Saturday, January 24, 2009

What's in a Name?

I believe that names have great significance in shaping a person and I thought you'd like to know how we came up with Ivy's.

Ivy's middle name was actually decided upon before we were settled on a first name. When we were pregnant with the sextuplets, we wanted each of their middle names to in some way honor a person who has had great impact on our lives. Of course we wanted to continue this tradition and both Ryan and I felt strongly that our next child should be named after the sextuplets. The dilemma was to come up with a name that would honor all the babies and not just one. Before long we settled on the name Pearl, which is the birthstone for June, the month the babies were born.

Ryan and I started liking the name Ivy after watching M. Night Shyamalan's The Village. We saw it while we were dating and both of us fell in love with the character of Ivy. She's a beautiful young woman who lost her sight at a young age, but her lack of vision didn't stop her from seeing wonder and possibility when others saw only obstacles. If you haven't seen the movie, I highly recommend it.

Ok, now it's your turn. Since I'm such a lover of names (I think I would have had great fun naming all of the animals at Creation), I'd love to hear the meaning/significance of your name or your children's names.


  1. Oh, thanks for sharing the story of her name. It's lovely. I ADORE how you decided on her middle name. As for "Ivy," I think you, Ryan and I are among the small handful who really liked "The Village." :)

    As for mine, Rebecca is a name my parents just liked. I do have an aunt named Rebecca, but I'm not named after her. My middle name is a name they liked, but they decided on it at the last possible moment at the hospital before they had to let the people know what should be put on my birth certificate. :)

    Hopefully that all made sense.

  2. Thanks for sharing that...I was wondering! It's a beautiful name. I really love my son's name: Avery Mark. I read the name Avery in a Jannete Oke book I read as a teenager. The character was a missionary and the best friend of the main character. "Uncle" Mark was my Dad's best friend when i was little. I loved him...he used to always give me a butterscotch candy and $1. He died while serving our country so I wanted Avery's middle name to be for him. I think about my Uncle Mark all the time. He and his young bride never got to have children, so it was a small way to honor him and the amazing father he would have ben.

  3. I love your daughter's name! Actually I love all your children's names. So beautiful! If we ever had another son I think I have to steal Sylas. :) I chose my daughter's name, Annalise Marie. She now has the same initials as me. We call her Anna. My husband chose Isaac's name, Isaac Mason. And we always knew if we had a son his name would be Elijah, so we named his Elijah Jaxon and now call him EJ. I like them all because they are strong and unique. Have fun with that new precious baby girl!

  4. Thank you for sharing the story of how you named your daughter. I love the name Ivy.

    I have 1 year old twins myself. I can't remember where I first heard the my daughter's name but I fell in love with it. So Imogen Violet it was. Her middle name just seemed to go with the first.

    My son Elliott Gerald was named as such because again I just felt a conection to his first name and his middle name is after his paternal Great-grandfather and his paternal Uncle who passed away of ALS.

  5. Thanks for sharing how you named your beautiful babies - how cool! Sylas' picture (high chair, covered with food) is my screensaver, 'cause it reminds me about God's miracles and about faith and hope. My daughter's first name, Amanda, means "worthy of love" - she was adopted from Guatemala. Her middle name, Joy, was chosen mainly because it's the maiden name of my "2nd mother" who's been a wonderful Grandma to her. Fortunately, it also happens to be what she brings to my world every day!
    Mary in Ohio

  6. That is an INGENIOUS idea!

    I'm named for my grandmother. I come from a large, Southern, French, Catholic family. Repeating names is a hobby we have. I was the four grandchild born and the fourth girl. According to my mother, my name was Melissa until the day I was born. Then, my dad had this brilliant idea to name me after my grandmother "because no one's done it yet." So, I left the hospital with this beautiful, difficult French name, off to live my life in equally beautiful Acadian Louisiana.

    Until the age of three months, at which point my parents relocated to Houston, TX, the least "French" place on Earth. I spent the next eighteen-ish years educated the general population on the proper pronunciation of both my first and last names. I gave up in college and just went with Elizabeth, my middle and only remotely pronounceable moniker.

    Now people have to ask what the J stands for, and honestly I like it. It make me even more intriguing (or maybe that's just the ego talking).

    Wow, didn't mean for this to turn into a blog post of its own!

