Straight From the Horse's Mouth

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It’s A Girl!


I’m not pregnant anymore! She FINALLY came out!! I have so many things to say so to avoid rambling on and on incoherently, I’ll start at the beginning and just recount what took place.

As I’m sure of you already know I was due on April 23. That’s also the same day that Bryan’s parents arrived to spend exactly one week. Well, not only did my due date come and go so did the entire week, and Bryan’s parents got back on a plane to NYC. And there was no baby. That night CrossFit Cedar Park reserved a bunch of tables at Common Interest so our community could celebrate the end of The CrossFit Games Open. I had never done karaoke, and while I definitely didn’t sign up to make my solo debut, I did get up a couple of times with the group to sing some songs. ๐Ÿ™‚ It was a lot of fun. The best part was getting my big pregnant self on the stage with the gang for our rendition of Baby Got Back. Well, they didn’t have one called Baby Got Front! ๐Ÿ˜›

Check out the pictures from that night:

carson n wladi

cfcp ladies

friends in low places

baby got back

Pretty soon my pregnant self was feeling very pregnant and hungry and ready to be at home. We got home and it was already really late. Then midnight hit and with it the 1st day of my 41st week which I’ve heard is the average length for first time moms. The contractions started 4-5 minutes apart which was a lot closer than I thought that early labor would be. The birthing center had said call them if they were 4 minutes apart lasting for a minute each for an hour. I waited, however, until closer to 6 AM to call. I was pretty sure I was in labor, but I wanted to make sure that the contractions didn’t taper off. When we talked to the mid-wife, I asked if I could come in for an internal. I just had to know if things were finally moving along. So we met with her closer to 7, and she verified that I was 3 cm. Yay! I can’t tell you how happy I was to know that progress was being made and this child was finally on it’s way out! I was able to smile and talk through contractions which meant I was nowhere close to being ready to come labor at the birthing center so I was sent home. But even before we got home, the contractions were much harder. I think the internal exam really set things off. Within an 1-1.5 hours of being home, I wasn’t smiling anymore. In fact, I was in some serious pain, crying, and begging Bryan to call the midwife back. He did, and I decided to try to make it one more hour at home. I can’t really recall, but I don’t think I made it the entire hour before yet again begging Bryan to call her back.

Finally, we were on our way to the birthing center, and this time it was for good. The midwife on call that morning was Charlotte. We’d only met her once, and I was very apprehensive about her delivering the baby. However, sometimes things are just meant to be, and I truly believe this was. Charlotte was amazing!! She made me feel totally comfortable (well, you know, as comfortable as a laboring woman can be). She knew when to let us be and when to step in to help. She got us everything we needed, and made sure that I was always doing what was best to keep the labor moving smoothly. A little while after laboring, Jean, the owner, came in and stayed around to assist with Brenna’s birth. She is equally as amazing. She’s been doing this for 32 years, and it shows. She really knew exactly what to say to me to get me to the place I needed to be mentally. But back to the story…

After I arrived, Charlotte confirmed I was 4 cm dilated. Things were definitely moving along. I labored for hours and made steady progress. I also had several bouts of extreme doubt. This is by far the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced. I recall telling Bryan on many occasions that I couldn’t do this. But Bryan was an amazing coach and said all the right things. I could not have done this without his constant support. He said all the right things and kept me as comfortable as possible.

Finally after what seemed like forever, Charlotte said I could try pushing. Eek! I didn’t even know how, but I tried. At first it was odd and felt like it was accomplishing nothing. I didn’t really want to push, but quickly it became necessary. It also felt better to push than not to. It wasn’t long before I learned how to push. I pushed for about 1.5-2 hours in the tub, on the toilet, and finally on the bed. It didn’t seem to be doing much to me, but finally Charlotte said she could see the head. Wow! I was so ready to be done. Most of this time was a blur of pushing, pain, and screaming. But eventually I arrived at the ring of fire, and did it burn. But even though I was exhausted and had been through more pain than I could ever imagine I could tolerate, I knew I was nearing the end. I pushed as hard as I could for as long as I could (thanks CrossFit!).

Finally her head was out though we still didn’t know it was a girl. Bryan, Charlotte, and Jean were all helping me and anxiously looking at the progress. I thought of little else but getting to the end. And finally with a big whoosh she kinda just flew out. Instantly I felt so much better. That’s when Bryan told me it was a girl! Though it was funny because he exclaimed it with such shock. We really believed it was a boy.

