Two of you cute people asked how we came up with the names for our children.
It’s a fine time to answer that.
I always knew my first daughter’s middle name would be Helen. It’s my middle name and my grandma’s first name. My grandma was one of those people that you want to be like when you grow up. She just did everything and knew everything. (or so it seemed.) Her home always smelled like home cooking, I always loved that. And I always miss it.
Anyway. When I was about six months pregnant Brian and I were out to dinner. I recall having a strawberry daiquiri (virgin, people) from Redamak’s. mmmmm….soooooo good. Anna just popped in my head. I said “Anna Helen.” And Brian didn’t grimace at me, which was a very positive response. I then realized that my grandma’s full name was Helen Anna Pauline and I almost died right at that very moment from OHMYTHISISSOPERFECT-itis.
It’s a real condition.
It was a done deal at that moment.
We just loved the name Noah. Daniel is my brother’s name. I had hoped and prayed that we may have another boy someday and we could name Noah’s brother using my other brother’s name as his middle name.
When we were pregnant with the twins, I knew twin A was Jake David. Such a perfect name and named after my other brother (Dan and Dave are also identical twins). I always loved the name James but hadn’t really thought to share it as a possibility. I love that James could be president or James could be the guy with the guitar on stage at open mic night. It just fits…everything.
I can remember writing the names James Thomas on a piece of paper at the hospital before delivering them and handing to Brian as way to communicate twin B’s name. I couldn’t say it out loud. My emotions wouldn’t allow it. He looked at it and said “I love it.” That’s how our James and Jake were named. Thomas is Brian’s middle name and his Dad’s first name. How I would have loved to have yelled those names out in a fit of frustration or yelled them out as they ran across a field but instead they’re said, mostly silently, in our prayers or in our dreams. That’s perfect, too.
I really wanted Eli’s name to be Harrison. My dad’s name is Harry. I loved the idea of calling my little boy Harry. I pushed and pushed but Brian really never budged except to make it Elijah’s middle name. Which was smart because Eli is so very Eli.
With Eli and Clara we didn’t just need agreement between Mom and Dad, we had older, opinionated kids involved. I recall, maybe at 8 months pregnant, finally coming up with his name. We were at lunch, the four of us. I read it out loud from a baby book, Elijah. Brian said he really liked it. We looked at the kids and they said “yes! We love it!” I remember getting emotional “his name is Elijah?” Brian nodded.
The funny thing about Eli now is that if you ask him his name or if he calls himself something, he always says “I Elijah.” Even though we always call him Eli. I say to him “I’m your Mama” and he says “I your Elijah,” so very sweetly. That’s my favorite.
Goodness, she’s so sweet. A few weeks before our ultrasound I was laying in bed when the name popped into my head “CLARA.” I thought, oooh, so pretty and also “and it ends with the “ah” sound that we accidentally used for all of the others. (that was totally not on purpose.) I became very excited, very quickly, I’m pretty sure I woke Brian and said “okay, it has to be a girl because I have THE MOST PERFECT BABY GIRL NAME EVERRRRRR.” He opened his eyes and I said “Clara.” He loved it.
I remember telling my mom that I had thought of the most perfect baby girl name and she said “yep, you have to have a girl.”
Catherine is Brian’s grandma’s name. She’s 99 and one of the most amazing and beautiful creatures to ever walk this earth. Both she and Clara have October birthdays. It’s a very special bond they have. Anna also calls Clara C.C.
There you go, an explanation into the names of our sweet little babies. It was fun reliving such beautiful, sweet memories. Thanks for listening, friends.
photos by Michelle Hamstra Photography