    And it bears repeating: You and Ryan make the best looking kids!

  7. I love Ivy Pearl's name...and now knowing how you came up with it is so special. I love that Pearl is the birthstone for June when the sextuplets were born...very, very special!

    For our 5 children (I will try to keep it brief)...

    Our angels in Heaven - Devin Lee and Elizabeth Ann...their middle names are the same as my husband and I. Elizabeth was a named I liked since a child and knew if I had a daughter it would be her name. Devin was just one we liked with our last name.

    For our next son, Landon Robert...Landon we just loved and Robert is after my brother who died at birth when I was 9. I wanted to honor him and for my parents.

    Our twins - Austin Vincent and Aiden Walker - first names we just like, but middle names were family names on my husband's side. We picked one from his mother's side and his father's side.

    Thanks for sharing!!!

  8. Thanks for sharing the story of her name. I too feel that a name means a lot and we took a lot of time figuring out what to name the girls. Thank goodness we have 2 girls, because our boys list was very short, but I know if a boy was in our life, we could find something that fits.

    So, here we chose Mara Anne and Kaylin Rose.

    Mara-this was always a name I loved. I don't know any other Mara's, but people now tell me they know a Mara. I loved the name because it was different, not popular. It means thoughtful believer, in the baby book I had, which I really liked. Her middle name was my husband grandma's name. We liked how Mara Anne went together and just felt right.

    Kaylin Rose was named a little after me. My middle name is Kay and my husband and I have always wanted to use that name in someway for a daughter. We first had Kaylee, but that was taken by another Gruber. My husband found Kaylin and since I had picked Mara out already, this was his name to pick. Rose her middle name is after his great-grandmother who had 19 children...bless her heart. We never knew her, but the stories and history of that family, I just knew Rose was a name we had to use.

    I know this is long, but one more thing. I had a c-section with the girls and we didn't know it was going to happen when it was a little bit of a surprise. But, I didn't see the girls for a few hours and they were in the NICU, the nurse asked my husband what their names were...he said, I believe this one with darker hair will be Mara and the blondie will be Kaylin, but we have to double check with Melissa before anything is final. I didn't change it and today I can't image them being the other way around.

    Again, thanks for sharing and I am so happy for your family!
    Melissa Gruber

  9. With my three kids it was fun comming up with there names.

    Our oldest daughter is named Michaela. Michaela is after my father michael and me Melissa. I had also heard it on dr quinn show.

    Our Middle one she has a little bit of my husbands name Raelynn.

    Our son havs Samuel Joseph and sam was one that we liked and joseph was my grandfathers name and my great grandfathers name.

    It is alway fun to see how people chose there kids names.


  10. I love that picture of Ivy and what an wonderful tribute to her brothers and sisters. I had never thought of doing something like that before.

    We named our son Samuel because it means, asked of God and while I was pregnant, Dennis asked God for a son. Mark, his middle name, is after my dad.

    For Emma, I have always like that name. I was looking through a baby book and I thought it meant "strong", but after looking at a different book, we saw it meant "whole" or "complete".

    Faith, meaning "faith" is also a name I have always wanted for a middle name for a girl if I had one. When you put those meanings together "complete faith", totally just fits our journey with Emma.

    Even though we had no idea what road lay ahead after she was born, we had "COMPLETE FAITH" she was is God's hands.

    Thank you for sharing the story of her name!

    Take care,

  11. I've been following your story since i first heard of you when you were pregnant with the sextuplets. congratulations on the birth of ivy! I love the name! I am from chester county, PA where they filmed that movie, i know someone who was an extra in that movie! :) anyhow, my sons name is ryan justus. His first name is my grandmothers maiden name and his middle name is my grandfathers first name :)
    Lord Bless You! - Jen

  12. That is such a wonderful way of keeping the people you love close to you. We have two kids (one on the way too!) My son was born during a horrible time in my life and I named him Jacob Michael. Jacob was Israel, a promise of love and continuation from God himself! Michael was the arch angel that battles Satan, I felt so much encouragement from that name. Imagine my surprise when I did some family history and found that Jacob Michael is the name of my ancestors back when they immigrated to America! Our daughter, Moira Kathleen was funny. Moira was the only girls name my husband and I agreed that we both liked! Kathleen was interesting since we didn't choose until I was in labor, it was between Jade and Kathleen and when Moira was born I was yelling for Kathleen to get out! Ryan (my husband) likes it because it honors our Irish heritage. Our third child we already have names. If a boy it will be named after my husbands brother who was killed at 14 years old. If a girl she'll be named after BOTH our grandmothers who have touched our lives.
    I hope everything is well with your beautiful family.