They put this 8.3 pound baby on me, and I instantly knew her name was Brenna even though we’d already decided that. And I was also instantly in love. They cut her cord and gave her back. Soon we nursed, and life was perfect. Well, not for long. This is when everything went wrong, but I’ll save that for another post.

Brenna’s delivery was perfect…everything I wanted and imagined. I was able to do it the way we’d planned. I’m still happy to have given her the best start to life. When she arrived alert and calm, I knew it was all worth it. I’ll always hold Charlotte, Jean, and the birthing center in a special place in my life. They were amazing. I’m so happy with our decision to switch over to them. I can’t recommend them enough.

Brenna Ann Goldstein
May 1, 2011
8.3 lbs, 21 in long
tons of dark hair and blue eyes

Here is her birth and pictures since – Brenna

And here is a video I made of my belly progression while pregnant.














The Waiting Game


This last month of pregnancy has been the worst in several ways. Mainly it’s the emotional and mental roller coaster that has made it so difficult to endure. I know that the due date really doesn’t mean a whole lot, and I knew it from early on. But when everyone asks you when you are due and you repeat that date time and time again, it starts to hold a special place in your heart. Practically everyone I know said you’ll never make it to your due date. I’m not exactly sure why they said this. My best guess is because I’m a tiny person and my belly looks gigantic on me. How does that really affect my chances for delivering early though? Yet after hearing so many people say it, I started to believe it. And when I reached the last month and found myself more uncomfortable than ever, I really, really wanted them to all be right. And yet, here I am, just 4 days from my due date. I don’t know if I’ll make it, but it stands to reason that my chances are pretty good. Sigh.

I had high hopes for week 38…not sure why. A lot of women said that first babies come 2 weeks early. I’m not really sure what kind of studies they’re quoting, but when you’re ready to meet your little one, you’ll start to hope for anything. Week 38 came and went and still no baby Goldstein. So, I had high hopes for April 17 or the full moon closest to our due date. But, alas, that also came and went. I would have high hopes for today (our original due date before they measured baby at the first sonogram and pushed it back to the 23rd), but I don’t feel like getting my hopes up for the big event anymore. Instead, I’ve almost taken the stance that it really will happen when it happens, and there’s very little that I can do to change that. Ah, acceptance…well, almost.

Each day is hard. Waking up and still being pregnant is mentally draining. Plus, I’m tired…all the time. And when I am awake, I really only think of baby, the delivery, and if when it’s finally going to happen. That in itself is pretty taxing. There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot to keep me distracted. My calendar stands pretty empty as everyone must be assuming I’m too close and too pregnant to want to do anything. Or maybe everyone is just busy with life at the moment. Either way, I’m at home being too fat and tired to do much to distract myself. Plus, everything for baby was completed already. We didn’t want to do any last-minute stuff incase baby came early.

The worst part is what happens if I do go beyond my due date. If I’m still pregnant after Saturday, I’ll be stressing big time. For one, Bryan’s parents are flying in on my due date. They hope there’s a baby Goldstein to love all over for a week. If not, we’re all hoping that they’ll be here for the delivery which in all honesty is a good possibility if I do go overdue. My birthing teacher said the average birth (with no interventions) goes 41 weeks, 1 day. Um, yeah, they’d miss it by one day. Wow. That would majorly suck. The other thing that makes going overdue so stressful about going overdue is that if we do happen to hit week 42 we will no longer be able to give birth at the birthing center. That is the scariest scenario of all. I won’t even allow myself to think this way. We just have to have baby Goldstein there (well, unless there’s an emergency).

