wedding shower preparations & Gate River Run 15K

O'Steens never do things the easy way.. or so it seems... Take for instance, my wedding. I lived in the DC area, had six bridesmaids in six different states, a fiance in a separate state, and the wedding took place in NC where no one in my family lived! I remember us thinking, "It'll be so much easier when Natalie gets married" since she lived in FL where my parents were living. Little did we know, that would not be the case. Natalie is in FL, my parents are in Los Angeles, and Dan is in VA. It makes things a bit more difficult to plan, but we go with it and make the most of it!

I started planning a wedding shower for Natalie last month. I had a three day weekend in March, so that's the weekend we picked. It just so happened to be the same weekend as the Gate River Run 15K in Jacksonville that Natalie was already signed up to run. I had just run a marathon a month ago, so I figured, I could just do it with her! And then the bachelorette party/shower got thrown into the same weekend! Why not? I was already making the trip down to FL, and we were running out of weekends before the wedding to schedule these events. So it was decided. And the decoration-making and planning began. If you follow me on instagram, you saw that I had lots in the making for this shower!

My mom texted me pictures of her friend Lisa's house (where shower #1 would take place), and Natalie's roommate emailed me photos of their house (where we'd have shower #2)... And I began pinning away and sketching out ideas on my iPad!

It was a little hard to keep the two showers separate in my mind, but it all ended up working out just fine. I worked on a project every night after work for several weeks- our house was a craft zone disaster! 
This chevron photo booth backdrop was quite the task. I loved the way it turned out though!
 Painted table runners (as seen on Oh Happy Day!) were the perfect touch to shower #2. It was kind of fun to sit on the floor and paint!
 Brian's study room turned into the most festive room in the house!
My mom flew in on Wednesday and helped with some of the preparations while I was at work. It was fun decorating cookies together! 

Toby jumped in bed with her every morning. :)
I had a sinus infection, and my mom was starting to come down with a chest cold... We weren't feeling great, but we didn't let that get in the way! 
Mom dropped me off at Natalie's house in Gainesville, and then she headed on to Ormond Beach that night. I decorated at Natalie's house on Friday night, and then went to bed after midnight. We had to wake up at 4:15 am to leave for the race in Jacksonville on Saturday morning! It was early and dark and cold, but we were determined to get there in time. 
The race itself was really great! It is the largest 15K in the country! I felt like I was running in an obstacle course.. there were so many people! 

We finished in great time, chugged some chocolate milk (our favorite recovery drink), and headed to Ormond Beach in time for the showers the next day!

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