A Rose By Any Other Name: Part I

This is a 2 part post about how we chose our daughter's name; go here for the second part!

If you know Jason and me as parents much at all then you know we put a lot of time and consideration into our children's names. You may remember the post that explained Roger's full name (Roger Nehemiah). Many of the same principles apply (loving to use family names and praying for redemption in our family line, care for what the name means) but sweet Juliet Elise's name has a story all her own.

First, the Juliet. Jason and I really love names that are gender specific and strong. We have nothing against people with gender neutral names, we just prefer to choose names for our babies that don't leave you guessing. We knew our first daughter would have a feminine name, and were Roger a girl the name would have been Claire Elizabeth [for the record, I was a bit shocked to learn that in the early 20th century Claire was actually a male French name, but these days an American named Claire is typically a girl!]. For this pregnancy, that name just didn't feel right and now we know why--dear friends of ours were blessed after years of trying with adopting a darling baby girl, and they named her Claire Elizabeth; they didn't know that had been our girl name for Roger. How cool is that?

So, Juliet came about because one night we were going for a drive around West Seattle late last year. We were talking about names and Jason rejected one of my favorites (Adele; I'm glad he did because suddenly that name is becoming VERY popular, thanks to the booming success of 21) and he said, "What about Julia?" I wasn't crazy about Julia, but then Juliet hit me. I thought I would hate it (you know, the whole Shakespeare thing, which I'll touch on tomorrow) but realized that I really, really loved it.

We were still a few months from getting pregnant at that point, but I kept thinking about the name Juliet. I realized that I loved that it had not only the letter T in it (my fave letter, for obvious reasons) but that it was sweet, feminine, classy, romantic, and Juliet Hagglund flows really well. Also cool is that it starts with a J (Jason) and ends in T (Tami). Another really cool aspect is that one of my mother-in-laws (Jason's stepmom) is named Julie, and so it also incorporates another family name. Fun!

I also really love the character of Juliet from LOST--she's not only my favorite character on the show, which is one of my fave all time shows, but also one of my fave all-time TV characters. I feel she really embodied the name Juliet and some of the characteristics I would hope a daughter of mine would possess: passionate, gentle, fierce, a woman of conviction who isn't afraid to do what's right regardless of the cost, compassionate, and a solid mix of independent and submissive in that she's not feeble-minded and desperate for a man to complete her yet in a relationship with a man she loves him selflessly and doesn't try to usurp his masculinity (I'm thinking of Sawyer here, for the record). We're also rather likely to have a dark eyed, dark haired (at least when she gets older) daughter and I love the idea of a dark eyed, dark haired, light skinned beauty named Juliet.

The only downside to the name Juliet is that it means "down bearded youth" because all "Jul-" names are derived from Julius (ala Caesar). But...meh. You can't win 'em all!

There's one other aspect to Juliet I want to share but I'm saving it for tomorrow :)

So thrilled to see pink balloons.

Elise is much simpler to explain. For one, it is derived from the name Elizabeth, which means "my God is a vow". I love the character of Elizabeth in the Bible; she actually exhibits a lot of those same characteristics I named for Juliet from LOST, but she also is a godly woman who worships Jesus. Also, Elizabeth is my mom's middle name, which means we hopefully have at least one more daughter to address a part of Jason's mom's name, then we'll have touched all of our parents' names in one way or another ;)

A reason we chose Elise over Elizabeth is we pay attention to syllables and flow of names, and Juliet Elise Hagglund flows much better than Juliet Elizabeth Hagglund; the latter just feels like too much of a mouthful. One other aspect to Elise is that I had a roommate during Teach For America named Elise and I adored her. Lastly, Elise not only sounds beautiful with Juliet but it's a really sweet name--I actually often called my friend "sweet Elise."

Check back in tomorrow for the most precious part of Juliet's name, a story dear to my heart about our little daughter and her, we believe, name as confirmed by Jesus.

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