Friday, May 6, 2011

What's in a Name?

Names have always interested me, so I gladly clicked through to the list of 2010's top baby names when I saw a link pop up earlier today. Guess what name did not appear amongst the sea of names? "Jenaleigh"! :-)

Turns out that Isabella was the most popular (click here for a list). But I was a little surprised to see that our baby girl's middle name ("Kate") wasn't even on the roster for the top 50. My crystal ball predicts that next year (thank you Kate Middleton) the name "Kate" will skyrocket into the top ten. Just a hunch.

So, while we're on the topic of names, you may have wondered, where in the world did we get the name "Jenaleigh Kate"?

Here's the deal.

I love names with meaning. Names with history. Names that attach you to someone for the rest of your life. I had already decided that "Kate" would be a middle name, but I couldn't decide on a first name. So, before we even got pregnant, I was looking through names that contained "Jen" in them (you'll see why in a sec) and came across this beautiful name - Jenaleigh. There are many spelling variations. One word. Two words. One "n". Two "n's". L-e-e. L-e-i-g-h. You get the idea.

No matter the spelling, this name was perfect. Here's why...

My paternal grandmother, "Jen"
My paternal grandfather's middle name "Lee"
My maternal grandmother, "Kate" (okay, her name was actually Carrie Lou, but apparently as a young woman, was known as "Kate" to everyone).

So, with a little tweaking we get...) Jenaleigh Kate.

If only we could fit "Henry" or "Eugene" in there, then we would have covered all the grandparents on my side!

(Don't worry... if we have a baby boy, Daniel's side of the family will be represented quite well!).

Me, "Jen" (grandmother), and Daniel (pre-weight loss)

Cecil "Lee" (my grandfather) and baby Martha

"Kate" (nickname for my grandmother) & Henry Eugene (the one name we couldn't squeeze in)
Pictured here on their wedding day.

*As a side note, while I love the name we picked out, I have come to realize that no one will ever spell it correctly without her (or us) telling them the correct spelling. Sorry in advance, sweetheart. :-)

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