a whirlwind weekend!

Things in the O'Steen family never seem to happen easily as far as weddings go... When I got married three years ago, I had six bridesmaids in six different states, my parents were living in FL, I was living in MD, Brian was in IL, and the wedding was in NC (where no one lived). The planning process was a bit tricky and complicated, but we made it work. We always knew Natalie's wedding would be easier because it would be local.. or so we thought. Now that my parents are in Los Angeles for three years, my mom is planning yet another long distance wedding! Who knew... But, we will make the most of it! 

I went down to FL with my mom this past weekend to help with some of the planning... My mom flew to Atlanta on Thursday evening and we drove that night to Natalie's house in Gainesville together. The next morning, we drove to St. Augustine for a day of wedding appointments! It was a full day and much was accomplished! 

Mom is using the same wedding notebook she used for my wedding. Did I mention that there will be four O'Steen weddings in three years? 
First stop: St. Francis Officer's Club Barracks. This is where the reception will be right in the heart of downtown St. Augustine. We met with the wedding coordinator and discussed ideas for the layout. 
Next stop: The Oldest House Garden, which just so happens to be across the street from the reception site! Guests can simply walk across the street to the reception after the ceremony. Look how beautiful this place is! Dan and Natalie will be married under this huge tree!
After that, we headed over to The Bistro for a food tasting! We were hungry when we got there and completely stuffed when we left. While meeting with the caterer (who we love!), we tasted stuffed mushrooms, shrimp and grits, chicken marsala, a yummy salad, tomato basil pie, and an olive and goat cheese crisp. DELICIOUS. Let me just say, the food at this wedding id going to be tasty. 
A cake tasting followed the food tasting. We were so full, but there's always room for dessert! We headed over to Sweet Weddings to eat cake! Of course this was my favorite part!

Loved this presentation! Our favorite fillings were key lime, coconut, raspberry, chocolate mousse, dulce de leche, and guava. Really, they were all pretty good!

And then we headed over to St. Augustine Paper Company to choose invitations. Natalie decided on the most adorable invites. And we fell in love with Shelly, the designer. 
After deciding on invitations, we drove over to the rental company to discuss the rentals of the tent, china, and linens. Then we grabbed a quick coffee and headed to my parents' house in Ormond Beach... stopping at the J.Crew outlet of course! 

The next day we headed to the BEACH for some much needed down time. It was the perfect weather, and the clouds were amazing! 

Momkept talking about how California beaches just aren't the same as Florida beaches...
That afternoon we went back to the house to see Silas! Mom bought him a pumpkin, and he painted a face on it.
 He placed it inside his tent to dry while we played in the pool.
While drying off, Silas and "Manna" sang songs together.. Here they are singing some alligator song. :)

After John and Tiffany left with Silas, Mom, Dad, Natalie and I headed back to the beach. We just couldn't get enough. A lovely way to end the weekend!

Scott's Antique Market

Ever since we moved to Atlanta three years ago I have wanted to go to Scott's Antique Market. It is only open once a month, and we seem to be out of town or busy the weekends that it has been open . This weekend, we had no plans, so my friend Kristin and I ventured down 285 to see what it was all about. I was SO excited about going that I dreamed about it the night before. I was searching for a coffee table and possibly an end table... After seeing the treasures in this first booth, I knew I had come to the right place. 
The only problem was the prices... Everything was so expensive. The white chair in the right corner of the picture was $1200. We ventured inside to the rest of the 3300 booths hoping to find a bargain.

