February 26, 2014

(we've got the best) Baby Names

Ivan, Miriam, Elizabeth, Blaise, Linus, Katherine, Andrew, Stephen - those are the names we didn't use. 

Lydia, Bennet, James, Teresa, Joseph - those are the names we did.

We like to name our kids after family and saints. We like to believe that when we say our children's names we are also invoking the prayers of the saints they are named for.

Lydia Anne. Lydia was the name of my great grandmother, it was also the name of one of the early followers of Christ. I've known for years that I wanted to use the name Lydia for a daughter; I think it's pretty and unique without being *unique*. Anne is a nod to my mother-in-law (it's her middle name) and Jesus' grandma. I spelled it with an 'e' because of Anne of Green Gables.

Bennet Mark. My dad actually suggested the name Bennet. I wanted to name my son after my grandfather Benno but I couldn't use the actual name Benno and I didn't want to use Ben or Benjamin. I also wanted to name my son after Pope Benedict but when I mentioned the name people usually responded, "Like Benedict Arnold?" Yes. Yes, people. I want to name my son after the great American traitor. Give him something to live up to. No. But like I said, my dad suggested Bennet and it ended up being perfect. We spelled it with one t not knowing people spell it with two. (Two just seemed superfluous.) It is also the way Jane Austen spells it in Pride and Prejudice. Mark is Travis' middle name and is also a nod to St. Mark. 

James Fulton. For the record, I really wanted him to be named Linus Fulton. I still do. But Travis won and his name is James. James is my brother-in-law's middle name and it's also a nod to St. James the Greater, whose feast I was born on (July 25th). Fulton, of course, is for Venerable Fulton J. Sheen. Once, someone online talked about James' alleged miracle and then commented that she thought it was weird that we hadn't named him after Fulton Sheen. I was a little confused because we did name him for Fulton Sheen and it's not like we were going to change his name once the miracle happened. Critics...

Teresa Marie. Teresa was the girl name we would have used it James would have been a girl. I really love Mother Teresa (who doesn't?!) and our daughter is named for her. There's no 'h' and it's pronounced "tur-ee-suh" which I tell you because people say it weird all the time, like they're trying to make it more Catholic. Her name is Teresa Marie - it's Catholic enough. Oh, and Marie is for my mom (it's her middle name) and for Jesus' mom, of course. 

Joseph Peter. Joseph was a name we had thought about many times over the years but it finally felt right with this baby. Travis' confirmation name is Joseph and we both have a strong devotion to him. It's also the middle name of one of my family members. Peter is for our son, Peter Mark, whom I miscarried. It was Travis' idea to name Joseph after his big brother and I love it. My grandpa likes to call him Joseph P. Engstrom and it's adorable.

Peter Mark. We didn't name our first baby until I was miscarrying. Travis felt very strongly that I was pregnant with a boy and I really wanted to use the name Peter. I have a deep love of St. Peter and I see myself in him, especially when he says, "Where else can we go, Lord? You have the words of eternal life." Mark is for Travis, since it's his middle name. 

I love my kids' names. They're filled with meaning, they're pretty timeless, and they're names that fit them now and will suit them later in life. They'll look good on resumes and no one will ever wonder about their gender. I think we did well.

This is the great link-up post. Kathryn at Team Whitaker is searching for names for her soon-to-arrive bambino and so is hosting a little baby name link-up. This is one of my 7 in 7 posts for Jen at Conversion Diary. I'm also calling it my Five Favorite Baby Names (+ one) to join Hallie at Moxie Wife.


  1. I love the name Lydia...that is one name I have on the baby name list. It just sounds so elegant and graceful:)

  2. HA! Look at all that link-up love. I adore your kids' names - the ones you used and the ones you didn't!

  3. I love a good naming story. Of the six names our 3 girls have only one is a family name which I think some people think is strange but they are all saints or biblical names. I think there are some awesome girl names from the Old Testament… My favorite is Rebekah - hence our 2nd's first name : )

  4. Love the names and love the idea of sharing how you picked your names. I think I may need to do this for blog post!

    1. Make sure you link up with Kathryn if you do!

  5. Love all your names but especially Joseph Peter. Peter is my son's name and if Rebecca was a girl he would have been called Joseph!

  6. I am loving these baby name posts - thanks for sharing, Bonnie!

  7. You had me at - spelled it with an 'e' because that's how Anne of Green Gables spells it. I think we must be kindred spirits.

  8. I love your names! And we are totally birthday buddies :)

  9. I have a Linus! Once people get over the Charlie Brown connotations, they realize it's a great boy's name. My Linus was named for St Linus and Linus Torvald ( computer scientist). Blase is always on my list, but a friend just named her boy Blase, so I don't think I'll use it for my little one due in a few weeks.
    You have a lovely family - and they have awesome names!

  10. I can't imagine anyone who wanted to name their daughter Anne NOT spelling it "with an e". LOVE IT.

  11. My mom's name is Teresa Marie! And I love it more and more as time goes by. Maybe SOMEDAY (we're three boys in) we'll have a girl and get to use it.

  12. Lydia is my mom's middle name, after one of her aunts.

    My brother's middle name is Bennett, after one of our great-grandmothers and one of my dad's friends who died before my brother was born. (In his first and middle names, he's named after THREE people! Talk about packing a lot into a name.)

    My confirmation name is Teresa, for St Teresa of Avila (and in honor of the middle name of one of my aunts). Very few people spell/pronounce it correctly, even Catholics when told "of Avila" with the name.

    Of course Anne with an E! I've read the whole series so many times I can't imagine Anne without an E.