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Friday, July 16, 2010



 We are Lara and Chris, married on 10/10/08.   We started dating in 2001 after meeting at work, through the prodding of our nosy boss. Our first date was to see Planet of the Apes (the remake), a movie so terrible we have not yet done the romantic thing and re-watched it. We married in a small(ish) ceremony with lots of friends and family and lots of booze and lots of s'mores (!), and honeymooned a year later in Italy. We've traveled quite a bit together, including Seattle (several times), Los Angeles, Austin, Washington, DC, Miami, Hilton Head, Branson, New York City, Chicago, Las Vegas (way too many times), Canada, Italy, Aruba (three times!), and Australia. We're no globe trotters, but we love it. We're also not music fanatics, but we love going to concerts together, and have amassed a ticket stub collection covering everything from Ke$ha (his choice) and Lady Gaga (my choice) to Rob Zombie, Usher, Nine Inch Nails, Dropkick Murphys, and Macklemore. There isn't a genre we haven't heard live. Except maybe polka. He works for a tech giant and is a self-proclaimed computer nerd; I work part-time for a hotel chain in customer service but spend most of my time being a stay-at-home mom. I balance those two with a love of photography, shooting as much as possible in my rare down time (what down time?!?).


We found out we were pregnant with our first child around Christmas of 2009. We were insanely excited. Devastatingly, on April 12, 2010 he was born far too early at 19w3d old and lived for just 20 minutes after my water broke prematurely. We named him Caleb Anthony. You can read more about him here. I never imagined I'd be in the horrific "dead baby" club (as one of my dear friends, also a loss mom, calls it), but here I am.


 On September 30, 2010, I had a transabdominal cerclage placed to treat the incompetent cervix that caused the loss of Caleb. You can read more about this procedure here.


Carys Josephine. Our rainbow. She was born on 7/7/11 - lucky girl! - weighing nine pounds even. Carys was a name we (okay, I) loved from the start (Chris took a bit of convincing). It's a Welsh name coming from the root word "caru", or love. And she embodies love. Josephine is after about a hundred relatives. She has a great-great grandma Josephine, three aunts with "Jo" as the middle name, and a great grandfather whose middle name is Joseph. She's a spunky, free-spirited little girl who makes us happier than we ever could have imagined, who is an absolutely amazing big sister to her little sister Emmeline.  Unless she's in the middle of a tantrum. Then we wonder what the hell we got ourselves into (normal, right?).


Emmeline Marie. Our rainbow-after-our-rainbow. She was born 12/12/13, at 9lbs, 7oz (!) and she's a sweet baby with giant eyes who studies the world with serious, wide eyes.  We are so looking forward to seeing our family grow with her as the newest member and getting to know her.


This is my fourth blog. My first, Anonymous Midwest Girl, was from a time when I used to be funny. Seriously, I look at some of those posts and wonder when I lost my sense of humor. Maybe when I hit 25 and got old.  But I was kind of a big deal for a while there, getting like a whole ten comments per post. Probably the 734,532th most read blog on the internet at the time. The second blog, AMG Goes to Europe, was a spin-off of the regular blog that just contained pictures from my trip to Europe. I started the third blog when I was pregnant the first time - this site would eventually become a sort of memorial to our son, Caleb. This is probably the last blog I'll ever make, and will hopefully will take us from being pregnant with Carys and through family life can continue until blogging isn't a thing anymore. Actually, it probably isn't a thing now. It's probably so uncool and behind the times already. What are kids these days doing?

The riff on carrots (like in the "Letters to Carrots") come from a nurse who, when I said her name was Carys, asked, "You named your daughter CARROTS?"  The blog title, as well as the text behind the blog header, is from a favorite poem: "You are my I love you" by Maryann K Cusimano:

I am your parent you are my child
I am your quiet place, you are my wild
I am your calm face, you are my giggle
I am your wait, you are my wiggle
I am your audience, you are my clown
I am your London Bridge, you are my falling down
I am your Carrot Sticks, you are my licorice
I am your dandelion, you are my first wish
I am your water wings, you are my deep
I am your open arms, you are my running leap
I am your way home, you are my new path
I am your dry towel, you are my wet bath
I am your dinner you are my chocolate cake
I am your bedtime, you are my wide awake
I am your finish line, you are my race
I am your praying hands, you are my saving grace
I am your favourite book, you are my new lines
I am your nightlight, you are my sunshine
I am your lullaby, you are my peek-a-boo
I am your kiss goodnight, you are my I love you