Thursday, January 31, 2013

Oh, Hey!

It's been almost a year since I posted here. I'm not upset about it, disappointed in myself, or feel any other negative feelings about it. You see, on April, 8, 2012, this beautiful strawberry blonde, blue eyed baby girl was born and changed my life forever. Isabel Ruth Cleveland. Just because I haven't sat down and typed out all the details about every second of her life and posted all 1695 pictures I have taken of her doesn't mean I have missed out documenting her life. I certainly don't think it means I'm a bad Mom either. During my first year of life my Mom documented my day to day activities on a baby calendar and I wanted to do the same for Isabel. So, instead of documenting for the world to see, I documented for Isabel to read one day in this sweet baby calendar. I also plan on writing her a letter on her birthday every year. Another tradition passed down from my Mom. I will actually sit down and write it with pen and paper and it will probably be in cursive! I know, I'm so stuck in the era without technology to do everything but I like it that way. However you choose to document your baby's life is up to you. No judgement here, but please do document it. I'm so glad my Mom did and I hope Isabel and other future children will appreciate it as well!
Back to baby girl and parenthood. Isabel was born on Easter at 2:14pm. If you want to feel encouraged about labor and delivery I'm the girl for you. My labor and delivery could not have gone better. I like to think its because the good Lord knew if I had a rough labor and delivery combined with such an unpleasant first half of pregnancy that Isabel might be an only child. Instead, I have sweet memories of waking up in labor, driving to the hospital, meeting wonderful nurses and doctors, my Mom arriving from Birmingham, and pushing out a 7 pound 11 ounces bundle of sweetness. At one point, while watching Say Yes to the Dress, I remember Brad saying how surprised he was everything wasn't out of control and chaotic. It's like he expected me to be dramatic....I don't know why.
The next day (that's right) we were out of the hospital and starting life as a family of 3. I have loved being a mother to Isabel. Nothing could have prepared Brad and me for parenthood. We really just had to learn along the way. I remember that first week Brad and I had a good laugh looking over our google searches on our phones. We so desperately wanted answers to everything. Sometimes we got answers, other times we just came to the conclusion that Isabel was " just being a baby".
Now, at almost 10 months old, Isabel doesn't miss a beat. She ALWAYS knows where I am and if she isn't happy about it she will let you know. She is a crawling machine and will pull up on anything. She loves to eat, dance, wave hey and bye, and her favorite words are hey, dada, and mummy (thanks to our British nanny, I guess).
2012 brought along more changes than having a baby. Brad's brother and sister got engaged and married! We welcomed Jordan into the family November 10 and John became Sarah's husband November 30. I'm not sure 2013 will be as exciting but it sure will be fun with our larger family!
Here are a few pictures from the weddings! Weren't the brides beautiful?!








Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Knoxville Baby Shower

 Our church gave us a baby shower recently! It was wonderful! We feel so loved by our church family!



 My sweet friends who helped with the shower! 


37 weeks!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Birmingham Baby Shower!


A few weekends ago was my baby shower in Birmingham hosted by my sister in law, Kristin, and one of my best friends, Elise. It was so sweet to have family and friends together to celebrate Isabel's soon arrival! I could have cried about it! Thank you Rachel for taking pictures at the shower! 

Meg, Jenna, and Rachel came down from Nashville and Louisville! I'm so glad they were able to come! A lot has changed in almost ten years since our college days at MTSU! 

 Another friend for Isabel coming in July! 

Brad is going to be a wonderful dad! Can't wait!

Publix has the best cakes! 

Love my sweet niece! 

Harper, Campbell, and Ella Grace were the entertainment! 

Aunt Mary, Jeani, Ms. Moore, and Elise

Elise and Dana. Missing a few! 

Mom smocked this dress for Isabel! It matches one she smocked for Harper! I can't wait to get pictures of them in their matching dresses! 

Sarah (SIL), Lynn (MIL) and Laura (Mom's BFF) 

Mom and I

With the hostesses! 
I wish I would have thought to get a picture of everyone! I am so thankful for family and friends who came! 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Week 12 to 28

Well, here I am again. Almost four months without an update. So, lets get right to it.

October: I finally stopped hugging the toilet and started to enjoy life and being pregnant.
November: Found out we are having a girl! Isabel Ruth Cleveland!
December: Brad graduated, accepted the position as Pastor of Worship at Lyons Creek Baptist Church in Knoxville, TN, and we moved!

The first three weeks of 2012 and have been busy, too! We bought a house and moved in last Thursday night! My wonderful mom came to Knoxville and helped us unpack! I think I would still be stepping over boxes if it wasn't for her! If I had any doubt before I now know for sure who I get my desire to have everything neat and organized from! I haven't taken any pictures yet but maybe I'll post some soon! I love everything about our house, our neighborhood and the great church community that is now our home.

Back to baby stuff...
I passed my one hour glucose test last week! I met my new doctor and her staff and although I never thought I would say this I'm really excited about having Isabel at UT medical center. (Although all things orange will be disposed of before we leave the hospital :)) Brad and I will be attending the childbirth classes in March. So my big pregnant self will be sitting in class at 34 and 36 weeks pregnant. As long as Isabel doesn't come early we'll be fine!
Isabel has been measuring right on time with a strong heartbeat! Her movements are getting more frequent and she loves to snuggle up on my left side. My pregnancy has been textbook. I am very thankful to have had no complications so far and I hope it stays that way.
I haven't had any cravings, but I still love everything with cheese on it. I've always loved cheese but I think my pregnancy has just heightened that desire.

