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Rachel Joyce

I thought I would start things out by talking about why we named our daughter Rachel Joyce.

Joyce was a no-brainer. My grandmother was Maxine Joyce, my mom is Debra Joyce, and I am Kelli Joyce. I love that we all have this connection, especially with my grandmother. We are all the first-born children of our parents, and we are all Joyce’s. And now Rachel joins that group. She is the first-born child and she is a Joyce. There was absolutely no question in my mind that my first-born daughter would have the middle name of Joyce. I don’t even remember having a discussion with Brent about it… it was just assumed. And while it’s an older name (you don’t meet very many 2-year-old Joyce’s, or 20-year-old Joyce’s for that matter), I love that it’s not common. I am dedicated to using family names as middle names, and using older names isn’t that big of a deal to me because, while the middle name is extremely special, it isn’t what the child is going to be called (usually). So… Joyce was set.

The first name didn’t come as easily. I am married to a man who could care less about baby names. I have had names picked out ever since I can remember, and Brent just didn’t see the need to discuss any names before we were even pregnant. So, after I became pregnant, I wanted to talk names. He said he wanted to wait until after we found out the gender. “Half the work,” he said. šŸ™‚ Well, we found out it was girl in August of 2005, and didn’t actually decide on Rachel until October. That’s a long time for me to not know the name of my baby folks. šŸ™‚ Ironically, the name Rachel was “set” early on my pregnancy. We were driving somewhere one day and I asked him what his favorite Biblical girl name was. He said that he didn’t know and asked me if I had one. I said, “I’ve always liked Rachel.” And he said, “That’s a nice name.” So, technically, it was the first (and only) name on our combined list. All the other names I brought up he either didn’t like or we both weren’t completely comfortable with. I love nicknames (I would suggest Charlotte with the nn Charlie), but Brent doesn’t like nicknames. Of course, while the name Rachel doesn’t have any official nns, she can be called Rach, or as in the case of my daughter, Ray-Ray, or Ray Jo. Brent doesn’t seem to mind, probably because she is still considered Rachel… those other names are just terms of endearment. šŸ˜‰ The only other name we were seriously considering was Elaina. But it turns out Brent has a cousin by that name, so it worked out best in the end that we chose Rachel. We were on vacation in Tampa, Florida, swimming in the pool of our hotel, when I turned to Brent and said, “So… do you want to go with Rachel?” And he said yes.

So, our daughter became Rachel Joyce. And from the moment we finally decided firmly on that name, I have loved it more and more. Some say that Rachel is boring and safe, but if you ever meet my Rachel, you will think differently. I am a firm believer that the name does not make the person, but the person makes the name. So, if you like a name that some people find “stuffy” or “old,” use it anyway. Once they meet your special little one, they will see the name differently. šŸ™‚

There’s my story. How did you come up with your children’s names?

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10 Responses

  1. The story of Corban Lily Marie:

    Tim and I were dating, and since we got engaged about six weeks later, we were already discussing that adoption would probably be the best option for us in the future. Like you, I had picked out several baby names long before I even met Tim. In fact, I kept a binder of name options. Tim was indifferent about most of my choices and he liked a few, but nothing just hit us as a great name. But then we heard Bruce preach on Mark chapter 7 one morning. After church, we both got in the car and said, I don’t remember a lot about the sermon but I remember Bruce reading Mark 7:11 and hearing the word “Corban” — has that always been in the Bible? And do you think it would be a good name? It was funny that we both had that thought and we even better that we both agreed and loved the word “Corban” and its meaning, “a gift devoted to God.” We decided then and there that it would be our first child’s name, regardless of gender. People made fun of us, including my parents, saying it was odd, gender confusing and just too different. I think their strong opinions made me stick to my gun just that much more. Now, of course, they love it!

    Lily came only about a month or two before we actually received Corban. I’ve always loved the name and, like you, one day when we were in the pool, I asked Tim if he liked that for a middle name. He said yes but wondered why I wanted to switch from our original plan of Corban Rhys (the traditional Welsh spelling of Reese)? I decided that with a first name Corban, if it was a girl, Rhys would just be too masculine. I like the combination of a strong first name for girls couple with a feminine middle name.