So, there’s still time, and the birthing center has some tricks up their sleeve if we do go overdue, but let’s all send positive thoughts my way and will the baby to make his move very soon. Everyone is waiting to meet you, baby Goldstein. Plus, several babies that were due after you have already made their appearance. Just like your mother, you’re taking your sweet time. You get it honest, but it’s not really appreciated at the moment. ๐Ÿ™‚

In other news:

Please pray for my grandfather who suffered a stroke 2 days ago while working on his tractor (the giant kind) and fell quite some distance onto the shop floor (concrete). The stroke seems to have been mild. My father saw none of the facial signs that many stroke victims have. That is good. He has a broken wrist, nose, and eye socket from the fall as well as longs of bangs and bruises. He had some bleeding on the brain which the neurologist thinks came from the stroke and not the fall. The doctor didn’t seem to think surgery was necessary for it. He should be moved to a regular room today out of ICU. I guess all of this sounds good for him, but the whole thing is just very upsetting. He doesn’t remember the fall and doesn’t know how long he lay unconscious. It could have been much worse. I wonder if this man, who works 7 days a week from sun-up to sun-down, will learn to slow it down a little? I really hope so. Working is all I’ve ever known him to do. He’s the single hardest working person I’ve ever known. Pray for my entire family as well especially my grandmother who has to take care of him. She’s probably the 2nd hardest working person I’ve ever known. They’re clearly raised in a time where laziness was non-existent. They raised 3 children and then me. I can’t even imagine!

Recent Pics:

Mallos caught sleeping


Things I’m Diggin’ at the moment:

The iPhone app called Say What You See. It’s a really cool game of a giant puzzle filled with 50 answers to categories like Romantic Comedies and US TV Dramas. You’ll have to check it out to see just how cool it is.

38 Week Appointment


We went to our 38 week appointment this morning. We met yet another new midwife. I didn’t like this one. She’s the first one that I haven’t liked. Maybe it was my sour mood…yay hormones, but I really hope she isn’t on duty when we go into labor. Otherwise, the appointment went well. I measured 38 weeks, the baby’s heartbeat was good, and the baby is still in a good position. Really there’s not much more to report. We are in a constant waiting game…waiting…waiting…waiting. Please come out, baby G!

Everyone has their predictions about when it might happen, but unfortunately, there’s just no way of knowing. I’d really like to know. I could be mentally prepared if I knew. The closer we get to the due date (4/23) the more anxious I become. Mainly this is due to the fact that Bryan’s parents are flying in that day, and I really hope I’m not still pregnant. That would really suck!

I still feel pretty good. I’m still working out and going about life as normal. I try my best to find things to do outside of the house with friends and Bryan to keep my mind off the fact that I’m still pregnant. It pretty much consumes my every waking moment sadly. It’s hard to think of much else. I feel huge, and I’m uncomfortable most of the time. Plus, I have a lot of contractions, but none of them are the real thing. I’m trying all of the typical stuff to get things moving, but I know that really it’ll happen when it’s ready. There’s not much we can really do. Even if we did nothing, I wouldn’t stay pregnant forever. Everyone says I won’t make it till the due date, and I really hope they’re correct. However, I’m starting to think I just might make it. It’s kinda of a stretch, but I hope the full moon that’s coming on the 17th helps if it hasn’t happened already.

Everything is ready for baby when baby decides to make his/her appearance. Things have been cleaned, washed, organized…you name it. The only thing missing from the nursery is a theme. We’ll wait to see which gender we’re dealing with first.

If you’d like to give a guess on the baby’s stats go here and search TheBabyBean:

And on a side note check out the latest blog post I made on my work blog:

Client Variety


Recent Pictures:

bella on me


And as always you can check out my pregnancy progression here:

Pregnancy Progression

And here are some of the shots that a few of the photographers took of us:

They’re all very different, but each one is special to us. I can’t wait to get the actual pictures! That’s still some time away though.

36 Week Appointment


We went to our 36 week appointment yesterday morning. Now we’ve reached the point where we’ll go every week until baby Goldstein decides to make his/her appearance which would be nice during week 38 if you ask me. (Hint, hint, baby Goldstein). The appointment went very well. I’d only gained 1 pound which was awesome news since I’ve really put my foot down on my eating habits. I’m still not strictly paleo, but I’m very close. The baby’s heartbeat was heard loud and clear, it sounded good and strong. The mid-wife said she believed that the baby was head down, but she wanted to do an ultrasound just to verify. Thankfully the ultrasound proved that this was indeed the case. Good job, baby Goldstein! I wonder how long baby will stay cooperative once exiting the womb? ๐Ÿ™‚ I also got an internal examination which showed that baby had moved into a -1 station (+5 is crowning) and that my cervix had started to soften though dilation hadn’t occurred. The mid-wife told me some things I could take to help push my body in the right direction. Whatever it takes…

