Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Hi! My Kids Names Are _______.

I was blog scrolling and came upon Grace's name post and it got me thinking... I don't think I've written out why our kids are named what they are named.  So here we go:

James Walter II

I realize ^that^ is my husband's name (without the II) and that's all well and good, but my first thought when thinking about it being my child's name was "that's a mouth full."  It sounds regal, and like he should be dubbed a knight or something, but then it grew on me.  James Walter was probably the most significant name we could have picked... it just ended up making sense... and I'll tell you why.  Before I do you might wonder, which child of yours is James Walter?!  Well, June of course.  June is James Walter.  I know I know, I'll explain the 'June' as well.  I actually had a good friend suggest I name one of my children James to go along with June and Josh. :P  Hehe, done and done. ;) Ok, explanation:

James Walter...

- Like I said, that's Jim's name... so it honors him and June becomes a II.


- My dad is James. (June's Grandpap)
- Jim's Grandpap is James. (June's Great-Grandpap)
- June's Godfather is James. (June's Uncle Jimmy)


- Jim's dad is Walter. (June's other Grandpap)


- Jim's dad, ^Walter^, (are you following?) grew up with 2 fathers. Walt's biological father was Walter Aaron II/Jr.... everybody called him June though.  When Walt was a few years old his dad passed away.  Very sad.  That's when Jim's second Grandpap (Grandpap Jim) walked into the picture and married Walt's mom, becoming the father that would raise him.  I know that's kinda hard to follow.  The important aspect for the 'June' part of naming June is that Walt's biological father/One-of Jim's Grandpaps/One-of June's great Grandpaps was called June. (The other Grandpap... Grandpap Jim... gets some of the credit for June's first name)

Anyway, back to June... Because Walt's dad was a Junior over time people just called him June.  When we were thinking of a nickname, Jim, Jimmy, Jamie, etc just didn't work.  The names were either taken or we didn't like it.  We latched onto June and just loved it.

After ... AFTER... he was born the 40-50 year old crowd alerted us to the fact that June is, in fact, a girl's name, June Cleaver, and all that, but it didn't matter.  June was June.  And wouldn't you know, his name is the one we gets the most compliments.  We are changing the times, people!

So, if you lost track June is basically named after 6 people.  Yep, 6.  His dad, my dad, Jim's dad, 2 grandfathers, & his Godfather.  You don't get much more significant than that.

If he were a girl, we batted around several names but finally decided on Elizabeth Mary (Likely nicknamed Ella).  He's a boy though.

Joshua Jude

Admittedly, I love Josh's name.  I happen to ADORE alliteration, so I think that might be why, but I just love the flow to it.

Josh's middle name came easily... his first name came down to the wire though.

When June was 8 months old we decided that we wanted (needed??) to move back to PA, which meant a job change for Jim and a move for us.  We loved NJ, but wanted to be close to family and the cost to move "up" in NJ was kinda staggering.  Our one bedroom apartment wasn't going to fit us forever.  I did a Novena to St. Jude and told him that my next born male would have the middle name Jude if he could pull some strings and help us with the move.  I would have loved to use the name as a first name, but I already had a June.  June and Jude, NOT happening.  Middle name as a sign of gratitude it is.

Wouldn't you know, within a few months, Jim got a job in PA and we effortlessly found a gorgeous townhouse to rent.  St. Jude seriously rocks.  If you need something big, I wouldn't hesitate to do a novena to him.  The kicker in our instance, I found out I was pregnant the day after we moved.  I kept my promise and used Jude as the middle name.

His whole pregnancy we bounced around with first names though.  Some of the contenders were:

Charles (Charlie)

I'm sure there were more, but those are the ones that stay in my mind.  Those were the top picks until 38 weeks.  From 38 weeks to birth it was either Charles Jude or Joshua Jude.  Charles held significance  because it was the name of my grandfather and the name of the priest who married Jim and I and was pivotal to our relationship.  Joshua Jude just sounded so nice together. Decisions.  In addition, June would say "Dosh!" in his 20 month speak and that was pretty darn cute.  Ultimately, Joshua won out.

