How did you come up with your kids' names?
Ok, seriously LOVE this question. Next to telling you my birth stories this is a favorite thing to write about and one that I haven't! Thanks for asking!
I'll start with Samuel since he is the oldest. Oh little Samuel Edward...
When Jeff and I started praying for a baby we had no idea our journey would last almost 3 years. By the time I finally got pregnant I didn't care what we had but deep down I wanted a boy. I had always seen myself as a mother of 2 boys and really couldn't imagine mothering girls.
At our 20 week ultrasound when the tech announced it was a boy, I was thrilled and we started discussing names. I had loved the name Samuel forever and felt a connection to the story of Hannah praying for a son.
On the other hand, Jeff's dad's name is Herbert James (called Jim) and I also loved the idea of naming our son Herbert James and calling him Jack, another long time favorite name of mine.
In the end, we just fell in love with the tune of "Samuel Edward". Edward is Jeff's late grandfather's name; Grandpa Ed was Jeff's biggest fan, fishing buddy and the sweetest man you would have ever met. He died in 2003 and naming Samuel after him in 2006 seemed like a tender way to honor the man who would have adored Jeff's son.
Samuel has ended up being the perfect name for our precious boy. In February, I was even more convinced it was the perfect name when God called Samuel in his bedroom late at night. You may remember the spine tingling answer Samuel gave me the day after he asked Jesus in to his heart when I asked him how he knew Jesus didn't already live in his heart, "God told me", he simply stated.
And finally, in most recent months I have gotten really into the genealogy of the Niles side and have found out that "Samuel" is a Niles family name that was given to many of the men in my line and was the middle name of my grandfather's favorite uncle. How perfect and cool is that?
And now for little Roo...
Emily May Irene Henderson joined us in 2008 and we knew from the moment we heard she was a girl what we would name her. I have known since I was an adult that if I had a daughter I would name her after my Grandma Emily. To read more about Gigi, which you should because she is awesome, click on the label "Gigi". You'll be glad you did.
May is a family name: Gigi's mom was Beryl May, Gigi is Emily May, my Mom is Della May and I'm Jennifer May. When I was a kid I didn't like the name, mostly because I was a kid and kids are difficult and one way they are difficult is to gripe about their names. I was pretty typical. Also, there was a boy in my 4th grade class named Jonathan May and the kids would tease me and say I was going to marry Jonathan and my name would be Jennifer May May. Kids are so stupid.
So up until about a month before I delivered Emily we were just going to call her Emily Irene, the Irene being after Jeff's grandma (Ed's wife). One night Jeff and I were feeling her move and groove in my belly and he said that he thought we should name her Emily May Irene so she could be named after me and carry on the May tradition. It seemed so sentimental and sweet to me that I was surprised it hadn't been more obvious to me before. My Mom was ELATED!
Here's a picture of Emily and Emily when Roo was 2 months old and we took her to Montana the first time. I will never forget the look on Gig's face when she met her namesake for the first time at the Montana airport...it was magical.
Now just for fun I will tell you why we call her Roo...
When she was born Samuel was only 22 months old and couldn't say "Emily" so he called her "Emmy"; we all started calling her that and in a sing-songy nick-namey way I called her "Emmy Roo" one day and it sort of stuck. A few days of calling her Emmy Roo and Hot Jeff shortened it to "Roo" and that REALLY stuck. Now, 2 and half years later if you ask her what her name is, 85% of the time she will tell you "Roo". It makes me smile every time. It also makes me smile when I hear Samaria and Caleb Brown call her Roo (I'm not even sure they know her real name) and when my friends call her Roo. There is something really endearing about it; like they know and love her.
How did you come up with your kids' names? Did you call them their names before they were born or did you have a pet name for them before they were born/a part of you family?