Today is September 11th… one of the most tragic anniversaries in American history.  I remember waking up to a phone call from my (then) fiance.  His words were, “Turn on the TV.  America is at war.”  I was shocked, and scared, and sad, just like everyone else in the country.  And the realization that our lives would never be the same began to set in.  We had a rather long engagement, and were in the home stretch, but I remember discussing the fact that things were so uncertain that it was possible we wouldn’t be able to get married.  Thankfully that wasn’t the case.  We were married as planned on a rainy December day that same year.

IMG_5089We knew we didn’t want children immediately, but we didn’t know just how long we’d have to wait to be parents.  We experienced three miscarriages (and lost four babies), each one more heartbreaking and dangerous and mysterious than the last.  Seven years after we said “I do” we discovered we were pregnant again, and this time, it stuck.  This baby’s journey wasn’t without hiccups (including unexplained bleeding, the stress of a cross-country move, and a nasty bout with West Nile Virus), but around 10:30pm on September 12, 2008, Ryder Harrison arrived via unplanned (but not emergency) c-section.  His first act on this earth was to pee on his nurse, and we knew from that moment on that our lives would include nothing but action and adventure.

P1010568Tonight, I will tuck in my four-year-old for the last time.  Tomorrow, Ryder will be FIVE!

I know every parent feels this way about their children.  But Ryder is one of the most caring, passionate, smartest kids I know.  He’s strong (no really, he can deadlift 88lbs with perfect form), and fast, and never. stops. moving.  Ever.  He surprises me every day with his compassion and the genuine affection he shows for his little brother and his friends.  He’s eager to learn, eager to please, and obsessed with protecting those he loves.

IMG_5502And while our lives are still uncertain, I’m sure of one thing: The God who created the heavens and the earth also created this little boy especially for me.  And He has BIG plans for my Mounted Warrior.  He was worth the wait, and through the good and the bad, the messy and the loud, I’m thankful everyday for his presence in my life.

Happy 5th Birthday (tomorrow), Peanut!

One Response

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  1. Keri
    Keri September 11, 2013 at 1:10 pm | | Reply

    I still LOVE that photo of him sucking on Ryan’s nose. So cute. Happy Birthday, Ryder! The Chappells love you and hope you have a great day!!

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