Friday, June 24, 2016

Naming Our Girls

The quick version of this post is, Mae is my grandmother’s name and we both liked and agreed on Amelia, Gentry & Parker.

The end.

Because I want to remember how we came to our decisions and came upon these names (and if you want to keep reading), I’ll share a bit more in detail about them.

Finding names is not a problem. Agreeing on names is a different ballgame.

For instance, Georgia Hazel. Stephen fought for that name from Day 1. He tried and tried to convince me and everyone else that it was the best girl’s name ever. My continual response was “we’re not hipster enough for that name.” I mean, really. I can see the coolest couple who wears skinny jeans, glasses and plaid shirts, lives in a tiny house, sipping on their self-brewed coffee watching their little girl names Georgia Hazel running around. Me and Stephen…we don’t drink coffee and thought of either of us in skinny jeans makes me gag a little. Georgia Hazel just didn’t “fit” us.


We first said, we wouldn’t pick names or really even discuss names heavily until we found out genders. There were too many options and too many combos to come up with. If we wanted to be really prepared, we’d have 2 full girls names and 2 full boys names. That’s 8 NAMES! It just sounded stressful, so we avoided it for several weeks and then out of the blue the week before our appointment we started saying, “we really need to decide on names.” We went against everything we had said and  started talking, mixing names for first and middles, seeing what initials and monograms would be, and how they sounded with Stafford.

We also made the decision early on to NOT share any names we were serious about. We didn’t really care about other peoples’ opinions and more than that didn’t want to hear them. This was our decision to make, our children to name.

I first came across Amelia on some “top baby name” list a year or so ago and liked it. At the time, I jotted it down on a running list on my phone, mentioned it to Stephen and he didn’t like it. Fast forward a year, he’s flipping through a baby name book some friends loaned us, came across Amelia and said, “OOOOH! AMELIA!” I just stared at him, and said, “Really?” Amelia was back on the table and since he liked it so much, I started loving it even more myself.

You know those daily deal websites, Jane and GroopDealz? I get their emails every day and love the items and prices they offer. I’ve been able to buy many Christmas gifts from those sites the past couple of years. They’re great. (End of un-sponsored ad.) Anyways, so they offer custom “Printables” most days from different sellers. One day I was scrolling and saw printables for nurseries with babies’ names. Well, being a sucker for anything with baby names, I scrolled through every single picture. I came across a really pretty girly, design and noticed it before I noticed the name. The name was Gentry. My first reaction was, “I love last names as first names, but that’s a DEFINITE last name around here.” A couple days later, I couldn’t get it out of my head. Again, I mentioned it to Stephen in passing and he snarled his nose to it. When we started talking names seriously for our babies, he mentioned something like, “Well, there was Gentry…you liked it a lot.” First of all, I couldn’t believe he remembered it. Second of all, I couldn’t believe he was on board AGAIN to a name he had dismissed months earlier. I don’t understand him sometimes.

I’ve known for the last 15+ years that if I ever had a daughter, I would name her after my grandmother. My grandma’s name is Ila Mae. She is the best person I’ve ever known and has had a huge impact on my life. She’s one of my best friends, and I can’t imagine what life would be like without her and all the memories I’ve shared with her.

That being said, when you start naming names, Mae goes with ANYTHING, so we were pretty sure it’d be a middle name. When I first heard Parker for a girl (more on that in a minute), I thought “Oh wow! Parker Mae! I LOVE it.” Then reality hit that her poor initials would be PMS. I just couldn’t, but Mae would still work with Amelia or Gentry so we didn’t get too flustered. (Although I had a hard time of letting Parker Mae go.) We briefly even discussed giving her my grandma’s full name and she’d be Ila Mae Stafford. It’s an old and classic name, but so beautiful too.

One day I mentioned flipping Parker Mae to be Mae Parker. We didn’t say much about it and went on to other suggestions, so I didn’t think much about it at the time.

Ok, so I totally stole this from some random person two years ago during our annual third Saturday in October trip to Bell Buckle, TN for their arts and crafts show.

(Side story: If you’re anywhere close to middle or southern TN, you need to go to this one year. I won’t be able to go this year, since the girls could be due any day around that particular weekend, and I may or may not have gotten a little teary-eyed when I realized this a couple weeks ago. #hormones Anyways…google Bell Buckle, TN and you’ll be led to info on their big annual weekend. IT IS FANTASTIC. My little advice, be there when it opens to avoid MASS crowds all day. You’ll get in several stops before crowds pick up and more than likely be done around 2 to 3p, and you’ll have an easier time parking. AND, find the Methodist Church for your bathroom breaks. The lines might be long, but they move quick and are MUCH cleaner than any porta-potty you’ll see. Back to baby names…)

So myself, my sister and my friend Katie were winding our way down an aisle in and out of the crowds, and I saw a saw a girl pushing a stroller with the carseat / baby carrier attached. They had the cutest pink and brown (and I don’t even like pink and brown that much) monogrammed cover over the car seat. The monogrammed name was “Parker”. I remember literally stopping in the middle of the crowd and watching this girl and stroller walk by just starting at the seat cover. For a brief moment, I thought Parker COULD BE their last name, but no. No, in my head there was the cutest little girl snoozing under that cover and her name was Parker.

