I love hearing how people go about picking their children's names. Are any you've chosen ones you've liked since you were young?
Some girls have lots of dreams about their future families, writing down potential names for their kids, dreaming of fancy dresses or sports games. I never really did, I guess preferring to handle life as it comes. Even after having kids, though I'll occasionally look at a baby name book, I don't keep lists of names I hope to use someday. Each of my children has come with a unique personality and purpose, and we've tried to choose names that will fit them.
All of the names we have for our children have special meaning for one reason or another:
Lillian is named for three of her two great-grandmothers. DH's Grandma Lillian Izola Bartholomew died last year, but she was a wonderful woman.
Lillian's middle name is after my own grandma, who I admired greatly. She died of cancer before I got married, after wearing out her life in service. She has a rather unique and unpopular name (think Zelma or Olga) and once commented that she knew no one would name any of their kids after her. Well, unusual or not, Lillian got her name and I know she also carries on my grandma's tradition of service and love. Of all of our kids, Lillian is the one who always instinctively knows how to serve and help, and I feel that she was aptly named.
Joseph is one that just came with his name. We just knew he was to be named Joseph. It's honestly not my favorite name in the world, but it honors many great men in history and in our family's line, and it just felt right that he should carry it on. His middle name is after his dad.
Michael's name came to me in an unusual way. After Lillian and Joey were born, 18 months apart, I had a really tough time as I suffered through what I later learned was post-partum depression. Soon after I was diagnosed and working towards recovery, I was serving in the temple when I felt the Spirit whisper to me that we would have a son named Michael. In the next few months, because of how difficult life was for me, it took a great amount of my faith and effort to pray for this child to come to our family. But I did so, and I'm so grateful he arrived when he did. He's always kept us entertained.
His middle name reminds him of his role as a loyal friend and companion to his brother close in age. I knew they would be good friends long before they were born (One thing I didn't anticipate, though, was how different they'd be!). It's interesting that while I knew their friendship would be important, I didn't realize that after Michael, at least 8 years would pass before another son would be born, making their relationship as brothers that much more important.
Because we had twins, it was sometimes a question before they were born as to which child would bear which name we'd chosen, but once they were born, it just felt right that each received the name they did.
Allison is about the only child I have whose name was chosen simply because I liked it. It means "noble," which fits well with her twin's name meaning "princess." Her middle name is more meaningful, as she is named after me. It was with some trepidation that I did that, because I wondered as I did why it should be that this child should have my name when none of the others do, including her twin. But the first four years have borne out our decision in a multitude of ways. She, more than all of my children, shares my strong, determined, and sometimes obstinate personality. I was my mother's toughest toddler, and Allison has been mine (and I love her for it!).
Sarah was named both for her ancestors who bore that name, but also for the meaning of the names. Sarah means "princess," and her middle name means "God is gracious." From the moment I found out I was expecting twins, I knew I needed some way to honor the Giver of this special privilege and I found it in Sarah's middle name. God was gracious in blessing us with these two unique souls who came down together for purposes known to Him. A healthy pregnancy and their birth at 38 weeks, small and perfect, were blessings we acknowledge humbly, knowing that not all twins begin life so smoothly.
Eliza Joy was named soon after we found out she was a girl. Eliza was a name we quickly agreed on, and it honors some ancestors. But the middle name was a question for a few weeks. One evening as I attended a Church meeting, I was really struggling. I was exhausted because of the pregnancy, but we were also trying to pack up one household, build a house, and deal with two very trying toddlers. In the midst of my prayers for strength and help, I found myself feeling a surety that Eliza's middle name was to be Joy, and that would be part of her role in our family, to lift us up. That brought me hope in a tough time, and three years later, I thank God often for Eliza's bright, obedient, kind, loving, and joyful personality. She has been my easiest toddler, and I've often said that if I ever needed proof that God loved me, it's right there in that He sent Eliza to me right after the twins. Their personalities are strong and intense and wonderful to watch, but also very trying as a mother to deal with, particularly during their toddler years. Eliza's sweet disposition has brought us great joy and we all adore her.
Harmony was named a year before she was born. I had a feeling one summer night that in a year's time, we would have a baby girl named Harmony. The name has meaning for me more for its peaceful definition, but I've mentioned before that its musical implications made me hope that Harmony would at least respond and enjoy music. She does.
As for #8, I had a profound experience last April where I knew we would have a son named Benjamin. I'm pretty sure this one is he, but should it be a girl, we'll have to start looking through those baby name books and plan on waiting a while for our Benjamin. I'm nearly 16 weeks now, so I should have that exciting ultrasound sometime in the next month.
What made you choose your own children's names? Anyone love or hate their own name or have strong feelings about it?