2014 in review {favorite pictures}

taking a look back over 2014. 
here are my favorite pictures. one for each month.

my sweet boys 

our "happy, blessing"
so much can be said for this picture & these four
joshua loves the snow! building "olaf"
vacation. so perfect.

Happy 1st Birthday Asher man!

joshua & jocelyn
5th Annual AlethiaYouth Camping Trip

how can you not love this?!?
craving our pumpkin
{3 pictures because it was way too hard to choose}
Happy 3rd Birthday Donuts for Joshua!
Welcome Home Craig!
Baby #3 is a GIRL!
At Christmas Eve Service

Asher Gray: 18 months

Asher Gray, 
Happy 1/2 Birthday! You are 18 months old! 
At 18 months old, you are a crazy, silly, into-everything, Momma's boy who loves to be held and get into trouble. You are a BIG BOY but surprisingly you are an extremely picky eater. You don't have a lot to say, but you let me know your opinion quickly. You love hanging out with your brother and take his beatings in stride. One way you get back at your brother though is by turning off his tv shows. You really don't care about shows at all and love to get at Josh by turning off the tv. You can be very stubborn and are quick to CRY and THROW A FIT when you don't get your way. You still LOVE kisses and cuddles and are VERY attached to your blankie, which you call "ke-ke." You also LOVE our fishie "No" and take time almost every day to pull a chair up over to the counter and talk to him. Some of your favorite ways to find trouble- climbing on top of the table, stand on top of the toilet and turn the faucet on, turn my work phone on, push a chair over to the counter and pull everything off, and any other sort of trouble you can think of. You love FaceTiming with Ella. You LOVE animals and are a very skilled barker. You've got an awesomely funny "cheese" face. And even though you are trouble and make me hold you A LOT, we love love love you so so so much! 

Favorite words - Daddy, fire, tree, apple, hot, Blitz, dog, Ashi, cookie, duck, nuh uh, shoe.
Favorite foods - BREAD, apples, all fruit, oatmeal, yogurt.
Favorite activities - playing with cars, being held by Momma, being with animals, color, hiding in the closet. 

18 Month Stats: 
Weight - 30.2 lbs - 98%
Height - 35.5 in - 100%
Head Circ - 19.5 in - 95%

Ashi man, I'm not going to lie, right now you are tough but o-so lovable. I spend most of my days chasing you around or holding you and sometimes it's extremely tiring. Thankfully, you sleep like a champion, usually 12 hours at night and a 2-3 hour nap in the afternoon. I love watching you and your brother play together and can't wait to see your relationship continue to grow. You make us laugh all the time.

We are so very thankful for you, Asher Gray, our "happy, blessing."
I can't wait to hear more of what you have to say and continue to watch you grow. 

We love you more than you will ever know! 
Love, your Momma

currently : november

the fact that both my children are sleeping and it is 4:02pm
I'm supposed to be reading To All the Boys I've Loved Before but it's sitting on my nightstand, unread for the last week or more...
waiting for:
snow or warmer weather. i'm not a fan of the below freezing with no significant amount of snow.
excited about:
honestly- Christmastime.
trying to:
stay in budget.
working on:
work stuff... and trying to finish my 2013 photobook before the end of 2014.
our cozy fireplace.
all of my will power to stay awake.
striped long sleeve maternity shirt. and my regular jeans- unbuttoned.
Christmas gifts :)
a nap. 
or to clean my house.
listening to:
either Christmas music or Taylor Swift's new album. no joke.
the routine.

dreaming of:
not being pregnant. but also of a pink, girly, and gold nursery!