I knew it was a gender neutral name, but I was smitten and Parker would just HAVE to be my daughter’s name one day.

Until one of Stephen’s friends (who he RARELY ever sees anymore) named their son Parker sometime last year and he just couldn’t get on board after that. Every time we talked names, I brought up Parker. EVERY.TIME. until finally he pretty much just gave in.

Ok, so we have Parker, Mae, Gentry & Amelia…we could combine these names in various ways, but we knew these were our 4 names for girls. The day before our appointment (a Sunday) we were headed to Stephen’s grandparents’ house for lunch like we did every Sunday after church. During that 20 minute car ride, we made our final decisions. It was simple and easy. I threw out Amelia Gentry, he threw out Mae Parker…we both agreed and that was that. Seriously, it happened that quick and that easy.

The list of girls names was extensive and always changing, for boys names, we always had one solid one. James Oliver. James is Stephen’s grandpa. Oliver is my grandpa. If we had been told the next day we were having two boys, we would’ve split the name and had James Flatt (Flatt is my maiden name) and Will Oliver (Will was the only other boy name we could agree on that went with Oliver, and we weren’t 100% sure on it. If we had heard 2 boys, we sure wouldn’t have been ready to spit out their names as quick as we did for girls.)

Just for fun and remembrance since we’re 99% sure these two girls are it for us, and no more Stafford kiddos in our future, these were our other top contending girls names…


James Oliver was literally IT for boys names. We never could agree on anything else we liked for boys’ names.

We go back on Monday for our next appointment and will have a full anatomy scan ultrasound where they’ll do measurements of everything and take closer looks at the babies. As our doctor said a few weeks ago, “it’ll be your long appointment.” Remember they told us three weeks ago, “don’t go painting a room pink or monogramming anything just yet…” well, we haven’t but we’re totally preparing ourselves for 2 girls. That being said, IF a better look at Baby B on Monday this time shows we’re having a girl and boy…(Baby A was confirmed girl)..then we’ll have to decide which girl name gets the boot and we’ll have our James Oliver to prepare for. (But they were PRETTY sure B was a girl as well. It’s safe to say, I’ll be shocked if we hear boy and girl on Monday rather than girls, plural.)

**And yes, we’ve since been informed (by our SEVEN year old nephew nonetheless) that…”Erica, did you know Mae Parker is Spiderman’s aunt’s name?” Nope, we sure didn’t, but we’re FULLY aware of that now. I really thought we had come up with unique but classic names only to find out Marvel Comics beat us to it.

Speaking of nephews, our oldest, Riley (10) has had a hard time remembering Amelia Gentry and has called her Ginger OR “whatever her name is” a couple of times. He’s dead serious when he says it and it’s hilarious. I’m secretly hoping that’s his nickname for her even when they’re old and gray.**


  1. I love your explanation of choosing the baby names! Y'all sound like us when it comes to making decisions about things. Also, love that your nephew refers to AG as Ginger hahaha!
    Sarah at MeetTheShaneyfelts

  2. LOVE the names and the stories behind them!!
    Have a great weekend!

  3. I LOVE LOVE LOVE all of their names and what fun stories to remember as to how you decided on them. I loved reading your post - kind of a brain dump on deciding on names!! :)

    1. Life in general has felt like a big 'ol brain dump lately. HA.

  4. Totally obsessed with their names Erica!! And I am quite partial to of my daughter's middle name is Maye- after my grandmother!!
    Hope you have a great weekend friend!

  5. I love this post! I totally agree that it has to be a good "hollering" name! We didn't tell anyone our kid's names until we were 100% either. You're right, it's only your opinion that matters.
    We have a Jentry (that's two years old) and sometimes people think she says Ginger. She now over pronounces the "T" in JeNTRy so much she sounds like she has an English accent when she says it, but it's so clear now.
    You picked precious names & I know their little faces will be just as sweet!

  6. I adore these names. I personally like how the middle names are last names (in my area) and how the first names are ones that will age well with them.

  7. Remember that 5% chance you could have a James- haha!

  8. Their names couldn't be more perfect!!! I love it!

    I love hearing how you decided on names... it sounds a lot like Jordan and me. He threw Emery out the door all the time. He said I just don't like it. I kept coming back and saying "I don't like anything but Emery." until one day he called her Emery Hope. HA! Then the day she was born he said "She's definitely an Emery. You knew." Imagine that! Mama knew. LOL! :-)


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