Here is the video that Bryan took of the ultrasound:

As always you can check out my ever-changing pregnancy progression album here:

Pregnancy Progression


In other news:

My kids’ speed & agility class is doing great. I’ve gotten even more kids! It’s exciting to see it grow, but it’s especially exciting to see the kids transforming and excelling. The kids seem to enjoy themselves, and most of them amaze me on a daily basis. Some of the parents have even said they’ve noticed a change in the performance on the field. I definitely love my job. I even have some cool stuff planned as soon as the baby arrives. There’s some stuff I’d like to implement into the class as well as expand the program. It’s a little much to take on though when you know you’re about to be off for a little while. I hope it’s not a long break, but I’ll definitely have to take some time. After all, it will be the biggest workout of my life! I already have someone lined up to cover my classes. Hopefully, the kids won’t like him as much as me. ๐Ÿ˜›

Here is a picture that one of the parents took of the class:


Lastly, if you’d like to keep up with what’s going on in my class check out my class blog.

It’s Almost April!


Wow! It’s almost April! I can’t believe I’m in my last month of pregnancy. Let’s look at the facts so we can all get a sense of just how real this is. As of today I have:

  • 26 days left (until due date)
  • 3 weeks, 5 days left (until due date)
  • April starts on Friday
  • I’ll be full term on Sunday
  • currently in week 36 meaning I can deliver at the birthing center

Nothing is concrete though. It’s all up to little baby Goldstein as to when this countdown can finally come to a close. I’m definitely getting super excited though! Everyday brings me one day closer to being able to meet this tiny wonder of ours. It can’t come quick enough though I’d at least like to wait until April 3rd when I’m considered full term. So many of my friends have recently had their babies, and I’m getting very anxious for my time to arrive. We go for our next appointment with the mid-wife tomorrow. We should start to going weekly after that. That’s crazy! Going from a month to bi-weekly to finally weekly!

I’ve been buying baby stuff like crazy over the past couple of days. I’m really trying to finalize as much as possible as the time dwindles down. I just made a big Babies R Us purchase today after going to the store yesterday! We also got stuff from Target yesterday, and I’m going to try and hit up the local consignment shop soon.

Last week we had maternity shots done. I really wanted to capture my body as it is at this stage of my life. It’s long from glamourous, but it is mine. It’s a special time that I might never have again, and I don’t want to just rely on my memories to keep it alive. Plus, I’d like baby Goldstein to see them someday. I’m totally in love with my tummy and want to treasure it always even if it does come with some less than awesome friends like stretch marks. I’ve been keeping my own pregnancy progression, but wanted a more artistic touch so I hired someone. ย We did a two part shoot that included some partial nudes (how else can you capture the real essence of the body?) and some at the CrossFit gym where I train/work. Everett Christopher took all of these shots you can see here:

Maternity Shoot

Friday night I was glued to Facebook like normal when I spied this message:



Is there any pregnant mama out there (in third trimester) that can come out to the studio in Austin TOMORROW morning from 9am-12pm to model for our photographers? You’ll get free pictures!! Please contact me ASAP if you can.

I immediately responded. I really wanted this photographer to do our shoot, but alas, she’s far above our budget though she’s totally worth it. She’s amazing! She didn’t actually take any of the pictures. She runs workshops for professional photographers. She had lined up a lot of different types of people from babies to well, pregnant ladies for them to shoot on their last day. Their maternity model got sick, and I got really lucky. For 3 hours on Saturday morning, I got to work with 6 photographers. And best of all, I get free pictures from each one! I got to shoot in several settings and outfits. Plus, Bryan got to jump in some. The only down side is that I probably won’t see any until after baby comes, but needless to say, I’m excited to see and have them forever!

And lastly, please don’t ask me if I’m having twins. I know my tummy is very big, but I’m also very short so it’s got nowhere to go but out. I don’t know why this comment rubs me the wrong way, but it does.

