Thursday, November 21, 2013

Traditions - Naming Our Children

My H&H blog group has done the topic "traditions" for the beginning of November. My last blog, click here, you can find my post about carving jack-o-lanterns. For this post, I decided to write about a different kind of tradition. Since we are expecting a 5th child next year, one thing on my mind is naming the baby.

I am sure most people put a lot of thought into naming their child.
Although, I wonder if some do. Apple? Really.
 Or how about the names like Female?
I guess to each his own!

For my husband and I, we have always given a lot thought to our childrens' names.

Obviously, we tried the names we liked with our last name (Sorry, I never list it on the blog! You'll just have to take my word that they work. ;-) I also always think about whether the name will fit a little kid, teen and grown up. I also say the name with Dr. in front of it! Hey, a mom can hope! :-)

Even more important to us, each of the 4 children have a name that honors one of the 4 of my husband and I's parents/families. Equally important, as Catholics, we also use a Saint's name or a name from the Bible for their Baptismal name. Here's a great post from Catholic Answers that explains this belief for those of you readers that are not Catholic. Click here to read it.

Finally, my husband is Irish and I felt it was important for their names to honor them being 1/2 Irish. Not in the "I'm Irish too" way where everyone in American seems to think they are Irish, but authentically, one of their parents was born and raised in Ireland, Irish.

So here is a look at our kiddos names and why we chose their names for them.
An important tradition in our family.

Grace Elizabeth:

"Grace" is God's gift to us. We truly felt that she was and is! Her name was chosen for its meaning.

Her middle name is Elizabeth. Elizabeth is the English version of Brian's mother's name which was Eilish. It honored her grandmother Eilish and Grace's Irish heritage both! Of course, we all know of St. Elizabeth and in the Bible where Mary visits her cousin and John leapt in Elizabeth's womb. A favorite Scripture of mine and many is Luke 1:37 "For nothing is impossible with God." Knowing that in her age, Elizabeth had conceived a child. It was especially meaningful for me being pregnant with my first child. What a true miracle of God to have life growing within your womb.

Cian Patrick:

We decided we would like an Irish name for our son. There is a St. Cian, but I don't know anything about him. We did love the name for its uniqueness and because it is very uncommon in America. It was chosen to represent his Irish heritage. It has worked too! We have had SO many people ask us not only how to pronounce it, but its origins as well.

We chose Patrick for his middle name. My paternal grandfather was Patrick. Both my father and brother have Patrick as their middle name. Of course, everyone knows St. Patrick and he is the Patron Saint of Ireland! A perfect fit really!

Zoe Micah:

Zoe means life. My original due date was January 22nd. That is the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. I prayed she wouldn't be born that day as it is such a sad date. However, choosing a name meaning "life" meant that much more to me as she grew in my womb. 

Zoe's middle name is Micah. Her middle name honors Brian's father Michael. Obviously, that is the Irish component to her name as well. My absolute favorite verse in the Bible comes from Micah 6:8. It says, "what the Lord requires of you: Only to do justice and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God." I try to live my life by this and treasured the idea of it being part of my child's namesake.

Ellison Caoimhe:

Ellison honors my mother's family name. Thus, she completed all 4 of our parents/families being represented in our children's names. I have also seen in baby name books that it means "My God is the Lord," so that is cool too!

We chose an Irish name for her middle name. It is pronounced "Kee-va" in case you are still trying to figure it out. ;-) It is a feminine version of St. Kevin. St. Kevin or St. Caoimhin was an Irish hermit who gave up his life of solitude and founded a monastery that was in Glendalough. When in Ireland, we would often go to Glendalough with Brian's parents and even got to take my mother there when she came once. It is just beautiful.
Above is the Monastic Site and St. Kevin's church and below is a picture of Glendalough we have in our home:

Baby #5:


Friday, November 8, 2013

Traditions - Pumpkins

My H&H group has a new blog assignment topic: Traditions. 

Since we just celebrated Halloween, I decided to write about a tradition that I have been doing since I was a little kid: carving pumpkins.

It is a memory I have from way back when my parents were married of the big, huge pumpkin sitting on the dining room table and my parents helping me gut it and cut out the face I drew. What is funny is that I LOVED it and never thought that grown ups might not love the mess, smell, and time consuming activity.

Brian, (although from Ireland, ironically where carving gourds began!), didn't have this tradition growing up. I wanted to carry on the tradition and have been having our family carve pumpkins since Grace was little. Brian has not been a huge fan of the whole event- willing to lift them and clean up, but never wanting to gut them or carve them. This year, he did BOTH! And you know what, I think the kids had more fun this year than ever before and of course Brian did too!

A blast from the past:
2009 Cian, Zoe & Grace

2009 Grace & Cian

And from this year:
Cian 2013

Zoe 2013

Ellie 2013

Grace 2013