What's In a Name?

When we had our son, we scoured a baby name book for the perfect name for him.  We had no guidelines to follow, other than just finding a name we both agreed upon.  After reading through all 33,000 names in the book & writing down our favorites, we decided on the name Ezekiel Allen.
{Ezekiel Allen at Elie's birthday}

We were attracted to the name Ezekiel because of it's Biblical meaning, "strength of God" and because it was not a common name.  His middle name, Allen, is my father's name.  Since my dad was an only child, with no living relatives & no one to carry on our family's last name (my parents had 2 daughters) we chose to name him after my dad.  The name Allen means "handsome, peaceful".  (He is definitely a handsome lad, but I don't usually use the term "peaceful" to describe my boy!)

When we found out we were expecting a baby girl two & a half years later, we put a little more thought into the name.  Since Zeke's name had a Biblical meaning, we decided it would be nice for our daughter to have a name with a similar meaning.  We again, scoured the book of baby names to seek out the perfect name for our little girl. 

{Eliana Denae on Wacky Wednesday}

After reading through the entire section, we fell in love with the name Eliana, which means "my God has answered me".  I read back through the entire section of girl names to find a middle name that I thought would go well with Eliana.  Mark & I decided on Denae as her middle name.  It is a variation of a Biblical name, as well, but doesn't have the loveliest meaning (vindicated)!

Once we were blessed with a third baby, we realized we had completely complicated the baby naming process!  Our new criteria for naming this baby was as follows:

1. She needed a name that started with the letter "E".  (We are intending this baby to finish off our family, so we wanted her name to flow along with the rest of our kids' names.  Let's just say we didn't want to sign our Christmas cards with Ezekiel, Eliana, & Margaret!)

2. We wanted her name to have a Biblical meaning, like both of our other children.

3. If her name was going to follow in the ways of her big brother & sister, it needed to be slightly uncommon.  (But not weird!)

4. Finally, her name needed to be a slightly longer & a more formal name, that we could shorten with a nickname.  (Ezekiel is normally referred to as Zeke, & Eliana has become Elie.)

If this baby were to be a boy, we had a few ideas to choose from, but learning that our baby was a girl added one more slight complication to the baby naming process! 

{Evalyse Adelle}

Baby number three was definitely the most difficult to name!  We hadn't intended on complicating the naming process so much, but that's what ended up happening!  After reading through the list of girl names in our book, I realized that finding a name that met all this criteria was next to impossible.  In the end, I ended up looking at a website dedicated to baby names & came across the name Evalyse.  The meaning was just a combination of the names Eva (life) & Elyse (consecrated to God).  I combined these meanings so that Evalyse means "consecrated to God for life".  After finding a first name, I went back through the baby name book to find a middle name to complement it.  I liked the way Adelle flowed with Evalyse & thought it had a nice meaning, "noble & serene".  If you know anything about my family, it's that we could use a little serenity! 

Well, that's what's in a name!  A lot of thought & meaning were put into my children's names...maybe a little more than I ever thought, but our kids will live with their names for the rest of their lives, so they are definitely worth a few months of stress & some sleepless nights, right? 

So, now that I'm done with the whole baby naming process, what criteria did you use to name your children?  


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