Credit Where Credit Is Due


While this whole pregnancy thing hasn’t been a walk in the park, I am quick to realize that without my support system is would have been a hell of a lot harder. Bryan! He is my everything, but during this pregnancy he’s been my rock. I would go so far as to say he’s the best husband a pregnant woman has ever had. I don’t know where I’d be without his constant help and encouragement. Whatever I need…whenever I need it…he’s got me covered. And even when I can tell he’s so frustrated with me, he manages to keep it in. He deserves a special prize…I wonder if the baby is enough. ๐Ÿ™‚

He spoils me to such a point that I’m not sure I’m ready to go back to back to the old days. ๐Ÿ™‚ No, I really am. Well, we’ll never get the old days back. But I am ready to be completely self-sufficient again. How exactly does my wonderful husband spoil me?

  • He cooks for me…and then brings it to me. ๐Ÿ™‚
  • He’s constantly bringing me things so I don’t have to move my slow, heavy body around.
  • He takes me out to eat whatever I’m in the mood for.
  • He makes grocery store runs despite the time of day.
  • He gives me countless masagesย and back scratches.
  • He’s pretty diligent about reading all of the baby books too.
  • He has helped to make sure that baby has the best nursery we can create.
  • He makes me feel beautiful when all I see in the mirror is a big, fat cow.
  • He’s very understanding of the demands my body makes on me.
  • He overlooks the dirty house.
  • He does way more chores than ever before.
  • He amuses me by talking/singing/rubbing my belly.
  • He makes me all-natural “lotion” for me to rub on my belly and body.

That list probably leaves out so much, but at least you get the idea. Bryan is the best! And to give him even more props – he actually managed to lose weight (well, body fat anyway) while I was busy expanding like crazy. That is quite the feat! So, if you see my awesome (and quite worn down) husband out and about, give him a hug. Or buy him a drink. He certainly has earned it!

I love you, Bryan!

A Stressful Journey


*Wrote this last week, but I’m just posting this now…these events didn’t happen this weekend.*

That’s how I would sum up pregnancy. Yes, it’s miraculous and often leaves me in complete awe and excitement, but it’s also really scary and quite stressful. I feel like there’s always something to worry about. I can never seem to find a peace of mind. I don’t think I’ll be able to relax until I’m holding my baby and can see that everything is perfect. But then there will be a whole new set of things to worry about…welcome to parenthood. I’m so ready for this to be over with. Don’t read me wrong…I love the fact that I can and am growing life. Nothing in this world makes me feel so accomplished and ecstatic as the fact that inside me is my child…half me and half Bryan.

The latest woes of and therefore worries of pregnancy have been Braxton Hicks contractions. When I went to my 30 week appointment, I was unaware I was even having them till I mentioned to the midwife that sometimes my stomach gets really hard. She quickly pointed out what was actually taking place. Duh! I was wondering how the baby was pushing on all parts of my stomach at the same time. Silly me! ๐Ÿ™‚

These completely normal occurrences went from hardly noticeable to mildly annoying to concerning in the short span of 2 weeks. Everything I read including the paper the midwife sent home with me states that any more than 5 Braxton Hicks contractions should result in calling into the office. They should also ease up when you change positions or drink water. Well, in the wee hours of Wednesday morning I found that I was having some and nothing was helping. I ended up having them from 1 -5:30 AM occurring at a pattern on 7 to 11 minutes apart. They weren’t painful, but they were uncomfortable. Finally they subsided, and I called the office when it opened that morning. The midwife said it didn’t seem to be anything, but if it happened again not to wait till it was over.

Skip to Saturday morning at about 9 AM, and they came back. But this time they were even more uncomfortable though still not painful and coming every 2-3 minutes each lasting bout 30-50 seconds. It’s hard not to get stressed out by something like this. It easily sends your mind racing with a bunch of what if’s. I was pretty convinced that it was definitely not labor, but I still had trouble being perfectly calm about the situation. Bryan was also a little concerned, and after an hour, he urged me to call the office. I hate calling after-hours, but we did. The midwife on call said that while it was more than likely nothing to be worried about, she’d like me to come in for a closer look. So, we got ready and headed in.

Once there she took my vitals which were all good with the exception of a slightly elevated blood pressure which would be normal considering I was a little worked up. She listened to the baby which had a nice, strong heartbeat. Then she gave me an internal exam to verify that they were indeed just Braxton Hicks contractions and were not being productive toward any sign of labor. This all checked out good. She said that sometimes the uterus is just sensitive in some women, and that most likely, it would happen again up until real labor. It was nice to have it confirmed that there was no reason to worry…at least not about this pregnancy woe. I was supposed to go to my 32 week appointment on Monday, but she did the appointment while we were there which was nice because Bryan was going to miss it due to a business trip. I guess baby just wanted to make sure that Daddy was there. ๐Ÿ™‚ The midwife told me to take magnesium which will help my uterine muscles to relax.

