How Did You Choose Your Children’s Names?

A fun question, right? In this week’s motherhood post, Kelly and I are sharing how we chose the names of our babies, which is undoubtedly one of the biggest decisions in the birthing process! If you don’t know, she named her baby Emma, which is one of my favorite girl names ever. I can’t wait to read about how she chose it – go, go, go!

Names are such a interesting topic because they’re so personal. It’s a person’s first form of identity, and it’ll stick with them for their whole life. Talk about pressure!

Naming our kids was both enjoyable and stressful. It was enjoyable because it’s so fun to think of all the options, brainstorm, and pair different first and middle name options together; it was stressful because both times we didn’t have a clear “winner” and instead waited until delivery to decide, making the experience exciting and yet full of anticipation.

It’s interesting, though. Despite going into delivery with the same “name strategy”, both of my girls have such different stories behind their names. Here they are!ย Grace Kay – We actually had Kay picked out long before we had Grace finalized. My grandma’s name was Mary Kay, and Doug’s grandma’s name was Kay, so it was the perfect fit. We went into labor with Kay, Grace, Kennedy and Annie as our favorite options. I will admit, “Grace Kay” was a top front-runner because we thought the pairing was so beautiful.

The night before I went into labor, Doug and I went to a concert with some blogging friends, whereย Kellyย (Crazy how two years later we’re doing a motherhood series together!) and Kit told me about a song called “Gracie Girl” by Ben Folds Five, noting that it would solidify the name Grace for us. I listened to it that night and started crying – the song was written by a father to his daughter, named Gracie, and it was so sweet. Adding it to our delivery playlist, we still went into delivery undecided on the name.

Then, the craziest thing happened during delivery. As I started pushing, we put the playlist we’d made on shuffle so we’d have music playing and have a relaxed environment. Two hours later, literally as Grace was being born, “Gracie Girl” came on. We took it as a sign and that pretty much solidified her name right then and there!
Josephine Bloom – A few months after Grace was born, Doug and I were in Mystic, Connecticut for a friend’s wedding. We were taking a long walk and talking about the future, and somehow we got to talking about a second kid and what we’d name that baby if it was another girl. Josephine was mentioned, and we both were hooked, which is so funny because it wasn’t even on our radar for when we were naming Grace. We loved that Josephine on its own was beautiful, but that it also had so many great nickname options like Jo and Joey. (Both of which we now call our baby!)

Still, we again went into delivery with a list of names we loved and open minds. Also on that list was Penelope, Lillian, and Lucy. Unlike with Grace’s name picking, this time around, we didn’t have a clear cut sign, we just kind of knew. When we were in the delivery room, the nurse asked if we had a name picked out, and Doug and I turned to each other and said, “Josephine” with a smile.

A common question we get is “Where did Bloom come from? Is it a family name?” The answer is no – we just love “Bloom” and the new life and energy it represents. We thought that as a middle name it was so unique; plus, Josephine is my spring baby and so incorporating it felt perfect!

This was really fun to share, I hope it was fun for you to read! Be sure to swing by Kelly’s postย if you haven’t already.

And, if you’re open to sharing, what are your favorite names? How did/will you name your kid or kids? Did/will you stick with family names? I love hearing other people’s thought process on picking names, it’s so interesting!


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9 thoughts on “How Did You Choose Your Children’s Names?

  1. Britney Crawley

    I seriously am loving the motherhood series you and Kelly are doing. I loved reading this because my husband and I are currently talking baby names for our little one. We’ll hopefully find out next week if we’ve got a little boy or girl on the way. We’re mostly settled on a boy name but with girl names we’re all over the place. My husband told me the other day he hopes it’s a boy so we don’t have to keep thinking of girl name ideas. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Grace and Josephine are such great girl names! I love that they’re both classic and also fitting of babies and adults. Thanks for sharing!!

    1. Emily | Isn't That Charming Post author

      I’m SO happy to hear you like this series! It’s really fun to write and partner on, so love hearing that it’s resonating with people. Thanks for your sweet thoughts on Grace and Josephine’s names. I can’t wait to hear what you end up naming your little one on the way!

  2. Jennifer

    Thanks for sharing this with us. I love the stories behind both of the names. For me my parents had the name Jennifer picked out for awhile. And for my sister, Jodie , was the only name they could agree on. After they named her, my dad realized we were both J’s and wished they would’ve named her something else.

    xx Jennifer
    Effortlessly Sophisticated

  3. Kailey Marie

    This was such a fun read! I’m fascinated with baby names ๐Ÿ™‚ Thomas Andrew-Thomas is my dads name and Andrew after my husband. His initials are TAG which we intended to be what we called him, but Thomas stuck! Katherine Marie-was actually supposed to be my name! Hence “Kailey.” I’ve always loved the name, and think it’s just has such a pretty ring to it. Marie is my middle name, and my grandmas so I wanted to keep it going. Thanks for sharing your name stories, Emily! I absolutely love both of your girls names. Both were on our lists!! xoxo

  4. Renee

    Thanks for sharing. My son Ayden Patrick was born at 26 weeks . We only had 24 hrs to name him because he was transported to another hospital for the NICU . We decided on Ayden because it means Little Fire . Very appropriate for a little baby fighting for his life . Patrick is also my husbands middle name . After the fact we realized his initials were APE . We can laugh about it now … kinda ๐Ÿ˜Š

  5. Katie @ Live Half Full

    My son is named after both his maternal grandfathers- Buel Nicholas- it’s a unique name with special meaning and fits him perfectly! We decided on our boy and girl names the day we found out we were pregnant and that was that. If we have a boy the second time around we’re really going to have to rack our brain- because we are so set with a girl name!


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