My sweet friends in North Carolina had a baby shower for me before we moved. Here are a few pictures from my first baby shower!


I'm so proud of him! 

We had a great time with family for Thanksgiving and Christmas! I didn't take a lot of pictures and the ones I did take were of  Harper! So, enjoy this cutie!


Cousins!

Here's Harper and Uncle Brad having fun during Thanksgiving. I started taking the video after this had been going on for several minutes. So, although Harper looks like she could do this for hours, Brad was a little tired! And...its sideways. 

video

Monday, September 26, 2011

Update!

Oh, hey there!

It's been awhile. I haven't even thought about writing a blog post in the past few months. That doesn't mean that nothing has been going on because it's been pretty crazy in the Cleveland household!
I found out Aug 9 that we are expecting! Yay! We moved from Raleigh to Wake Forest Aug. 10 and quickly unpacked the place for Brad's birthday party the next day! A few days later the real "party" started as I spent 3-4 times a day with my head in the toilet! I would have been happy to have only "morning" sickness. Mine was more like "all day" sickness. I thought being pregnant was supposed to be fun! I thought being pregnant gave you permission to eat everything in sight! Oh, I was sick. I lost about 8 pounds in 3 weeks and told Brad I hope he would be okay with only having one child. :) Speaking of Brad, he has been wonderful! He brings me breakfast in bed every morning! He is so understanding and caring. I know he will be a great dad!
Thankfully, for the past couple of weeks I have started to feel better and my outlook on life, and childbearing, is completely different! I have the What To Expect app on my phone and every week I have read about what symptoms I could possibly be experiencing. I am happy to report that I am having a textbook pregnancy so far and have experienced every symptom!
I am 12 weeks and this morning we went to to our second doctor's appointment!  The baby is doing great! It's heart beat sounded beautiful! Our next appointment, at the end of October, we will find out if it's a boy or girl! I can't wait! So start placing your bets!
I am also thankful for a wonderful sister-in-law, Kristin, and cousin, Elise, who have passed down maternity clothes! Mom mailed me a huge box last week and I really have no reason to buy any clothes throughout the entire pregnancy! Now, if I would start looking pregnant instead of bloated I could enjoy those clothes more!

Mark your calendars! April, 9, 2012!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Dana's Wedding!




This past weekend I had the honor of being in one of my best friends from high school's wedding. I drove to Birmingham Wednesday and was able to stay until Monday. It was a great but busy weekend! Of course, I was able to squeeze in some time with my sweet niece as well as my family.

Beautiful!




Oh, and this happened...three times. I can't remember the song but he loved it.





Now...Harper!







Brad and I have had a crazy past few months so this time with family and friends came at the perfect time! Our schedules aren't slowing down anytime soon. We are moving to Wake Forest in 3 weeks and Brad will be starting his LAST semester of seminary! P.T.L.

Monday, June 6, 2011

A run. A wedding. And...more Harper!




Well, May flew by!

Let me start by saying that this month will go down as the month that I accomplished a goal of mine that I had been working on since the summer of 2003. That summer, after moving into a house with some of my best friends in college I decided I was going to start running. My roommates Meg and Jenna loved to run and did it all the time. So, I decided to give it a try. I remember going to the Greenway and running about a half a mile and stopping because I felt like my lungs were going to explode. I hated it, but I was determined. That summer we also had started running/waking 2 miles during summer training for MT dance team. I don't know when but at some point my dislike for running turned into a love for running. I really wanted to run a half marathon but was way too intimidated. While living in Mobile I ran several 10ks, but knew I could do more. So, over the past few years I have actually signed up for two half marathons but never ran them due to injuries/illness.
When Brad and I got back from India, my friend Virginia asked me if I wanted to run a half marathon with her in Cary, NC. The difference between attempting to train the other two times and now was that I had a running partner. VA was great! She ran 2 before and was great about sticking to the running schedule. So, every Sunday afternoon for about 5 weeks we ran together. It was our long run for the week. It was also a great time to catch up with Virginia and discuss our lives. I always thought that people who could run long distances and talk at the same time were insane but I did it. Even when we ran the half marathon I was able to talk...even if it was to say "My whole body hurts. I might die."
So, May 22 Virginia and I completed 13.1 miles in 2 hours and 19 minutes. I actually had a great time. Virginia's husband, John, was supposed to run the 10k that morning but got injured so Brad took his place! First 10k for Brad!

Before the race!


Virginia is wearing red. Where's Meredith? Thanks lady, for getting in the way of my victory picture right as I cross the finish line!

DONE!!!


Memorial Day weekend Brad and I drove to Mobile for Ashley and Jason's wedding. The rehearsal dinner was at The Original Oyster House where I am pretty sure I ate my weight in cheese grits. It was so nice to spend some time in Mobile with family and friends.




Congrats Ashley and Jason! Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your special day!

Sunday, on our way back to Raleigh, we stopped in Birmingham to see the Boggs family. And by that I mean, Harper :) No, really, I love seeing my family and it makes it even better to have a baby in the family to love on. Harper is growing so much! She is just the cutest thing. See for yourself.
My camera has many flashes on it before the picture actually takes, hence the big-what-are-you-doing-to-me-aunt-mere, eyes.
I think Harper is going to have strong Higdon feet/toes. She was stretching those toes apart all night...preparing to pick something up with them one day :)
Notice Farrah in the background. She has some jealousy issues she is still working through.