  13. You aren't the only ones who really like "The Village" :-) My husband and I really like it too!

    My first daughter's name came from an interpreter my husband worked with in Bosnia: Ankica. (Not a namesake, just the same name.)

    My second daughter, Lillian, is a family name on both sides. He and I both have great-grandmother's with that name. Once we chose a first name, I thought it would be cool if they had the same initials (LCM) so we chose Carolina because it is a bit unusual (and my husband happens to be a big Carolina Panther fan!).

    I love how you chose Pearl. What a great legacy Ivy will share in!

  14. Like you I also loss multiples in 2007 (triplets) who were born at 23w6d. And like you I just had my rainbow baby (a girl also) on December 28th at 36 weeks. We named our daughter Kenzington Rae. Kenzington "Kenzie" was after my husband Kenny. Rae was because we feel she is like our little "Rae" of sunshine.

  15. I love that you were able to find a way to honor your sextuplets with Pearl. That is beautiful and very fitting.

    Our firstborn is named Jeremiah Dennis. We named him Jeremiah (may the Lord uphold)because of the prophet Jeremiah who stood up for righteousness in a difficult time. Dennis for my husband's dad.

    Our twins who we lost are named Benjamin Paul and Joseph Howard.
    Benjamin was born first, sleeping and was placed in my husband's right hand. The name came to him which we later learned to mean "son of my right hand." This seemed very fitting. The name Joseph means "may the Lord add" which was our prayer having lost these precious two. Also in the Bible Jacob's sons Bejamin and Joseph had a very close relationship much like we had dreamed for these boys. Their middle names Paul - a family name from both sides of our family and Howard is my grandfather's name.

    The Lord did indeed answer our prayer and blessed us with Levi Lawrence. Levi, another son of Jacob and the priestly line in the Bible, has a name which means "attached or pledged" we felt that was fitting to show the Lord's faithfulness to us in this area. Lawrence is named after my father.

  16. I felt compelled to comment. I had followed your story from the sextuplets birth, on and off. And I am so happy I came upon this blog today - to find out what joy you have in your life, and how well Sylas is doing. All the best to you and your lovely family.

  17. I've been following your story since the beginning, but my first time commenting. I LOVE thinking about baby names and coming up with unique and meaningful names! I wanted to thank you for sharing the story of Ivy Pearl's name! I have always wondered how you came up with the sextuplets names and wondered if you would feel like sharing that with us one day too!
    My children are Ethan Mark and Kyrah Camille. I ALWAYS loved the name Ethan, I even named one of my babydolls that when I was a kid. So, I had mentioned that name to my husband VERY early in our relationship (once I knew we would be getting married). He immediately objected saying it reminded him of a "Heathen". So, once we found out we were having a boy, I NEVER once brought that name up! We settled on another name (Korban DeWayne)and the night before I was to be induced, he tells me he no longer likes the name we have chosen. He took the baby name book along so he could find a new name. He never looked at the book and the baby was coming! As soon as our son was born, Mark looked at me and said "Ethan Mark"... I was beyond shocked and SO HAPPY! (I also HATED DeWayne which was Mark's middle name).
    My daughter's name is an even longer story... I may leave a comment about hers later.
    I love your family and I've prayed many nights for you all!

