Carolyn Savage

Carolyn Savage

I am the oldest child of Byron and Linda Higgins's brood of three. Unlike my husband, Sean, I had preferred seating at the dinner table and as their only daughter, my clothes always came with tags.

I spent most of my childhood in Michigan, living in suburban Detroit until I was nine, when we moved to East Lansing so my dad could take a job with Michigan State University. It was in East Lansing that I developed a fervent love for sports, as my younger brothers and I were avid Spartan fans! That love of Big Ten sports broadened to include the Fighting Illini, when my dad took a position with the University of Illinois and moved our family to Champaign, Illinois shortly before my sixteenth birthday.

I was raised in a happy home where independent thinking was encouraged. My mom is Catholic and my dad is Episcopalian, and at various times during my childhood, we were active in both churches. While we lived in Michigan, we spent all of our summer free time at our sailboat in Sarnia, Canada. It was there that I learned to love the outdoors, and how to add "eh" to the end of many of my sentences (which was somewhat common in Michigan, but most definitely perplexing to my friends in Illinois). To further my independence (or maybe because my mom needed a break) I started attending sleep-away camp when I was eight years old. My experiences at Camp Eberhart in Three Rivers, Michigan, profoundly impacted my life. At camp, I not only learned how to start campfires, shoot a rifle, and paddle a canoe, but I also learned to appreciate diversity, fend for myself in challenging social situations, and patiently live with others.

My mom and dad, like Sean's parents, were big on developing a strong work ethic in their children. If we kids weren't "in season" with a sport or school related activity, we were expected to be gainfully employed. For me, that meant retail work, baby-sitting and life-guarding at our local pool. In addition, there was a high academic bar set for my school performance, which turned out to be a good thing, as after high school graduation, I left home to attend Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, (which was a critical turn of events for our children!)

I pursued a teaching career in the Catholic schools of Toledo, eventually my master's degree in educational administration and becoming an elementary school principal.

Although I loved teaching, my top priority is raising my children.

Sean and I met on Oct 28, 1989 early in Sean's sophomore year of college (I was a whole year and a half older as a junior). Sean likes to remind me frequently that I am older than him. We fell in love soon thereafter and had a fun college experience, and were engaged a week after graduation. We were married May 29,1993 and began a life together in a small apartment in Toledo. In each other we found best friends and formed a lasting bond based on common values and a love for family. In each other we had met our match (on multiple levels!), and feel so blessed to have each other as partners in life.

In September, 1994 our son Drew was born, and, after some fertility struggles, Ryan came along in April 1997. Our fertility struggles then began in earnest as we pursued having additional children. Our decade long battle with infertility ended with a successful IVF and our daughter Mary Kate was born in March 2008. That IVF produced extra embryos we had frozen for later pregnancy attempts which led us to a frozen embryo transfer in February 2009 and the call from the doctor alerting us of the medical error.

Drew, Ryan, and Mary Kate are the center of our universe and a joy to raise. Despite all of the challenges and stress that comes with raising children, we believe there is no more important or satisfying career than parenthood. We both enjoy being involved in the church and the community giving of both our time and resources and hope to set the best example possible for our children.

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