WP3A9858editphoto courtesy of Erica Hartzog photography

At one month old, Ridley rests in my lap with his feet barely hanging over the edges.  He whistles as he sleeps and his chest pumps up and down drawing in soft breaths. He's growing yet he's little - this is what I cherish.

Two days ago was Ridley's original due date - March 17th. This date had been circled in my calendar since last July. We had trained the girls in telling complete strangers that their baby brother was due in March. Each week at my doctor's office I received hormone shots that would keep him growing inside of me. As the sharp sting of the needle entered my flesh, my goal was to keep him in my belly until this date.

But, life does not always go according to plan.


Instead of giving birth to Ridley on Monday, I went for my post-partum check-up. After that, I helped the girls work on a school project, made chicken tacos, and went to a meeting. This Monday that I had anticipated for almost a year turned out to be just another ordinary Monday.

Yet, it wasn't.

Because on Monday I was able to feed, hold, and love on our precious third child...the same thing I've had the privilege of doing for a whole month now.


Ridley greeted us five weeks early and his life has been the most wonderful surprise.  I had no idea my heart had room to love another child as much as I loved Adeline and Maralee.

But it does.

Ridley has been the sweetest gift from God that I didn't even know I needed; he has reset me in the most wonderful of ways.  My pregnancy with this child restored hope within me and now his birth has been pure redemption. Ridley brings me that special joy that only a newborn can bring to his mother.  I want time to stop but since he's not my first I know it won't so I cherish this time I do have with our baby boy.


Slowing down time hasn't been easy  with active preschoolers, prior commitments, and moving. Yet in the midst of all this craziness, his peaceful demeanor beckons me to unwind, be still, retreat. He anchors my racing mind and reminds my heart to not be anxious.


I know God has a plan for our lives and every day I'm reminded to trust in his plans.  I didn't want Ridley to be born early - I thought buying him a green toboggan and the girls matching green dresses would ensure that he'd be born on St. Patrick's Day like we'd planned.  But, he was born early and he was healthy.  We got to take him home to our rental and learn how to be a family of five for two weeks before we moved.  Now that we've moved, I couldn't imagine having done that and then having him.  I would have been way too stressed and tired and not as focused as I should be on our new child.  God knew that Ridley needed to come before we moved.  I'm so glad that his plans are greater than mine.

Till next time, let your light shine!

Blessings, christen

In honor of Ridley being born a healthy preemie, consider making a donation to our March for Dimes team?  Just follow the link below.  Thank you sweet friends!