    Now Marie was the middle name her birthmother had given her (Melanie Marie, for the birthmother’s sisters). I have to say, I’ve always hated the name Marie, and especially hate the name Melanie. No offense, I just don’t like names like Brittney, Chelsea, Tiffany, Melanie, etc. But I felt strongly that we should keep a name from her birthmother and Marie just seemed to flow well with our name.

    So, there’s my book of an explanation on how we got our little girl’s name. šŸ™‚

    Man, this is fun! I love reading other’s opinions and thoughts on names. They’re all such personal choices and it’s interesting to hear the reasonings behind them.

  2. Like many reading (and posting to) this blog I’ve LOVED baby names since I can remember. (I’m thankful that I didn’t have a baby in high school or “Maverick Shae” would be running around somewhere).

    Our precious Faith Kinder’s “name story”…

    (since I have two children, I’ll try to be brief on both)

    We came up with the name Faith after experiencing 2 consecutive miscarriages. I was scared to death that I’d never be able to carry a baby to term and this was an incredibly difficult time for me. Somewhere in the the midst of the grieving, the song “Great is Thy Faithfulness” hit me (and Murray) and wouldn’t let me go. I still have a hard time singing that song without tearing up! So we decided Faith would be a beautiful name if we were given the priviledge of having a baby girl.

    Like Kelli, I am a HUGE fan of using family names. Murray and I decided to rotate using each other’s family. I got to go first. My grandmother, Gladys Irene Kinder, helped raise me. She is more special to me than I can express in words so honoring her was a MUST! I really loved her maiden name Kinder (so did Murray.) So Faith Kinder was set pretty early in the pregnancy. We later discovered that “kinder” means “child” in German so what better name for us to use than “Faith child”.

    Our adorable Eli Burkhalter’s “name story”…

    We actually had a different name picked out until about a month before we were due. I just wasn’t sold on it and neither was Murray. We wanted all of our kids to have Biblical names (with a family name as the middle name). We both REALLY liked Eli but Murray was concerned about his (the preist, Eli)flaw of not correcting his sons after STRONG warning from the Lord. He offered up Elijah and call him Eli but I felt like since we didn’t want to call him Elijah, why not just name him what we would call him. I also talked about how we could use Eli’s flaws to teach our Eli how important listening to and obeying God is (plus EVERY Biblical character has flaws…just like all of us). So after awhile he REALLY started liking it and we were set!

    It was his family’s turn to be honored and he chose the maiden name of his mother, Burkhalter, which also represented his beloved grandparents!

    So there you go!!

    Kelli—great post! I can’t wait to come back and read more! More than finding out the name of a baby, I like to find out how the couple chose the name!

    Erin–beautiful story! I LOVE the name Corbin and especially the story behind it!

  3. What great stories so far! šŸ™‚

    The story of Nelson Bennett . . .
    Ben and I had kicked-around dozens of names – which is what happens when you date for four years, then are married 8 years before you get pregnant!!. During that time, and from frustrations with our own names, we ended up with quite a strict list of rules for names:
    1. easy to spell and pronounce
    2. no obvious nicknames and not so long that it needs a nickname (especially for a boy – but we’ve both agreed you can get around this for a girl if you insist!)
    3. gender specific
    4. fits any age / any career
    5. not too common / popular

    We had talked about Nelson on and off for years and realized way before we even knew his gender that we would use Nelson as a first name if it was a boy. We really debated the middle name, wondering if we should “save” Bennett to use in case we had another boy, but in the end it just made sense to name him Nelson Bennett — which is the middle names of both of our dads. šŸ™‚
    Now, as long as our Mom’s don’t get upset if we never have a Josephine Zoe! šŸ™‚ (which we won’t!)

