What's In A Name?

It's kind of a joke to anyone who knows me.  I have a major thing with names.  I love them.  I love what they mean.  I love finding the perfect name.  One of my dreams is to have a business where I help people choose names for their children.  There is just something magical about hitting on that name that fits your baby that I love!

I've been asked before to share how and why our kiddos got their names.  We're kind of a teachers worst nightmare.  All three boys go by their middle names and KJ goes by...well, she goes by a lot of things.  

I'll start with the S-man since he is the one who started it all!

I've been naming my "kids" since I was a kid myself.  Favorites have come and gone but the one name that has been on the list since I was way too young to have babies myself is Stafford.  My dream was to have a little girl named Anne Stafford.  Double names are a big deal where I come from and I thought this one was beautiful.

Alas our first baby was a boy.  And I started to think....what if we decide not to have any additional children?  We had to use Stafford.  Peter liked the name Nathan because it meant "Gift of God" and so there we had it. Nathan Stafford.  We chose that order because we didn't like how it sounded the other way around.  Thus setting an unplanned precedent for our boys!

Reedster was the next to join us.  Peter was deployed my entire pregnancy and I spent most of it emailing him thousands of name options.  One of the options for Stafford's first or middle name was August.  We both loved it since it's a family name on both sides.  We thought it was a little odd to use it with Stafford since his due date was in August.  So we put it on the list for the future.

One night I was up late, unable to sleep.  I remember going through names in my head and all of the sudden I had the perfect name.  My paternal grandfather's name was Reed and I've always loved it.  August Reed seemed like the perfect fit for our newest little guy.  And I can't imagine the Reedster having any other name! 

KJ was by FAR our hardest to name.  Things I think about when naming my kids are name meanings, name origin (all of ours are Anglo in origin), family names, syllables, and how common they are.

Most of the girls names I liked Peter did not.  We tend to have tastes on the opposite ends of the spectrum and have to meet in the middle.  Kelsey was going to be Allegra for a few months but after trying it out on a few people the allergy medicine was the first thing that came to mind to everyone I told.  Allegra was off the list.  Peter wanted to name her Ariel, which I liked but didn't love.  It seemed like every name we liked didn't work well with our last name.

We knew we wanted to use Jane because that was one of Peter's Mom's names.  We already had names from each of the other grandparents sides of the family (Stafford from my Mom, August from Peter's Dad and Reed from my Dad.)  We also liked Jane because it means "Gift of God" just like Nathan.  Stafford was so excited about having a sister and predicted she was a girl from the beginning so I loved that they had a shared name meaning.

We made a last minute decision in the hospital room and named her Kelsey after my great-grandfather.  Knowing her now, I can't imagine her as anything else!

I THINK that the Grant-man's name was the easiest to come up with.  We each had a LONG list and none of the names matched.  But we liked Grant.  For the longest time I was set on using a family name somewhere in his name.  I liked Pierce or Pierson because it means son of Peter.  I thought that was fitting for the 4th baby of a 4th baby! We also considered version of Donald because both of our Dad's are named Don.  This didn't quite seem like the year to name a baby Donald regardless of political affiliation or family history so we nixed that.  Most of the names we liked were one syllable.  One syllable for both first and middle didn't work for me.  So it was back to the drawing board.

According to one website the name Callen meant "rock", which is what Peter means.  So for a few weeks he was Callen Grant.  Then one day I was looking through a babyname book and saw the name Ruston.  The meaning was "red headed, fox colored".  Reed means redhead and I loved it that the boys would have names with the same meanings.  Reed was THE most excited little boy while I was pregnant and I loved tying them together this way!  

During our time in Tacoma we spent hour and hours on Ruston Way.  It was our favorite way to spend the evenings.  Walking, playing on the playground, looking at Mt. Rainier towering over the city.  Ruston.  It was perfect.

So Ruston Grant it was.  And it's the perfect name for our sweet boy!

I still have a few names on my list.  We'll see what the future holds for our family!


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