into the phone, “OF COURSE!!”  I can’t wait for the wedding festivities to begin. I’ll be documenting them all right here. 🙂

Such a cute idea.

Happy Mother’s Day, Pattycakes!

My mom has taught me many lessons throughout my 23 short years, but there’s one in particular that rings true in almost every situation in which I’m placed.  A story that exemplifies this lesson happened about 6 years ago before I started my freshman year at Clemson University.  I was so excited to head to orientation to meet my future classmates, visit the campus and schedule classes.  My mom and I made it through the first day with no glitches- everything was perfect. I spent the night in the dorms and my mom headed back to Greenville with the intent to head back to Clemson in the morning to finish walking through orientation with me.

The next morning, my mom picked me up from the dorms and asked if I was hungry. Of COURSE I was! We were forced to eat in the dining hall and I hadn’t gotten used to the cafeteria food, yet- so I didn’t touch it.  We decided to grab bagels at Einsten’s in the Hendrix center around 10 a.m.  As we were sitting down, it seemed as though everyone was scurrying around the campus with a look of purpose on their faces. I asked my mom where she thought they were going and she said, “Pshh they’re probably just going to see the dorms and the dining hall, and you’ve already seen them so we’re fine to just stay here.” My response? “You’re right! Ok.”

My mom suggested that we look through the course catalog and pick out my classes for my Communication Studies classes.  We looked at the general education requirements, electives, and major-specific classes and planned out my first semester as a Clemson Tiger. I was super excited.  When my time came to register for classes in a building across campus that afternoon, my mom and I headed that way with confidence and determination.

Well… when I walked into the room by myself to register for classes, all hell broke loose. I had no idea what I was doing and all of the classes that I thought I needed were no longer open.  When a volunteer came over to help me, she asked how my advising meeting had gone that morning at 10 a.m. “What advising meeting?” I asked.  “Oh my gosh did you skip your meeting today? Sorry I can’t help you,” said the volunteer as she walked away.

We had completely overlooked the advising meeting that apparently the rest of the orientation class had participated in while my mom and I munched our plain bagels with cream cheese.  I finally figured out my classes with the help of another volunteer, but it was probably one of the times that I’ve been most stressed in my life.

But guess what? I don’t regret skipping my advising meeting.  There’s no way in this world that I would give up the hour and a half that I spent with my mom talking about classes, my future and laughing about random things.

Lesson learned from my mom?

Cherish the time that you get to spend with the ones that you love because it beats everything.       

I’m so lucky to have my mom. She’s the first person that I want to call when I’ve had an exceptionally good day or a really bad day. She’s the person that I go to for advice on anything and everything. She’s the person who I know will share smiles, tears and laughs with me at any moment. I see a lot of my mom in myself and I love it.

Happy Mother’s Day, Ma!

My Family

Baby Girl Is Graduating!

As I sit in Tampa wide-awake when I should be getting rest for my early media briefing tomorrow morning, I can’t help but think about how excited I am to see my baby sister, Merrick, graduate from Clemson University on Friday.

My sister is my best friend. We understand each other on a level that no one else possibly can. Our phone and text conversations would seem as if they’re in code for anyone else listening or reading them. It was a big adjustment for both of us to part ways when I moved to Atlanta after spending almost every waking moment together for our overlapping two years at Clemson. But, we’ve made the best of it with in-person visits, Facetime sessions, 5+ phone calls a day and 15+ texts a day. As Merr embarks upon this next chapter in her life, it will again be a big adjustment, but I’m confident that our relationship will grow even stronger (and the text message correspondence will most likely increase).

On Friday, our family will be attending Merrick’s graduation ceremony at the beautiful Littlejohn Coliseum and Robert and Sam will join us for dinner afterwards at a nice restaurant in Clemson.  Then… it’s celebration time at a Clemson staple, The Esso.

Merrick’s worked so hard over the past four years to make good grades, learn through internships and apply to top medical universities to reach her final goal of getting into the Medical University of South Carolina.  MUSC is in Charleston, S.C. and Merr will be heading down there for good on Sunday.  She’ll be living with her best friend/next-door neighbor/fellow Bramblewood Monkey, Ansley in a cute apartment within walking distance of MUSC.

At MUSC, Merr will be studying physical therapy and will ultimately end up with a doctorate degree after three years of schooling and rotations combined. It’s going to be weird to hear people refer to her as Doc, but I’m sure I’ll get used to it quickly.

Words can’t express how happy and proud I am of my sister. She is the smartest, most put-together, beautiful young woman thatI know and I know she’ll rock it at MUSC. I can’t wait to visit her. Watch out Chucktown, Little Blondie is going to take over!

Madison and Merrick

Going Home.

As I sit with four of my best friends in the freezing cold waiting in line for basketball tickets, my fingers and toes feel as though they could fall off at any moment.  The difference between how I feel right now and how homeless people feel every night in this weather is that in about 4 hours, when the next shift comes, I will be able to go home.  My home will be warmly heated, my bed will have multiple blankets to warm my tootsies, and I will have hot apple cider to sooth my throat.  While I’m waiting in the cold because of choice, I doubt any homeless person chooses to sleep in the cold on purpose.

I’m going to write more about my thoughts on our class discussion today, but my fingers are locking up.