Thursday, February 27, 2014

What's In A Name?

Kathryn over at Team Whitaker is hosting a little link up about baby names as she and her husband debate that all important job of naming a new little blessing!

We've had a little experience ourselves at the whole Name Game!  I actually wrote a little about it quite a while ago and decided to update/expand and join in the fun over at Kathryn's blog.

(btw...I love the way her name is spelled!  Just like our Kathryn:)...Andrew still tells me I spelled her name wrong!

Michael Dennis 

With our first born, we had read through the baby name book countless times and had narrowed the list down to two names that we both liked: Michael and Benjamin.  In our heads, we pictured a Benjamin to be calm and laid back...and a Michael to be not quite so calm and laid back.  When the day arrived, our baby boy was born with a healthy wail.  The doctor moved him to the warming bassinet where he proceeded to......pee all over the nurse!  Jay looked at me with a smile and said, "He's a Michael!"  And he definitely is!

His middle name is also my dad's name, pictured above with a 10 month old Michael.  We didn't tell him until Michael was born what his middle name was and, 21 years later, I still remember how much he beamed and how proud he was when we told him in the hospital as they met Michael for the first time!:)

Andrew Jason
We went into the delivery room for Andrew in fierce debate over our list of favorite names.  Jay wanted Daniel or Jonathan.  I wanted Jarrod or Evan.  Neither of us wanted the other's was a stalemate.  Andrew was a rather large baby at 9lbs 8oz and he had a really big head.(When his head came out the nurse looked at me and said, "Wow, he has a really big head."  And I thought(sarcastically), "Thanks so much, the rest of him isn't even out yet!")  After he was out completely(did I mention I had him without any drugs?), Jay looked at me in all seriousness and said, "Honey, you can name him anything you want!"  Thank-you very much for a husband that acknowledged, and was in awe, of what I just went through!  I did the fair thing and chose the third name on my list....which was also the third name on Jay's list.  Andrew was not either of our favorite names, but it was a compromise...and it was a good fit!  Jason is after daddy...who was super proud to have fathered 2 sons:)

Jonathan Francis

Jonathan was come by with a little more angst.  He was our third child...and our third boy.  But I was convinced he was a girl.  I never knew for sure before he was born because he was always "shy" in the ultrasounds!  So we only had a girl's name picked out....Abigail Caroline.  Obviously that didn't work for a boy.  Jon was born at 9:30 in the morning and we tried out several different names during that first day...Sean, Daniel, Benjamin, etc.  Jay was leaving the hospital that night and refused to leave until we had a name.  He didn't want to call extended family and friends and say "Baby Boy was born today."  So, we settled on Jonathan.  Jay actually wanted just John, but I liked the way Jonathan sounded with our last name better.  As he got older, most people call him Jon and he always complains, in a good natured way, to me that it is my fault that they always spell it wrong...j.o.h.n.  Francis is after Jay's dad.

Therese Elizabeth

Therese's short life certainly left a big impact on us.  We had a huge devotion to St. Therese at the time.  Therese was conceived after I prayed a halfhearted prayer on a picture of her on our mantle while I was dusting.  (and a couple weeks later, shortly before I discovered I was pregnant, a dead rosebush outside our house bloomed with an abundance of beautiful yellow roses!)  During problems with the pregnancy, a level II ultrasound put her date of conception as October 1(St. Therese's feast day).  It seemed fitting to name her after such a gentle, heavy hitter of a saint....and roses abounded during our Therese's 16 days on earth with us.  Elizabeth is a name I love and it sounded so pretty with Therese and our last name.  

Sarah Therese

Sarah was a name we picked before we even conceived her.  We love it's meaning...princess...and that she is to our family.  Sarah was born 364 days after Therese, and she brought lots of joy to our hurting family.  Sarah has always been a loving and very easy going person, and Jay and I always say that she is almost always 'too easy' to parent!(Don't worry, some of her brothers more than make up for it!)
Sarah is a special, not so little anymore, young woman who, like her sisters, has her daddy wrapped around her finger!  Her middle name, Therese, was obviously after her sister.  I wanted Sarah to have a part of her sister even though they will never meet this side of Heaven.

Are you still with me?!?...sorry, we have lots of names!

Peter Joseph
Oh, my Peter!  Peter was Jay's pick and I didn't fight him on it!(for once:)  Jay has always had a big devotion to St. Joseph and it also happens to be the middle name of my maternal grandfather and my paternal great-grandfather, so, win-win we keep the tradition of our sons' middle names being after family.

Ellen Elizabeth

Our beautiful blue eyed beauty was named Ellen for two reasons...
the short reason:  we liked the name that means 'light'.
the long reason:  I had a huge devotion to St. Faustina at the time and, as much as I wanted to, I couldn't name her Faustina because that would be a tough name for a little kid to have.  St. Faustina's birth name was Helen, which I wasn't crazy about.  Ellen is a derivative of Helen so, in a really round-about way, Ellie was named after St. Faustina.
Confused, yet?  
Elizabeth was our choice so that she shared Therese's middle name.  

(Ironically, Ellen Elizabeth was one of the names we considered for Andrew...Kathryn Elizabeth for Michael.  Funny how sometimes names come back around!)

Almost done:)

Luke Arthur
Luke was a name that both Jay and I liked from the start.  Honestly, after going through the baby names so.many.times, everything seems a little 'old hat'.  Add to the mix that Jay only likes the more traditional names and it is actually really hard to name babies after you have had a bunch!

Sorry, I'm about to get confusing again, but Arthur is my mother's 'dad'.  I say 'dad' because her biological father died when she was 17 from a heart attack.  My Pepere married my grandmother 2 years before I was born and he loves us all as if we were related by blood!  In fact, it wasn't until I was probably around 10 that I knew that my "real" grandfather had died.  So, Luke's middle name is for my grandfather, Pepere, who was completely honored and cried when my mom told him Luke's name when he was born...and cried when he thanked us for naming Luke after him...and anytime someone mentioned Luke's full name for several months.  My Pepere is a gentle man who knows a little bit of everything....and I'm glad that we were able to honor him in a special way!

And....last but not least...
Kathryn Marie
I always loved the name I mentioned before that would have been Mike's name if he was a girl.  I also really love the name Kate, but I wanted her to be named after a saint and have the option, when she is a grown up, to have a more 'formal' sounding name if she wants.  Jay really, really(!) wanted to name Kate...Abigail.  Abigail is another beautiful name and Jay loved the meaning, 'a father's joy', but I just wasn't feeling it!  Jay kept trying and praying, but it wasn't clicking for me.  I offered to use Abigail as the middle name, but ultimately Jay decided to hold out "just in case we have another girl!"
(OY...I keep telling him that maybe we will have a granddaughter named Abigail someday!)
We decided that we wanted a name to honor Our Blessed Mother, and I liked the way Marie sounded with her name. 

Thanks for taking a (long) stroll down memory lane with me!  Naming a new little life is so exciting!