So far, even though I’ve still had more Braxton Hicks they’ve been more sporadic and sparse as they should. I’m taking the magnesium as well as downing water like I’ve been in the desert for a week. Dehydration can cause the contractions to occur. Even though I’m not thirsty and I greatly dread the many, many bathroom trips, I drink the water. I keep a bottle of water with me no matter where I am, and I’m very conscious of how much I’m taking in. On a side note, the extra water intake has really helped my facial skin. It’s super soft!

So, now you know way more than you ever cared to about my pregnancy. ๐Ÿ™‚ I promise that just as these pregnancy days will pass so too will my constant posting about pregnancy. Let’s just all hang in there together. ๐Ÿ˜›

Approaching The End


I feel pretty terrible about not blogging. Not because I know anyone out there missed my posts, but because it would have been nice to have more reflections to look back on during this crazy adventure called pregnancy. Oh well. The reason for not blogging mainly had to do with moving our blogs over to a different hosting site. Hmm…I wonder if anyone actually made the move over with me?

Well, I’m nearing the end of my pregnancy. And while I love growing this child of ours, I am ready for this to be over. I’m ready to meet out little one, and I’m ready to not be pregnant anymore. I’m currently 31 weeks (32 on Sunday). Things have been progressing normal and great. Our last appointment at 30 weeks went perfect. I measured 30 weeks and baby sounded great. I’m looking forward to Monday and our 32 week appointment except for the fact that it’ll be the first one Bryan has missed. I love hearing our baby’s heartbeat!

With 2 months to go (roughly), I’m a bag of complaints….pubic bone pain, Braxtonย Hicks contractions, lack of energy, hip pain when I sleep, heartburn, weird sleeping patterns…just to name a few. I had some Braxtonย Hicks contractions the other night, and I felt that I was standing on the threshold of pain. They didn’t hurt, but I felt like I was about a degree away from pain. And during these, I got my first glimpse of the reality and potential pain of real contractions. Um, yeah….not really looking forward to that. ๐Ÿ™‚ But I’ll do it, because I gotta and because it’s the only way to meet baby. And I’d already do anything for baby.

I’m having my baby shower on March 6th. I’m so excited. And I owe it all to a wonderful lady and friend, Paula. I know it’s gonna be perfect! I’m most excited to get the stuff I’ve been itching to have but hesitant to buy on my own. I’m ready to start seeing that nursery really come together. I like to see everything in its place which is definitely not the current status of the nursery.

We finished our Bradley Method birthing classes last night. It was bittersweet. I like seeing all the couples each week and talking about our woes and whatnot. I’ll see them again at our reunion which will be awesome because we’ll all have babies! Yay babies!!

In other news:

I’ve been coaching the Kids’ Speed & Agility class at CrossFit Cedar Park since mid- January. The class is finally starting to take off…slowly. I was so happy the day my first kid showed up. I have 2 regulars, but I’ve had others come by and try it. And I’ve had many calls asking about it. So, there’s potential. Regardless of the amount of children in any given class, I’m loving the job! I love working with children as much as I love fitness….getting to combine them is just pure awesomeness. But, on Monday, I get to teach my first adult CrossFit class. It’s just a one day gig as I’m filling in for someone, but that doesn’t take away from my excitement!!

Bryan has been brought on by CrossFit Cedar Park to help us come together in a more organized, digital way. And he’s doing an amazing job. Now all of the coaches have blogs in one place…even me. I actually have 2…not to brag…hehe. Just kidding…I have a personal one as well as one for my S&A class. Check out my postings from each which so far is just one per blog. RSS and keep up with me and my class.

Personal blog – Working Out While Pregnant

S&A blog – An Introduction

Let me know what you think.