I am slightly obsessed with the coffee table in this picture. I really love metal and wood together, and even though this one doesn't have wood, I love it. I like the bottom shelf and the crossed metal beams. I also think a glass coffee table can open up a room and make a space feel larger. This table is from Croft House and is $695.. too expensive.  I was hoping to find something similar in my price range at Scott's...
I like this one a lot. It was different than my dream table, but had similar lines and the wood and metal combination. No bottom shelf, and I wasn't so sure about the wheels, but I really liked it. The seller said "I can give it to you for $425." Still, too expensive!
We kept walking and saw a trend.. Beautiful furniture with large price tags. I liked this little end table, but not enough to buy it.. 
I liked this one too, and it was only $75, but I don't want another painted piece of furniture in our living room until we get a new coffee table. 
Even though I was unsuccessful finding what I was looking for, I'm glad we went! Maybe my expectations were a little too high... But now I know what Scott's Antique Market is all about! I did buy two sea fans for $8. Toby thought they were toys and kept barking at them.
Fall is finally in the air! We woke up this morning to temps in the high 50's.. Perfect running weather!! 

marathon training

Last night, Brian and I went to our local running store and got fitted for new running shoes. We are training for a MARATHON!! I say "we" but I really mean "I". Brian has been running with me for the past six or seven weeks, and it's been so great to have a running buddy. I'm not sure how much longer he will continue following my training program, but I'll enjoy it while it lasts! 

After I ran the half in March, I swore I would never run a full. The thought of running another 13 miles at the end was extremely overwhelming and daunting. I loved the half marathon and would totally do another one...

Which leads me to an email from my friends Christen and Ginna. One day in July, I got an email from Christen asking Ginna and I if we wanted to run a marathon with her. When I saw Ginna's quick response of "yes", I also agreed, thinking it was a half marathon. After Ginna ran her half, I remember her saying that she would never do another one and would NEVER run a full. So in my mind, I was agreeing to a half. It wasn't until I was hanging out with Christen at the Highland Games that I realized I had agreed to a full. It took me several days to accept the fact that I could train and safely run 26.2 miles. Ginna found this 25 week training program that seems pretty doable.. At least  it has been so far. My favorite part about it is that the runs during the work week are not by miles, but by time.

Last week, we all signed up for the Charleston Marathon on January 19th, 2013. It sounds like a pretty flat course, and since it's in Charleston, we will be surrounded by pretty scenery. Training will be the hardest part. The Saturday after Christmas, I have to run 20-22 miles. Ouch! I will just keep taking it one day at a time. My goal is to run smart and finish the race without any injuries!

the end of summer

I love Labor Day weekend. School has been back in session for a month, and we already need a break! I am very thankful for three days off... It's also exciting because fall is coming. I am so excited about cooler weather soon! 

Natalie and Dan came to visit for the long weekend... Natalie drove up from FL, and Dan flew down from VA. It was the first time we had seen them together since they got engaged in May! When Natalie arrived on Friday afternoon, we went to work on baking this incredible cheesecake. I'm not even a huge cheesecake fan, but this was amazing. We celebrated Dan's birthday a few weeks early... Really, we just wanted an excuse to bake. :)

Later that evening, all of us (Toby included) loaded into Brian's car to go pick up Dan from the airport. On our way home, we stopped for a late night snack at The Varsity. Even though we've lived in Atlanta for three years, we had never been before! It was fun, and now we can say we've done it. 

So I'm in week six of a 25 week marathon training program. I don't know if I've mentioned it on here or not, but in January, I'm running a FULL marathon in Charleston with a couple of my good friends. More on that later... So this Saturday's run was 6 miles. I was so excited to have everyone run with me! It was quite hot and humid, but we ran on a shady trail which made it more bearable. Poor Toby collapsed at the end. Did I mention I'm ready for cooler weather?
One thing we've been wanting to do is go to the Food Truck Park. So that's what we did on Saturday for lunch. It was really fun!

Next, we hit the mall so Nat and Dan could register for wedding gifts. Since they're long distance right now, they don't have many opportunities to do this. Lucky for them, Atlanta has practically every store imaginable.

On Sunday, they registered at three more stores and were completely drained and exhausted. I remember this feeling well. 
So we headed for a double date at the drive in movie theater! I have memories of going with my parents as a kid.. This was Dan's first time! We saw a double feature and got home way too late, but it was so fun!

On Monday morning, we slept in, went for another run, and ate pumpkin waffles. Then we spent the afternoon at Piedmont Park. I love this place! We took Toby to the dog park and then played bocce ball until it was time to say goodbye.

What a fun long weekend! I didn't want it to end! Thanks for coming to visit Dan and Nat!