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John? Mary? Apple? Indigo? How We Chose a Name

By Jeana Lee Tahnk

Choosing the name of your baby is such a fun (and sometimes challenging) endeavor. There are literally millions of options when you consider the first name, the first name with the middle name, the first name with the last name. So many combinations to consider! When I came across name options, it always helped me to consider how well that cute little baby name would fit on the 40-year-adult the baby would turn into.

It's also hard to imagine a name without imagining the kind of person who will personify that name. Do you go sweet? Strong? Traditional? Trendy? Or maybe a name that reminds you of someone, or somewhere?

When it came to naming our kids, my husband and I spent a lot of time debating for each one. Because we didn't find out the genders of any of our kids beforehand, we had to come up with a short list of boy and girl names for each go-around.

At my baby shower for my first, we had a bowl set up in which people could throw name suggestions. Of course, with our last name of "Tahnk," we had the expected jokesters offer options such as, "Fish," "Army" and "Gas." Hardy-har-har.

Our kids' first names came from doing the typical baby name searches-looking through books, searching online and then saying the name over and over again until we found ones that sounded right.

But for their middle names, we decided to use name of places where my husband and I had lived. We wanted to have reminders of our travels and great experiences from our pre-kid days, so our firstborn's middle name is the same as one of our favorite restaurants in North Carolina; our second child's middle name is the same as the street we lived on in San Francisco; and our baby's middle name is the same as an area of London we walked to almost every other weekend.

These names evoke memories of how my husband and I started our lives together, and I love that each kid represents one of those amazing memories. Plus, they make a great story when people ask how we chose their names. Naming a kid after a restaurant or a street may not be everyone's first choice, but it works for us. And when it comes to naming, that's all that matters.

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