  18. Ok, here is the story of how Kyrah Camille got her name...
    While I was pregnant with Ethan (previous comment) we were first told that he was a girl. I always knew if I had a daughter that I would give her my middle name, Camille. I don't think my husband was ever thrilled with the name, but since it was after me, he didn't really have a choice ;). Her name was going to be Camilla Shianne (my name is Shana Camille). Even though I was currently pregnant with my first child, and KNEW what "her" name was going to be, I was already coming up with names for my second and third child!! (I told you I LOVE coming up with baby names!) One night while watching tv, I seen Kyra Sedwick's name and thought to myself, that I would like it better if it was pronounced with a long "I" instead. So, the more I said it out loud the more I liked it and I causually mentioned to my husband that I wanted to name our third daughter Kyrah. For the first time ever he sounded very excited over a girls name! I told my friend the next day and she also really liked it. I ask Mark if he preferred naming our first born "Kyrah Camille" more than "Camilla Shianne" and he was thrilled with it! It made me happy that he was so happy with the name, so therefore our "daughter" became Kyrah. UNTIL... we were told "she" was in fact a BOY! I felt like I "lost" Kyrah and did NOT want to use it for another baby. Once we found out that our second baby was in fact going to be a girl, my husband would not even consider another name! I wanted to use an "E" name so bad, because our son was Ethan... but, my husband was not about to budge! Of course, 9 years later, I could never imagine Kyrah Camille being called any other name! (wow, sorry that was so long!)
    May God continue to bless your wonderful family!

  19. I'm named for my mother's ill-spent free time: After two soap opera characters. My first name is Rachel, named after her favorite character on the old soap opera Another World. The actress who played her was named Victoria, and I used to whine that Victoria was a much better name! My mom's reply was "Well, it HAD to start with an R to match your siblings." hmmmph.

    My middle name was picked for an up and coming soap opera star, who had a few bit guest roles on various soaps. Diedre Hall. She changed the last e to an A, so it's actually Diedra. She'd never heard the name before, and liked it.

    I'm glad it was before her role on Days of Our Lives, Marlena. Rachel Marlena (I had a very long last name) would have been way too much of a mouthful!

    Despite that, my mom was not a shallow woman, she was a God-fearing, God-loving woman her entire life! She just liked her soaps :-)

    Pearl is a lovely way to honor the babies. I can't say I was a fan of The Village though!

  20. "A good name is more desirable than great riches." Prov

    This naming thing is really fascinating. It is neat to have a story behind your name. Pearl is a beautiful choice to honor your other children!

    When I have children, I'd really like to give them family names as middle names.

    My parents had a mix of ways to name their four daughters.

    Oldest- Stacey Renee. Both names they picked because they liked them.

    2nd- Terri Elizabeth. Her middle name is my mom's grandmother's middle name (Emma Elizabeth)

    I'm the 3rd in line- Jennifer Hope.
    Being born in the 80's, Jennifer was popular and my parents liked it. I got my middle name a bit haphazardly. I was a preemie, due to my mom experiencing sudden heavy bleeding from placenta previa, and an she ended up with an emergency c-section. I was over a month early, and my parents hadn't yet found a middle name they liked. Literally, everyone in the hospital was so worried about both my mom and me. My Aunt kept saying, oh we hope she's alright. We hope the baby will be fine! And when it came time to pick the middle name, my Aunt jokingly told my mom- how about Hope? We've been saying we hope she's ok! all day!
    And that became my middle name.

    Youngest- Cassandra Lenore. She has the same initials as my mom (CLD). My mom's name is Constance Lenore. My mom's only sister is Sandra. So, my mom combined Constance and Sandra and came up with Cassandra. Lenore is from my Mom's Dad (my grandpa). He had two younger siblings, Lenore and Chester, who died in their early childhood. So both my mom and my sister are named to honor the loss of his sister.

  21. Your blog title is the same as one of my daughter's recent blogs. She and her husband are expecting their first son and CANNOT decide on a name! They have shot down every suggestion! So funny! :-)

    P.S. Thanks for blogging. It's nice to know that you are all doing well.

  22. We named Tristen because it means bold and valiant. The scripture that goes with it is Deuteronomy 31:6 "Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you." (we have a book called "The Name Book" that tells the cultural origin, meaning and Christian meaning of names) His middle name is his daddy's name, Michael :)

  23. Our boys are named Jesse Noble and Dylan St. John.

    Jesse was chosen because my husband's name (Jeremy) starts with a J and his father's as well, so it followed a nice tradition of firstborn sons with J names...and we wanted something biblical but not commonly used. I will not hesitate to point out that my sister decided to name all of her three sons with names starting in J, and my brother has one as well, so it has limited the field somewhat over the years. Thankfully we got Jesse when we did. (:

    Little did we know that we would be moving to Minnesota just months after Jesse was born (from Canada) and that a wrestler named Jesse Ventura was being elected governor! Needless to say, we did not want anyone to think that was the inspiration for the name...nothing against Mr. Ventura, but how trite would that it was a funny turn of events. Nobody thinks of it now (Jesse is now 11) but I found a great tshirt at Value Village recently which said "Jesse, the voice of the people." Awfully cool for a kid to find and wear.

