April 10, 2013

A name for her

Knowing that my family was willing to murder us if we didn't check out the baby's junk, we said "yes" to the ultrasound technician when she asked us if we wanted to know what we were having. When it was finally known that we were, indeed, having a baby, and that this baby was going to be a girl, we were granted the gift of continuing our lives and we immediately went out and cleared Target of all the things.

When we revealed our intention to keep the baby's name a secret, we had no idea that we were going to be put on some people's shit-list. Apparently surprises are not appreciated when it comes to babies. I should have remembered this from my first pregnancy when we decided wait to see if our baby was a boy or a girl the moment it burst forth from my blessed womb as in days of old. Fair warning: that baby you are carrying is not your own. Or, at least, your friends and family will make you feel that way.

Regardless of whether we wanted to reveal our naming intentions, or not, we couldn't decide on a name either way. So we were as much in the dark as anyone else. We approached the name with two main goals: The middle name will be a hand-me-down name, as is our tradition*. And the first name will be an old fashioned type of name because this really appealed to me.

For me, the middle name came easy. I wanted to name one of my children after my brother. My brother is so special to me and our relationship continues to grow, year after year. I treasure him in a way I never imagined possible and I wanted to honor one of my children with such a special name. So I chose Ryan for her middle name and never looked back.

Eric and I developed a list of names and would email back and forth while he was at work, crossing off names we didn't care for and pleading our case for those names that we wanted to win:

cross off what you don't like and send back

finley (fair haired hero)
everly (nickname Evie)
violet (purple)
clara (bright, clear)
lucy (light)
ramona (wise protector)
jane (god's gracious gift)
elodie (marsh flower)
mabel (lovable)
ivy (plant name)
poesy (poetry)
virginia (virginal)
Elowen (elm) nickname- Ellie, Wennie

 finley (fair haired hero) no
everly (nickname Evie) I like Evie but not Everly
violet (purple) I like Violet
clara (bright, clear) Clara is good. 
lucy (light) As a middle name maybe.
ramona (wise protector) Maybe.
jane (god's gracious gift) I don't know, because my old boss ruined this for me otherwise I might like it.
elodie (marsh flower) Meh
mabel (lovable) I kind of like Mabel
ivy (plant name) Ivy isn't too bad
poesy (poetry) Maybe not
virginia (virginal) MAYBE as a middle name, I don't know.
Elowen (elm) nickname- Ellie, Wennie  This one is alright.

How about Parker? 

I don't like parker. I'm pretty set on Ryan as a middle name. I would like you to send me a short list of names that you really like and I'll veto the ones I'm not fond of as well. Then we can have a short list of names for when we are at the hospital. I'm going to leave Ramona on the maybe list because I feel like it may be one of those names that grows on you AND that it could be a name that you have to see the baby to feel it's a good fit, if that makes sense. I'm not a fan of Evie and I think I'm liking Ivy less and less as well. They both sound like initial nicknames like DJ. IV, EV. You know what I mean?
Also, I do like Elowen, came across it last night, but maybe it's too fancy/fantasy world sounding for my taste. What do you think?

So first names that we can decide on when we see her:


Beside the ones you sent..


I wasn't really thinking of these names that much, just ones that I found that initially sounded decent.

Okay, of those four I like Juliet and possibly Maisie. Clementine is cute, it's definitely becoming a trendy, hipster name though.

Ok, that's fine. 

So, the list we brought to the hospital was:

We were adamant about not sharing ANY names with anyone. I didn't want anyone to have any input on the names we were even considering because I know myself too well and know that I would take everyone's opinions in and let them take over. I am working very hard on not being such a people-pleaser! I had to remind Eric several times that we weren't telling anyone ANYTHING! I still wonder if he was discussing things behind my back. He just cannot keep a secret! As far as I know, he didn't. One day, on his death bed, he'll probably reveal to me that he was asking everyone's opinions on every name we considered. 

I really thought that I was going to go with Ramona or Mabel. I just imagined a dark haired, dark eyed little girl in my arms and Ramona was going to be written all over her sweet little face. I wasn't as smitten with Mabel but the name means "lovable" and, I mean, come on...  how precious is that?

After Baby Girl was born I went to take a shower and while I was in the bathroom Eric came in to talk about the name. While I was showering I had felt very struck by the name Violet, which was really not what I was expecting at all! I thought the name was sweet and I liked that it was a family name (Eric's grandmother), but I hadn't felt in love with it. For some reason though, that little baby just looked like a Violet to me! I was drying off and Eric said to me, "So, I've been thinking about the name and I think I like Violet."

I smiled, and let out a little laugh. I was so surprised and, as usual, in awe of the connection we have. I told him that I felt the same and thus, a sweet little Violet brought joy and beauty into the world. We took great pleasure in announcing the name, first to Eric's parents and sister and our other children who were in the room (not the bathroom, cause... gross). Then to my parents, and finally to my brother and his wife. 

I'm so glad we kept out naming process secret. I'm so happy that we waited to choose her first name. It was such a unique experience for us and I loved the feeling of certainty that came with our selection. I highly recommend it! We are so in love with our darling Violet Ryan.

* Jenna Noelle was named for my high school best friend and maid-of-honor, Stephanie Noelle. Marah Sue was named for my Aunt Carla Sue who had been a hugely special person in my life. Alexander Eric was, of course, named for his daddy.


  1. Always in awe of your writing skills you pull me into your story and I feel like part of your life.

  2. Aw, what a special post for Violet when she gets older. You should write similar posts about how you chose your other kids' names! I can't wait to meet her next month!


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