Recent pics:

Valentine’s Day 1

Valentine’s Day 2

Valentine’s Day 3

Valentine’s Day 4

Valentine’s day 5

Valentine’s Day 6

Me and Mallos


Pregnant Running

Recent Vids:

Running The Numbers


Adding up the total of our wedding is something I’ve been meaning to do since we got back from our honeymoon. I never sat down and just did it until recently. Today, I finally put it into my trusty Excel and got the grand total. Why would I even care? Well, because I took great pains to keep this wedding as cheap as possible. Ok, not as cheap as possible, but on the cheaper side of things. I spent a lot of time making our own decorations and doing research for cheaper options. However, there were some things I wouldn’t budge on like having a dress I was in love with and the photographer of my choice. I got all of that stuff. In fact, I got the most beautiful wedding that I’ve ever been to or seen without really compromising.

There were definitely some things that helped keep it on the cheaper side:

  • no wedding planner
  • free venue (we got married at my childhood home)
  • small wedding party
  • small invite list
  • DIY decorations
  • not having the wedding in a major city or destination
  • setting up the ceremony site ourselves
  • help from lots of family members
  • hiring a photographer that was a friend
  • buffet style catering at the reception
  • having my cousin make our cake
  • buying roses by the bundles and decorating ourselves
  • no dj/band

There were some costly things, but I don’t regret them:

  • my dress
  • bryan’s suit (but we didn’t rent it so we’re still getting use out of it)
  • invitations (but I don’t regret these as they are keepsakes for our family/friends)
  • reception (it’s hard not to spend a lot here when you feeding people)

Of course, you’ll always have things that are going to cost hundreds of dollars like the photographer, catering, tents if you need them, flowers…you get the idea. All in all, the day was perfect! And I think we came in way cheaper than most weddings even though I would like to have said we did better than we did. Here are the numbers broke down by category and the grand total:

Marriage License
Bridesmaid Party
Groomsmen Party
TOTAL $4,868.00

So, there you have it. That’s what we spent and how. The only thing this number doesn’t reflect is our gas to get to Mississippi and the lights we used because Bryan gave them to me as a Christmas present.

I’d like to highlight a few of the things that we did that saved us money and some that didn’t. Maybe you can learn from us. However, my one tip is: if you can afford it, hire a wedding planner. And if you live in the Austin area, I can suggest a great one. Also, my wedding dress is for sale if you’d like to purchase it for a great price! ๐Ÿ™‚

Choosing rings made from cheaper material is nice and it holds up better. Bryan’s ring is tungsten and mine is stainless steel. It looks just like white gold, but it only cost $14.95!

I had custom converse made for Bryan. This probably wasn’t the best purchase, but they are a cool keepsake.

Free cake made by my cousin. That’s a good wedding gift in my opinion. It tasted great!

For Bryan’s attire we bought the suit which is WAY more expensive than a rental. However, it was altered to fit him, and he looked amazing. Plus, he’s already worn it again. And we got it on a buy 2 for $500 at Men’s Warehouse.

My dress was not cheap, but I did love it! And it was what made me feel ultra special that day. I did get it on sale if that helps. However, I’m not keen on keeping it which means I should hopefully be able to get some of the money back.

My shoes were a deal with buying the dress. The boutique offered $60 toward shoes with a dress purchase. These ended up costing me around $9.

My cousin was kind enough to give me some earrings and matching bracelet to wear. And the tiara was a cheapo from Charming Charlie.

This was made by a family member at no cost to us.

While the programs were professionally printed, I folded and glued them to fan sticks myself.

I drilled all these cans myself after we ate the contents. There were pretty easy and added a nice touch. We hung them with jewelry thread which is super cheap as well.

I made the centerpieces myself as well. I borrowed jars from family and the rocks were from the driveway. We bought 2 bundles of roses (24 roses/bundle) to decorate as we needed. This way I didn’t have to pay for the florist to make each one.

This stuff wasn’t that cheap, but because we got married in a small town, it was still a lot cheaper than what a normal place would cost. They set up the tent, but we did the tables/chairs ourselves.

My bouquet was all done by the florist. And since it contains yellow roses, it wasn’t super cheap. However, I HAD to have yellow roses. I couldn’t afford just yellow roses, however, and they filled in with some other yellow flowers. If you want to go cheaper, skip the roses or better yet get one big giant flower or make your own bouquet. There are lots of sites that tell you how.

Go with buffet style catering to save money. If you need to be super cheap, make your own food. It’s up to you if you want to spend the money or the time. And the crunch time before a wedding is not fun time!