    I wish I could share the name story for our new little guy, but seeing as how Ben STILL hasn’t picked one that he likes, I’ll have to save that story for later . . .
    šŸ™‚
    (but, Nelson is calling him Grant Marshall or Grant Harrison – depending on his mood — and the only story behind those names are that I LIKE them. No special meaning whatsoever!) šŸ˜‰

  4. Kelli, I love your new blog. I’m not a big name person, but I like reading everyone’s stories!
    Our little boy is Foster Koa. When Zak and I had first gotten married he used to say silly things on a regular basis like, “Let’s name our first child Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream.” any time he came across something he liked. So, one day when he said, “I like the name Koa. Let’s use that name if we ever have a boy.” I was thrilled and it stuck for several more years until we had the chance to use it. Since Koa was born in Hawai’i we had every intention of giving him a Hawai’ian middle name because it is such a special place to us. We figured Koa is simple enough for us to take back to the Mainland, but it is strong, meaning ‘warrior’ and is the name of a tree commonly used by the ancient Hawai’ians to make surf boards and canoes.
    When I was three months pregnant my grandmother passed away. We were very close to say the least. Her middle name was Adeline and her maiden name was Foster. We didn’t find out the gender before he was born, so he was going to be either Adeline or Foster.
    If this seems like I went a little out of order with the names in my story that’s because right up until we filled out the birth certificate I thought he was going to be Koa Foster since Zak really wanted to call him Koa, but Zak filled out the birth certificate with Foster Koa. For the first several days I tried to call him Foster, but it seemed so much more natural when Zak called him Koa. Zak reasoned that Koa would be easier for little boy hands to write and he could change it when he got to Wall Street. So, Koa he is.
    (My regret is that I LOVEgtldz the name Adeline, but I think it would be weird to have two children named after the same Grandma. Any thoughts?)

  5. I just realized I typed my “word verification” in my comment. So, I don’t lovegtldz the name Adeline, I just love it!:)

  6. I am loving everybody’s stories!

    Jaime – Just one thing since I’m now a German scholar (not in the least, but I do know a couple of things). šŸ™‚ Kinder is actually the plural of Kind, which is child. So, Kinder is “children.”

    And Kathy – as long as you and Zak don’t mind it, and the rest of your family doesn’t mind (or if them minding doesn’t bother you), I don’t see a problem in using Adeline as well. You could always use another family name for the middle name. When you get pregnant again, let me know if you need any further advice or help. šŸ˜‰

  7. This is so fun!

    I have three, so I’ll try to be brief. Why we chose Aidyn Elizabeth: I came across the name Aidan one day while I was pregnant and just loved how it sounded. Jimmy liked it too and we had NO idea what a wildly popular name it was for little boys (only found that out in the years since her birth:). We chose to spell it with a y instead of an a (just because we liked it that way). Elizabeth is my mom and my sister, Erin’s, middle name, and the reason we chose it.

    How we chose Delaney Joy: As with Aidyn’s name, we chose Delaney simply because we loved it. Joy is my middle name, and, of course, the reason we chose it:)

    How we chose James Anderson: Jimmy has actually had the name for his first boy picked out since college (and I just happen to love it!). Jimmy is the third generation to have James as a first name and we wanted to continue that tradition. Anderson is Jimmy’s mom’s maiden name. Jimmy was really close to his Anderson grandparents, but they passed away when he was in high school (I never got to meet them). I thought it was really special to name our son after them and to honor his mom in that way. We call him by his middle name, Anderson.

  8. I like sharing name stories! It’s a question I always want to ask a new mom. My two…
    Asher Adams. I really liked the idea of finding a name for my son in the Bible, but Peyton wasn’t too keen on any of the names I liked. One day I came across Asher in a name book and Peyton liked it. It means joy or happy in Hebrew and that’s definitely fitting for our Asher. Adams is my maiden name. We contemplated giving Asher no middle name but then decided giving him my maiden name would be nice.

    Ainsley Adams. Man, I had so many girl names picked out before I was even pregnant with Ainsley, but Peyton didn’t like any of them. Finally, I decided I’d start from scratch and looked at a name website. I made it through the A’s with 3 names I liked. Peyton said Ainsley sounded nice, so I said, “Done! Ainsley Adams”, and Peyton agreed.

