We are downright giddy to introduce
Because I know people will ask after the last round of unconventional baby naming, the GB babies have names steeped in meaning, namesakes and family. We still get comments about how long Si’s name is, but we wanted our kids to have names that are chock full of built-in support and meaning.
We knew we wanted a Mary derivative for the first name to honor not only both of our moms who are named Mary, but also grandma and 2 great grandmas named Mary, as well as 5 Maes, 2 Maries, Marguerite, Moira, Maggie, Mayme, and Mamie. I think there are even more, but needless to say this baby has a long lineage of amazing, independent Schleeter and Voss women who will guide her on her path. We tossed around a few names on this list from Nameberry.com, but Tim fell in love with Maren early on and it ended up being our first choice.
Susannah is a namesake name after my Grandma Susie who passed away when I was 17. I have always wanted to incorporate her name into a daughter’s name, so I’m happy I got a little girl upon whom to bestow it! I didn’t have the foresight to consider that Si’s name started with S as well, so we didn’t want use it as a first name, but I can only hope she ends up with a smidge of Grandma’s wisdom, dry sense of humor, and ability to find the bottom line of what’s important. I wouldn’t argue if Maren ended up with her beautiful olive skin, either.
Jane! I’m sure most people don’t have to speculate long to realize this is literary. Jane Austen has long been a written haven for me with her strong but humble heroines who, like all of us, jump to hasty conclusions about people and regret things they say or do only to learn something profound about themselves in the end. Pride and Prejudice is the epitome of a bildungsroman if you ask me. Silas has Thoreau in his name, and we hope both of our babes can find direction, reassurance and peace about who they are in their literary namesakes as we did. As an added bonus, little bella has a great aunt and a really rockin’ cousin with this shared middle name. I originally voted for Elizabeth here, but Tim nixed it as a mouthful. I dejectedly agreed. It’s on hold if we decide to have two more babes later.
Our kids are both Ballard by last name. I’ve had people ask why we didn’t hyphenate their last names instead of giving the littles a second middle name. I hyphenated my name because I wanted to keep my name and identity as it has always been, but I also wanted to share my children’s names, so I added Ballard after we married. I didn’t ask Tim to change his name, he didn’t ask me to change my name. When it came to naming our kids, we considered using Garner as a second middle name both times and decided to use literary names instead with the hope that they will feel a connection to something that can provide them with some enlightenment along the way when life gets messy as it always does.
Welcome to our family, baby Maren!