trip to boone!

Every fall we try to make a trip up to Boone. This year we met the Neel's and Gregory's for a weekend together... With the dogs of course! Brian's 30th birthday was a couple weeks before our trip, so we decided to have a little celebration! Hats make

We tried a new cabin this year which was close to Banner Elk. It had a gorgeous view of Grandfather Mountain!

On Saturday morning, we took a little hike from our cabin to some waterfalls close by. 
 We made the dogs pose for a picture together on the way.

Our little family of three, almost four! 

 It was a beautiful day!
We went to lunch at Woodlands which was amazing, and then headed for a little walk at Bass Lake! One of my favorite places... Also the place where we got engaged five years ago!

Next year we will go a few weeks earlier when there are still leaves on the trees!

We walked through downtown Blowing Rock.
We picked up pizza for dinner, took it back to the cabin, and had a cozy evening in. They guys battled the freezing cold outside and hung out in the hot tub while the girls crocheted and talked in the warm indoors. On Sunday morning before heading back home, we had a fabulous brunch at Melanie's. 
We always leave this town wishing we had just one more day! Next fall will be quite different with a little one around, but I hope to continue visiting every year! 

pregnancy: weeks 25-27

Here we are at the end of the second trimester! Crazy... Other than some lower back pain at the end of the day and getting light headed in the mornings sometimes (oh, and the occasional hot flashes which no one ever tells you about!), I'm feeling great! Really, I can't complain. Do I love being pregnant? Not yet, but I'm starting to like it more now that I can really feel the baby kicking around inside all the time! It's the greatest feeling. I can't help but touch my stomach whenever I feel movement. I stopped running because it became too uncomfortable, but I still go for long walks and do yoga. I really want to keep my activity up as much as possible through out the pregnancy. All of my cravings stopped around week 18. Hopefully they're gone for good. The baby had a little growth spurt in these three weeks. Shirts that used to fit no longer do, and pants are becoming more and more uncomfortable... If I could, I'd wear leggings and a big t-shirt all day every day! 
Week 25 - dresses are way more comfortable than pants! :)
Week 26 - This is a horrible picture and was taken on the last day that I was officially 26 weeks... I had just gotten home from work on a Friday, was exhausted and ready to put on pajamas! I made Brian take a quick shot and didn't even look at it until now. Toby wanted to show his profile too. He's so serious...
 Week 27! Again. Dresses are way more comfy.
This weekend, I sewed the crib skirt! It's nothing fancy, but it's nice to cross that off my list. Next is the bumper which will be a little more complicated, but I'm hoping to knock that out next weekend! I really can't wait for this room to be finished. It's so fun working on it, and I can't wait to see our baby in it!

O'Steen Family Weekend

My family is spread out across the country. My parents live in California. One brother lives in Florida. The other brother lives in Maine. Sister lives in Virginia, and we are in Georgia! Planning a holiday celebration with everyone together is nearly impossible, especially with everyone's different work schedules. It wasn't working out for Thanksgiving or Christmas, so we chose the first weekend in November to get together. It was the first time in two years we had all been together. Christmas 2011 was the last time I saw Scott! Way too long. I still can't believe it worked out for everyone to come visit at once. It took lots of coordinating on my mom's part with flights, etc., but it was a success!

Since most of us hadn't seen Scott and Shelby since they got married, we decided to have a little wedding party for them. It was fun to celebrate them as a couple!
Scott & Shelby!  

 John & Toby
 So fun to have them visit for the first time!
 Dad and Brian putting together the stroller we got at the shower! I'm so excited about using this soon!

On Sunday, we spent the afternoon at Piedmont Park for some time at the dog park, a picnic, and  bocce ball! It was a beautiful day. 
The whole family (minus Dan, who we greatly missed!)
 All four, plus baby Parker :)

Scott & Shelby
Bocce ball!

 John and Toby took a little nap....

That night, we had a little Christmas celebration... Not your normal Christmas though. Many of you know that my mom has been to a ton of shows in LA with out of town visitors and has won a TON of free stuff. When I call her in the afternoon and her phone goes straight to voicemail, I know she's at a show. Usually winning something amazing. Of course the one time I went with her, all I got was shampoo and conditioner. :) She thought it would be fun to wrap up a bunch of stuff she has won and have a white elephant gift exchange... We all drew numbers and started opening gifts and stealing items we wanted! I wish this could become a tradition. Notice the Justin Bieber Christmas wrapping paper. 

There were some interesting gifts unwrapped... I laughed to the point of tears. Mostly with what Scott opened. Hip hugger ties, Rita Wilson's country CD, shoe pads, and boot straps, gift cards, head phones, a hair straightener, and DVDs are some of the things I remember. 

We spent the evenings playing Dominion, which was a lot of fun. I really couldn't have asked for a better time together. I love my family and am so thankful for this special time we had together. 

GA baby shower!

Back in the summer, when we found out we were expecting, my sweet friend Anne asked if she could host a shower here in town. I've been looking forward to it for so long! I started working closely with Anne last year, and she has become a dear friend. I can't say enough about the shower. I am still overwhelmed by how wonderful it was. The people, the food, the decorations, the gifts... Anne knows how to throw a party! It was fabulous, and I felt so blessed by everyone who came! This baby is already loved by so many! 

My mom, sister, and sister-in-law, Shelby all came in town for the shower. This ended up being an O'Steen holiday weekend- it was the first time we had all been together in two years! I'll post more on that later, but here are some pictures from the shower.
 Aunt Natalie! 
Shelby, Mom, me, and Nat
The decorations and details were so lovely.
Look how cute this diaper cake is! 

The food was so yummy! 
Baby stuff is so fun! 

Loved this fox pillow Julie made!
Me and Kristin.. So thankful for this friendship- I don't know what I'd do without her! 
Julie and Susanna! (Baby Parker's future girlfriend) 
I love these ladies so much. Anne (who hosted the shower) is on the left and Krissy is on the right. They make my job easy and enjoyable. They work full time in the self contained moderate class at school, and I'm the SLP who serves those students. It can get a little crazy at times, but those are the moments we find ourselves laughing to the point of tears. I am so thankful for both of them!
Joy Lynne, Meg, and Susan
 Both of baby Parker's grandmothers! 
When we got back home, we unloaded the gifts in the nursery and just looked at everything. It was so fun imagining our little baby wearing all the cute outfits and playing with the toys. Natalie and I kind of wanted to keep these hats for ourselves. :) I can't wait to see them on our little boy!
It was the sweetest shower and such a special memory. Thanks to everyone who was a part of it!