  9. Ok, here goes:

    Breanna Lynn:
    Chad and I had been together for 9 1/2 years before we had Breanna so we had discussed names for years, but had never agreed. I saw Breanna in a book a few years before we even had Breanna and liked it and when Chad agreed we decided it was set. Lynn is my aunt’s name and I had always loved that name and wanted to use it as a middle name since I was a teenager.

    Kylie Michelle:
    I had no idea what we were going to name a second girl since we had such a hard time agreeing on the first one. I was looking through a book and saw “Kylee” and I really liked it. Chad said he would agree to it if we spelled it Kylie with an “ie” and since I spell my name, Jennie, with an “ie” I thought that would be perfect. I had no ideas for a middle name either, but then I thought of using my middle name which is Michelle. It sounded good together and I’m so glad that I chose Michelle because it makes it special.

    On a side note: I grew up with the most popular girls name in the world. There were at least 3 or 4 Jennifer, Jenny, or Jens in my classes. I was always know as Jennifer R. (Roach is my maiden name…how’s that for a name)! That being said, I wanted my kids to have more unique, but not weird, names. Of course now I hear Breanna and Kylie more and more and they are growing in popularity on the top 100 lists. Go figure! My Mom actually thought my name was going to be so unique!

  10. Yay! Here goes…

    There was an ad in a magazine that caught my eye for the movie “To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday” (with Michelle Pfeiffer and Claire Daines). I really wanted to see the movie based on that ad, and I finally did after a long time passed. It was a sad movie, but a good movie. I think having the movie title in my head for so long wanting to see it (and I think liking the name in the title back then too), is how it came into my head again when we were coming up with a girl name for our first baby. We didn’t want a name with a spelling that was unusual, and we wanted something unique but not too unique. Gillian is actually the more traditional spelling than Jillian. And I LOVE it. I love the G. We went with it even though it had lots of potential for spelling and pronunciation problems. Ruth is my big sister’s name, which is probably why I love that name. I love how it sounds, looks, that it’s from the Bible, and how well it goes with Gillian.

    George’s name was the boy name we had picked out when Gillian was born. When Gillian was born, I was relieved, I wasn’t ready for the name George yet. When George was born, I was ready :). Naomi Rae was our girl choice. James says that he came up with George. I don’t remember for sure, but I’ll give him the credit :). My brother had a friend in college named George. I remember meeting the very southern, handsome young man. I heard his name, and found it surprising, but neat. I love that it is one of the most common names ever, but so unique for George’s age group. I think it’s a stong American name. It’s perfect for George, and goes great with our last name – sounds like a future Redskins quarterback :). Matthew is James’ middle name. I thought it was neat that James wanted to do that, and went for it. I also like that it’s a Bible name.

    Is any one still reading this :), I’m sure this is my longest blogging comment ever!

    I loved George’s name so much and was having trouble finding any boy names that I liked. Then I filled out Kelli’s name survey :). I told her that we were considering Ben. Just Ben. One of her suggestions was Reuben. I loved that it started with an R, the idea of Ben being short for Reuben instead of Benjamin (even though we like to use full names only – James, Ramona, Gillian, George…). I mentioned to Kelli and Tanya that I liked it with those reasons, but I was not sure I actually liked the name. They loved the name, and their opinions made me reconsider, and then I started to love it! I like that it is a Bible name, even though his story is not all good… he is not named after him or the sandwich :). But I do love a good reuben sandwich :). I have had fun ordering it while pregnant and after he was born :). Kelli also suggested Henry. I think b/c it was John Denver’s original first name, and I’m a huge John Denver fan. I love how it is a name kind of like George’s, a strong classic name. I think it is very sweet with Reuben, and so did Tanya :). Kelli and Tanya were my biggest name helpers and James agreed to what we came up with :).

    It has been a fun honor to name Gillian Ruth, George Matthew, and Reuben Henry!

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