Monday, April 30, 2012

Ancestors Are Old, But Cool!

One of Barry's grandmas sent us some genealogy today. I opened the package and looked over the family groups. Then my jaw fell open and stayed that way for several moments.

Barry was intrigued by the look of utter surprise on my face. "What? What is it?!"

Oh, no big deal. Just that one of these families comes from Ireland and the wife's maiden name happens to be MY MAIDEN NAME.

Barry's grandpa had several aunts and uncles on his mother's side. A few months after we had our daughter, we learned a fun fact: one of these great-great-aunts has the same first and middle names as our Emma. Today, we learned that another great-great-aunt married a man who's maternal grandmother is a Hackett.

I don't know what any of this means, but it sure gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling in my heart.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

What's In A Name?

What's in a name? That which we call a rose,
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title
-Romeo & Juliet Act II, Scene ii

It's quite a romantic notion, Juliet, but I'm not sure I agree. Yes, the rose would smell as sweet if it were called a forfrugtula, but how would that rose feel with a name like that? Maybe Romeo's dear perfection exists because of his name and not in spite of it.

I think that a name is a very crucial part of a person's identity. As a mom trying to give my children everything that they will need to become incredible members of society, I've pondered a bit on this topic. I'm drawn to names that withstand the trials of time. Names with ancestral or spiritual meanings are important to me when I consider who my children are now, and who I hope they will become.

Emma Elizabeth was named for two amazing women of spiritual strength. Emma Smith, the wife of the Prophet Joseph Smith, endured a lot of trials, had a lot of faith, and loved her family during difficult times. (You can read scanned, original letters between Emma and Joseph at They are interesting, if you're into that sort of thing.) Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, conceived miraculously in her old age, was extremely faithful, and strikes me as a kind woman. I want my daughter to know that I think she is capable of being strong, full of faith, kind, and loving - as these women were. 

This little boy in my womb is getting the name Liam Michael

I desperately wanted to name him Michael and use my maiden name as his middle name, but my sweet husband doesn't like the sound of it. You need to understand that I loved and respected my paternal grandfather deeply and it saddens me that his line will not be passing on our surname to future generations. I feel like it's up to me to keep some sort of family name going. So I said to my sweet husband, "Since you don't want to use my maiden name for a middle name, how about a first name that is Irish?" He agreed. 

I pondered on the name Liam because it is short for William and there are several Williams in my ancestry, including my own father and my great-great-grandfather who came to America from Ireland. William means strong-willed protector, or unwavering protector, which is something I'd like my son to be. (Also, strong-willed, stubborn behavior is a given considering the poor kid has two stubborn parents.) I shared my thoughts with Barry. He instantly felt that Liam is the name of our son, and so it is. Michael is the archangel who led the righteous spirits in the battle against Lucifer during the war in Heaven. (Read Revelation 12:7, if you're interested.) The name Michael means "Who is like God?" I want my son to know that I believe he can be a strong-willed protector of his family, a reflection of his ancestry, and a faithful follower of God.

That, Miss Juliet, is what's in a name. So there. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

North Coast Adventure

Barry dives for abalone along the coast. He's been going on camping and diving trips each Spring and Summer for a long time, and I used to join him regularly. We haven't been camping as a family since Emma joined our world. I'm not quite brave enough to face all of the challenges that such an adventure will surely present. However, I really wanted to enjoy some family time doing something we love, so we went on a day trip yesterday. It was wonderful.

Instead of camping, we drove up in the morning, Barry and his dad dove in the ocean like little seals while Emma and I played on the beach. Then we relaxed, ate lunch, and went for a drive along the coast. We walked along a sandy beach, looked at sea lions, chased the waves, and drove home in the evening. We all had a lot of fun and came home extremely exhausted.

I'm glad we went. I needed the redwoods, ocean air, and salty waves. I've missed that big, blue beast and I seriously started to cry when the car rounded a curve and I saw the Pacific's majestic expanse for the first time in months. (I'm pregnant, give me a break.) It was so beautiful. I'm thankful for these special days, when my little, precious family is relaxed and together.

A walk through the redwoods to the beach!

Swim, Daddy! Swim!

Daddy's out there!

Baby Liam & Emma's first dive trip

Chasing the bubbles and loving it!