    It has turned out to be a great name for Jesse and it means "the Lord exists" and gift. His middle name, Noble, was my grandfather's name. Unique and meaningful. We like to think of him living with nobility of character.

    Dylan was always a favorite because of my love for Bob Dylan (the soundtrack for my childhood, you might say) and the poet Dylan Thomas, so any number of 90210 references did not dissuade us from choosing the name. The name also means "of the sea." My husband and I spent the first year of our marriage sailing on a boat so the sea is meaningful to us.

    St. John is typically pronounced in England as "Sinjun," though we prefer Saint John. It is a traditional English first name (with a last name like Greenhouse you can't get too exotic so the English names work well...) and it reflects our Christian faith, particularly our liturgical tradition. Dylan's grandfather's name is John, so it is a nod to him as well. We got the idea originally because Jeremy rented a room from an elderly man named St. John (pronounced Sinjun) while he was in college. Jeremy was 21 and Sinjun was 81, and they got along famously even though Sinjun was a bit of a curmudgeon.

    OK, that was a bit long, but there you have it. It's fun to reminisce about how we named the boys.

  24. My childrens names have a lot of meaning to our family. My oldest daughters name is Evelyn Jean McCarthy - Evelyn is after her great-grandma who passed away long before the kids where born and Jean is after Me and my mom. Now my son Parker Thomas, Parker is after my great-grandparents last name and Thomas is after his dad and grandpa.

  25. I have just started reading your story, so forgive me for commenting so far behind everyone, but I saw the name "Pearl" and just couldn't resist!

    Pearl isn't very common, and I maybe have heard it once or twice in my life, one of those times probably being Mr. Krabs' daughter on "Spongebob Squarepants". Lol.

    So whenever people found out my middle name was Pearl, they loved it and how beautiful it was. Now, if I was asked for a middle initial, "P" was always met with snickers or looks of "are you sure?". But people love Pearl, and I love Pearl. If your beauty ever encounters that with her "P" in life, you just tell her that she has the most beautiful and unique name!


    My name is Melanie Pearl. (And my birthstone is Pearl since I was born in June...neat, huh?) Melanie is after my mum's best friend at the time, and Pearl is after my Great-Grandmother Pearl Francini (Said: FRANK-EE-KNEE). That was her first and last - no middle. She was definitely French-Canadian, and lived in Canada for most of her life. She was the sweetest, most stubborn woman, refused to get a driver's license her whole life and died when I was about nine. Before I name my child, I must not leave the hubby out! My husband is also a Ryan, Ryan William Thomas. Ryan was a name his mother always dreamed of, and William Thomas was after his father's two brothers, Tom and Billy, although Billy died during childhood.

    Cut to 2008 when our daughter was born and finally named after almost hitting the 72-hour limit for naming your child in our state (otherwise she just becomes "Baby LASTNAME" until you legally change it). We named her "Samantha Lillian Pearl"; Samantha because it is a strong name that means "Listens to God", and she is a strong baby. Lillian is after my husband's Grandmother Lillian, the only Grandma he knew therefore she was very near and dear to him. And of course, Pearl is for me and my great-grandma. She has four names because my husband has four and I like the distinction. I absolutely love her two middle names and the women that she is named after. We are now pregnant with a boy, and we have no idea what we'll do! The first name is whatever we like, any random name if that's what we want, after we meet our baby and learn their personality, and the middle two will always be after a loved one we want to honor. Because my husband's heart aches for the Uncle Billy he will never know, William will definitely be one of our son's middle names. It will honor both his father and great-uncle, as Pearl did for our daughter and I. Picking names sure is hard though!

    Thanks for this post! I enjoyed sharing and learning!

    Come visit us - Mel, Ry, Samantha and Lil' Chicken (Baby Boy) - over at:


Thank you so much for taking the time to share. I love hearing from you.

P.S. I'm sorry for the word verification step, but oh, my. I'm getting lots of spam.