Thursday, January 21, 2010

What's in a Name?

I have meant to write this post for a while and just haven't gotten around to it. A lot of times people ask why we chose the names we did for our kids, was it easy, etc. So here goes...

Reese Elizabeth

When we found out we were pregnant with Reese we didn't even start discussing names until we knew the gender of our baby. Once we knew we were having a girl we looked in baby name books, looked online, and listened to names around us...or at least I did...and we knew we didn't want to name our kids after anyone specifically to avoid hurt feelings. One day I was on Baby Center in a name forum. One of the posts was about "names you liked but didn't use" so I went in to see what was listed. There were a bunch of messages but the name Reese stuck out to me. I filed it in to my mental list and went on. A couple of days later we went out to dinner and there was a little girl waiting with her dad. He was holding a bag with the name Reese on it. So now it was there in my face again. That weekend Lance and I sat down with the baby name book and both made a list of the names we liked. I had mentioned the name, Reese, to him before we made our lists. Once we discussed our list of names we both had Reese on it and we both really liked it. (I never associated it with Reese Witherspoon, in case you were wondering...I got that a lot early on). We continued to look at names but always came back to Reese. About a week or so before Reese was born we went to Barnes and Noble. While Lance looked for some books I went to the baby section and pulled out a few baby name books. I opened the first one to see what the name Reese meant and in that particular book it said "passionate". That word meant a lot to me during that time. The first time I went to the church that my parents go to the sermon was about passion and I fell in love with their pastor!! (He actually ended up marrying us a few years later.) When I saw that meaning it was like a sign. I am a horrible decision maker so I take any signs I can get!! I was set on Reese after that.

During our discussion of names we would obviously think of middle names too. With a short name like Reese we knew it needed a longer middle name. The only name we ever liked with it was Elizabeth so it stuck. About six weeks before I was due we went to Florida and visited Lance's grandmother. She wanted to show us something in her bedroom (I can't remember what) so we went back to her room. Above her dresser was her framed wedding invitation with her full name on it. Her middle name was Elizabeth. I was bummed when I first saw it. I had asked Lance if her knew anyone with that as their first or middle name. He had said no. When we got in the car to leave I asked him if he knew what his grandmother's middle name was and he said her maiden name. He had no idea. I tried to come up with other middle names for Reese but never found one that I loved as much. So we left it alone and I am so glad we did. I love her name just the way it is!!

Samuel Dane

As you probably recall from my posts while pregnant with Sam, we had a really hard time finding a boys name that we liked and could agree on. There was so much pressure to have a cute little boys name that would also be great as a man. I really liked a lot of names that were more nicknames. I settled on one name and had a really hard time liking anything else. I became so worried that we would never pick out a name for the little baby cupcake that I would pray about finding a name for him. One of the many times I was sitting at the computer looking up names I thought of Samuel. It was a great man's name and what a sweet name Sam was. I immediately went to our baby name book to look it up. The meaning was "heard from God". There was my sign. I suggested it to Lance that night and he said he liked it. We both thought about it for a few days and eventually decided that it was the perfect name. To this day I have never called him Samuel. He is and will probably always be Sam to me. The only time I use Samuel is for legal reasons...insurance, birth certificate, etc. We occasionally call him Sammy when we are talking in those annoying baby voices and playing with him. Reese almost always calls him "Baby Sam" because that is what we called him when he was still in my belly. She was the only person that knew his name...until the night I checked in to the hospital and Becca was staying with Reese. Becca called me that night and said, "I think Reese told me what the baby's name is." I asked her what she had said and Reese had been talking about Baby Sam. So Becca and my cousin, Lissa, found out the name before he was born.
The middle name was easy. When I was looking up names I came across Dane. It means, "Man from Denmark". My maiden name is Denmark (yes, just like the country). Since I am one of three girls in my family, our last name isn't going any further so I thought I would at least pay tribute to the name. Lance was ok with it so we just found a first name that fit.

So there you have it. That is what's in our names.


Anonymous said...

Maybe I'm just emotionally drained for some reason, but this blog made me cry! You are such a great Mommy and a good role model for Not only Reese and Sam, but me too. I pray that I'll be half the Mommy you are some day! I love this post because it has so much meaning! I love you!
Aunt Becky

Nathan and Patricia Harder said...

Thanks for sharing! Great post!

Anonymous said...

YES!!! I did cry when I read this post. I knew you would never name one of your children "Denmark" even if it was a middle name. Your tribute to our family name is deeply, heart felt, and lovingly appreciated. As you well know it's kinda like having a junior after you because your middle name "Dana" means of Denmark. We chose it specifically for that reason too. Love Daddy/Granddaddy

Carrie Beth said...

I love hearing about how people choose names for their kids...thanks for sharing yours! Loved Reese's pictures jumping in the puddles. :-)