I made these G decorations with some minimal bought stuff from Hobby Lobby and stuff I already owned. There were 3 and they were all different.

Bryan brought his laptop with a slideshow of photos that starred us.

Free wedding site because this is my grandparents’ house/land and where I grew up. We did rent the chairs. My dad borrowed equipment for sound/music so that was free. We used a playlist that I created to make music for the reception.

So, there you have it…more than you ever needed to know about how we planned our wedding. I’m very proud of the way it turned out. It was just what I’d always dreamed of.

Oh Baby…


Baby News:

Today we have our very first prenatal appointment with the Austin Birthing Center. I’m excited and curious. I know that they do all of the same things that any normal OB/GYN would do. However, I’m just wondering what it will be like and what the midwives will be like. I’m not nervous…just curious. I loved Dr. Solomon so much, and he made me feel so comfortable. He seemed very knowledgeable, and I was always assured that I was in the best hands. I’m positive I’ll feel the same at our new prenatal home. I already feel like I’m in good hands. Being surrounded by a staff that supports your delivery decisions is a HUGE relief and source of comfort for a day that I’m definitely nervous about. Bryan’s parents are in town, and they are going to join us for our appointment. Well, they are coming along to see the facilities; they won’t actually join us in the appointment room. Hopefully, the birthing center has gotten all of our paperwork together including the most important piece…insurance!

We have our second Bradley Method class on Thursday. We’re covering nutrition and have been asked to bring a week’s worth of logged eating. Fine…I can easily handle that. However, I’m so not looking forward to this particular class. I already heard her telling someone to eat soy as we left last week. Oy! I’ve been tempted to skip the class all together and save myself the frustration and anxiety of having to listen to someone who clearly knows nothing about nutrition tell me how to eat, but I paid a lot of money for this class. I know she’ll cover other things as well, and I’d hate to miss those. The main focus is on eating protein, and that I wholeheartedly agree with. However, as soon as she mentions whole grains, you can be assured I’ll be screaming on the inside though I’ve vowed to remain clam and mostly quiet on the outside.

The baby has been moving around quite a bit over the past week, and I am loving it!

I’ve added new pictures to my ever growing pregnancy album.

The Weekend:

This weekend was very busy but also very nice. We picked Bryan’s parents up at the airport on Saturday night after an entire day of cleaning the house. We never did make it to cleaning the kitchen. Yesterday Bryan and I went to church and then picked up his parents for a meeting they had scheduled. Then we went somewhere to eat. It’s nice having them in town especially because I know Bryan misses them very much. I’m glad they can make trips to come and visit here unlike my family who I have to travel to visit every time. After we dropped his parents off, we had to trudge back down to Austin for some errands including grocery shopping. Not the funnest way to top off a weekend, but it’s nice to have a stocked fridge/pantry.


CrossFit has been a bit frustrating as of late. Being pregnant is very different…well, duh! It’s like I’ve borrowed someone else’s body, and it’s really weird. Sometimes I just can’t get going, and the times that I do feel like knocking it out, I remember that I have to be able to talk the whole time. So, I slow it down. I look forward to my comeback, and yet, I don’t mind the sacrifice in the least. I do know that my comeback won’t be easy or quick, but I look forward to it nonetheless. Every time I walk in for a WOD, I have to ask for modifications and substitutions which is weird for me, but I definitely want to stay safe and only do the things that are within my limits. Sometimes, I even get special WODS, but I don’t feel all that special. :/ Oh well, it’s temporary, and I can live with that. I just want to keep moving until I can’t which hopefully won’t happen during this pregnancy. I’d like to stay active till the end which can only help me stay strong during what promises to be the ultimate workout.

I’ve also been asked to take over the Speed & Agility class in January since the current instructor will be unable to continue to do their school schedule. I’m so happy! I finally get a chance to prove myself! It’s a kid’s class which is right up my ally. I have so many ideas! I’m really hoping to build it up into something amazing. I’d love to have a full roster. This class is great for any kid whose involved in ANY sport. They’ll see gains both in class and in whatever sport they participate. They’ll see gains just in everyday life! If you’re interested let me know. It’s pretty cheap too…and FUN! I want the kids to have fun while they train. They’re still just children after all.

Recent Pictures of the Cats:

TV time for Bella