Joshua Manuel: 3 years old

Joshua Manuel,
My Joshie, you are three years old. You are LOUD, energetic, helpful, a momma's boy, mostly sweet, and overall wonderful. You make us laugh everyday. You are silly and like all of the attention! Most of the time, you are incredibly polite and friendly. You love your brother a lot, but sometimes show that love through pushes and punches... We're are deep in the heart of learning what it means to obey with a joyful heart. Whining seems to be a newly learned trait, again, just more time together learning... Just like your daddy, you LOVE your friends and are always ready for the next opportunity to play. You are hungry all the time. You love music, helping your daddy and Opa work, and being outside or going to the park. For some strange reason, you sleep on the floor every night. You have two beds in your room, but choose to sleep on a blanket on the floor. Every morning you run upstairs and as long as I am not up with Asher already, you climb into bed with me and cuddle for about two minutes before you realize you are hungry and ready to watch a show. You love the snow. You know your numbers as 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13... I think you know your ABC's, and we are working on your colors. For the most part, you've stopped taking an afternoon nap and just go downstairs for "rest time" and to play with your cars.You are excited about our baby girl and talk about how little she will be and how you will hold her. You also tell anyone who asks what her name is, so we've pretty much given up on keeping it a secret anymore. You wear your cowboy boots almost everyday, and I can only convince you to wear tennis shoes if it is important to "run and jump." You have about a million cars and love and know them all equally. You swaddle monkey and another bear in your blankies and they are "your babies." You don't like it when I do your hair, and prefer to have "crazy hair." You only let Kma cut your nails. I don't want to forget how you say : Grandpa Mary, frick-or-freating, and YMC-I. You talk all them time and always have an opinion or idea. You love to pretend to be a wild animal and we are always guessing as to which one it is. Blitz is your dog. Sometimes you play that your brother is your dog... He's pretty good at fetch! There are so many wonderful things about you, my three year old boy, I'm sure I am forgetting a lot of them...
At three years old, some of your favorites include:
  • Shows - Monster's Inc, Wild Kratts, Handy Manny, Mickey Christmas, really lots of shows- it changes regularly- you just like shows :)
  • Foods - apples, peppers, donuts, noodles, and lately- Halloween candy
  • Favorite color - blue 
  • Best Friend - Asher/ Jocelyn
  • Girlfriend- Jocelyn 
  • Friends - Lily, Jackson, Abel, Meadow, Maddox, Liam, your cousins!
  • Activities - going to the park, playdough, playing with cars
  • Music - Tyler's song & Life is a Highway
To celebrate your birthday this year, we had cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents over for a noodle lunch, pinata, and cake at our house on your actual birthday. The next Monday we invited a few friends (Jackson, Abel, Lily, Maddox, Liam and Izzy) to CHUCK E CHEESE! You had been talking about it for months and it was so fun!
Being your mom is hard work, Joshua. You push me closer to Jesus everyday as I learn to depend on Him and not myself. I pray that you see your dad and I trusting the Lord everyday. I pray that you use your energy and creativity to further the kingdom of God and that you learn to lean on Him and trust Him. We are so very thankful for you Joshua. Each day with you is a gift!  
We love you too much! 

Love, your momma & daddy

16 weeks

16 weeks. 

I'm barely showing. 

Some days I'm sick, some days I'm not. So some days I'm feeling great about this pregnancy and having a third baby, and some days I'm not. But the reality is that most days I go about my business with Joshua & Asher and wonder how in the world am I going to do this (library, grocery store, cleaning house, playing outside, even going on walks) with three kids?? And then, I remember when I had just one baby, I wondered how in the world I would do anything with two and here I am doing it everyday… The Lord really will provide every.single.little.thing to get me through every.single.day. 

It's a lot harder to name Baby #3. I think we are settled on a girl name, but the boy name is still not quite there…

I should probably buy stock in Panera. It always sounds good. Always. 
I've barely drink coffee these days, so weird for me!

Most nights when I lay down I get some heartburn. 

I'm super tired, all the time. 

Baby #3, 
I can't wait to see what this life is like with three little Pollard babies running around. Joshua is very excited about you, but rather confused as to why we don't know if you are boy or girl yet. Asher is very indifferent. Both your dad and I really think you are a girl. We find out November 4th and it really will be a shock if you are a boy… But no matter what, I'm positive you will fit into this family exactly the way you are supposed to. it would be great if I started feeling better all the time very soon… we love you so!


Baby #3 will making his or her debut in March of 2015!!! 
 This one is our big surprise! But we are so very excited! 

A little Q&A: 

Q: When did you find out you were pregnant?
A: We officially found out on July 18, 2014 (our 5th anniversary!)

Q: Was Manny there? or How did you tell Manny?
A: I had taken 2 negative tests (which he knew about it), still hadn't started so when we got home from a conference for my work and he returned to work I took a test as soon as I could --- POSITIVE! I was extremely shocked & called him right away so he could help me through some of the shock. He, on the other hand, was not so shocked… 

Q: What were your first reactions?
A: (see previous question) shock!

Q: What are you feeling now?
A: mostly, just feeling sick. not as shocked. not quite sure how we will manage three… 

Q: How far along are you?
A: 13 weeks

Q: When is your due date?
A: March 20, 2015

Q: Are you showing yet?
A: not really. i've lost a considerable amount of weight (the whole don't eat & then throw up does that) so that doesn't really help the "showing" thing. just feeling a little pudgy around the middle.