Had he been a girl (we REALLY didn't know... I was pink team pretty hard core.  I was shocked he was a HE) he would have been Elizabeth Mary, but called Ellie.

Elizabeth Marie

Again, we didn't know gender.  Had she been a boy, we would have gotten our Charlie.  I honestly don't remember my middle name pick though.

She was a she and we FINALLY got to use Elizabeth.  Elizabeth was the name of my Grandmam.  Aside from my parents, she was the most influential person in my life.  In my eyes she was the most wholesome and giving and selfless person and the best darn Catholic you ever knew.  She passed away when I was 17 and I still miss her but I know she's watching us.  So it was easy to use Elizabeth as the name of my first daughter.  It's also my middle name and my maternal grandmother's middle name, so there is extra significance too.

Now, had she been our first, she would have been Ella.  Had she been our second, she would have been Ellie.  I was pretty sure she would be Elle (pronounced 'L') if our third child was a girl, but she came out and just didn't fit ANY nickname.  We thought one would grow on us in time, but uh, she's Elizabeth.  She lives out all 9 letters.  We call her "Lizza" (soft i)... kinda like lizzard without the /rd/, but I don't know that is a proper nickname, so she remains Elizabeth.  The parents who MUST nickname, birthed a child who has a nine letter name yet doesn't require a nickname.  Go figure.  I'm curious how she will sign her school papers.

Onto her middle name:  If you notice above Mary was to be the middle name.  Mary isn't her middle name.  I decided a long time ago that I would use a middle name that honored Our Lady for each of our girls' middle names.  I happened to like 'Mary' the best paired with Elizabeth.


There was a family tradition I wasn't alerted to until her pregnancy.  Jim's maternal Grandpap (not June or Jim.  This is Grandpap Jack) had this legacy that each first born female shall take the name of his mother, Marie, as their middle name.  Admittedly, I didn't particularly enjoy changing from Elizabeth Mary to Elizabeth Marie (and I still might think Elizabeth Mary sounds better) but I obliged because tradition is tradition.

So Elizabeth Marie she was!

Emily Grace

We found out Emily's gender (first time for not being green team) so we didn't really talk about boy names and oddly enough, Emily's name just clicked into existence easily and early.  Shortly after my level II ultrasound I threw the name 'Emily' past Jim and, welp, he liked it!!  I really liked it too... the name just kept catching my ear and I latched onto it.  We also both liked Grace and had for a long time.  I was torn between the 2 and one day my friend Erika said, instead of saving 'Emily' or 'Grace' as a first name for later, use them now: Emily Grace.  It also fit the "couples" pattern of naming that we had going.  We didn't really intend for there to be 2 J's, but it worked out that way.  Josh easily could have been Charlie.  We didn't really intend for there to be 2 E's but it worked out that way.  And liking alliteration and all, my ear likes June, Josh, Elizabeth, and Emily as well. :P

Anyway, I ran 'Emily Grace' it past Jim and he liked it.  It stuck.  DONE.

Now, Grace isn't an exact variation of Mary like I said I would keep as my daughters' middle names, but it is a title of Mary: Our Lady of Grace .  Our Lady of Grace has always been my most favored pictures of Mary too.
Our Lady of Grace: source

Going that route kind of opens up female middle names a bit more too, which is nice.

So those are my names and how we got 'em.  :) June, Josh, Elizabeth, & Emily.  Jim jokes that we are trying to spell out Jesus: JJEESSUUSS with our kids' names.  S names up next. ;)  Hahahaha....

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Aunt Vicki said...

Really enjoyed this post, Susie. I totally agree that your Grand-mam was the absolute best- lovely and so devoted to her faith. I have many happy memories of her-she was very supportive and loving, and I never heard a mean or harsh word come from her mouth. She also cooked great Slovak food and wonderful soups. So glad she has a namesake!

sherry said...

So true Vicki :) and of course her famous pickles !!

Aunt Vicki said...

Yes, those pickles were something else. I will also always remember Grandpap's "Now, Betty!" whenever she was getting flustered about something. So many good memories! Very glad our children had a chance to know them both.