Q: How have you been feeling (sickness wise)?
A: started the morning sickness around 7 weeks. most of the time I throw up (nothing) first thing in the morning and don't eat until I finally find my appetite around dinner time. the morning sickness is no where near as bad as it was with Asher, but it's pretty much really difficult to chase two toddlers around while feeling awful… I have had respites of 2-3 days of feeling good and then 4-5 days of feeling bad again, so that is much different than any other morning sickness I've had. it's very hard being sick like this (on everyone), but we just trying to get through one day at a time. 

Q: What other symptoms have you experienced?
A: definitely exhaustion. my hair keeps falling out. 

Q: Any strange food cravings?
A: nothing strange, but lemonade, sour candy, and salty popcorn. 

Q: Any gender preference or predictions?
A: everyone is thinking girl… 

Q: Will you find out?

that's what has been happening thus far with Baby #3! 

fourth of july 2014

goodness, it was a full - fun day! 
waffles. parade. naps. BBQ. and even some fireworks out the front door right before bed!
so thankful for all the celebration, for all the friends and family, for all the freedom living in this country allows us.

what a great fourth of july!!!

forever blessed.

a little over two years ago, i wrote this in a blog post titled, "literally an answer to prayer"

after we first got married, i prayed {and cried} for friend's who would walk alongside us. who were right in the same stage as us. one for manny, one for me. some sweet couple friends.
~tyler & kaci~

after we met them & became close friends i prayed and begged the Lord to bless them with a baby, all in his perfect timing.
today, i got to hold and kiss and love on that precious baby girl. God is so faithful.

today, i sit here with big fat tears rolling down my cheeks because those sweet couple friends and their precious girls are moving to tennesse in eight days.... 

when we first met Tyler & Kaci i kept telling Manny, "I know her, I know her from somewhere." turns out we had gone to the same middle school... she was the super cool eighth grader with the hot boyfriend and I was a really nerdy sixth grader. She moved away to TN once, but then came back. And her and her awesome husband started playing worship for Alethia...

she tells me now that after our first dinner together she said to Tyler, "wow, she cusses a lot," ;)

from there it's just been lots of life together. so many fun times and lots of laughter. but also some really hard roads and a few tears (ok, mostly all the tears were mine) but yea, this life if messy and hard and wonderful all at the same time & it has been such a blessing to do it all with these friends over the past 4 years. 

our first babies were born 5 months apart.  and then we had more babies 2 months apart. we've lived 2 blocks from each other. we've been in every same small group and bible study. she's the only one who i let see me in my pajamas. she's the only one who will talk as much as me in bible study- we balance each other out ;). she's the only one i want to just stop by my house on the very best day or the very worst day. their family is the only one that my son prays from every single night. their "songs" are the only ones that put my boy to sleep every night. they are the only ones i will invite over to dinner just because i made too much food (and know they will come ;)). ella is the only name asher has said besides "dada" and "ma." she's got my back & i've got hers. joshua has one best friend, one girl, and that's jocelyn. that kaci, makes me laugh and blesses my life.

in so many more words than this silly blog post, this family has blessed ours.

there are so many stupid things i am going to miss once they live too many states away. i have no idea what i will do with my kids when they are making me crazy and i can't just walk to their house. i have no idea how i'm going to explain to joshua that it will be a very long time before he sees jocelyn again. i have no freaking clue who i'm going to hang with all the time. i'm going to hate being in worship at church for a pretty long time. and i think i might just be really sad for a long time too...

there are so many things every day that i will hate about them not being right here. but i'm trying really really hard to remember that the blessing of their friendship and doing life together will not end when they move a million miles away. it might look different. it will look different.
but this friendship is FOREVER a BLESSING.
and i am forever thankful for that FOREVER BLESSING.

currently: june 2014

summer time. i'm so very thankful for the warm days, time spent outside, the sunshine. seriously loving it.

just trying to get caught up in my 1-year Bible...

waiting for:
a less exhausting season of motherhood???

excited about:
the lack of weeds in my yard. {got manny a weed whacker for Father's Day & he already put it to use! no more 4 foot weeds!}

trying to:
not stress about the upcoming week. trying to enjoy the rest of today.

working on:
this blog post? haha. also a new game on my phone. two dots. haha.

where manny & i are. good communication. just a good season for our marriage. thankful!
lots of bubbles, chalk, and the kiddie pool!

church clothes. wishing i was in shorts & a sweatshirt. 

my week. meals, play dates, meetings, church stuff, family time, etc, etc.

to organize the office.

listening To:
manny watch the NBA finals game. i love basketball, NOT.

laundry. so much laundry. all. the. time.

dreaming of:
a day where our best friends aren't moving across the country in less than a month. BOO.