"What's in a name? that which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet." Romeo and Juliet (II.ii.47-48).
Here is an image of the front of Rose's birth announcement:
I have been waiting to talk about how we chose Rose's name until after I sent out her birth announcements because I wanted to include the newborn photos that I took of Rose as part of this post and I didn't want to post them until the announcements were received in the mail. Let me just say that newborn photographers, while expensive, earn every penny they charge because it is hard work getting good newborn photos. It took two days with my mom acting as my assistant for a couple hours each day to get these images of Rose when she was still less than 2 weeks old before she lost her very newborn look. I am so happy to have them though because she is already starting to change so much it seems.
Here are some fake reasons for why we chose Rose's name:
1. We are huge Betty White fans so she was named after Betty's character on Golden Girls.
2. We are huge Harry Potter fans and Ron & Hermione named their first daughter Rose, and we feel like we really relate to their characters, so ya'know...
3. Roses are my favorite flower (not true really - my favorite flower is ... all the flowers? I can't pick just one. Calla lilies? Roses? Tulips?)
4. We are huge fans of the Bard and the quote above from Romeo and Juliet was the inspiration behind both the names Rose & Julia, just in modified forms.
5. Paul is obsessed with "The Bachelor/Bachelorette" and if you have ever seen it, the rose is a big deal. Paul has been holding Rose while I was writing and he just asked me "Will you accept this Rose?" because he needed to pass her off, lol. (This is the real reason why she is named Rose. Just kidding. It's really not.)
The blanket in the next picture is Rose's that I made for her from the same fabrics I used to make Clara's quilt for Christmas. I made a matching small lap quilt for Tabby as well with a very soft rose colored flannel for the backing.
My sister Jennie made this beautiful purple blanket for Rose. I love it so much. The fabric is so soft and sort of silky and it has rosettes swirled into it. I can't explain it very well but it is so unique and gorgeous and Rose really loves the feel of it.
Here are the actual reasons for how we chose Rose's name and why she goes by her middle name rather than her first name:
1. First and foremost, we just plain like the name Rose. It isn't a family name or something we have any connection to other than that it is classic, beautiful and feminine and we just loved it. It is on the unique side without being unusual. It "fits" with the name Clara as far as style and time period when both were popular go (we tend to favor names that were popular around the late 1800 and early 1900's and we shy away from names that are more popular today).
2. Tabby (Rose's birthmom) mentioned six names that she really liked as middle name possibilities when we were discussing what to name the baby. Her top choice was Julia, although we also really liked Grace and Esther. both of which she suggested as alternates (there were a few others suggested but these were our top 3 of her 6). We went down our shortlist of girls names that we liked as first names and made combinations. For the record, the two alternate full names that were considered were Hannah Esther (third place) and Gwendolyn Grace (second place - we likely would have called her Gigi). We just didn't like the flow of Rose Julia though - it felt choppy and staccato. So we switched Julia to be a first name and Julia Rose just felt right. We really were torn between Julia Rose and Gwendolyn Grace in the end and even considered calling Rose by her first name of Julia (which we absolutely love btw), but in the end, we just felt like Rose is what she was meant to be. Also, the idea of her name ending with the short "a" sound (if we called her Julia) wasn't something we wanted to repeat since Clara's name ended that way already. (We WAY overthink these things).
3. As for calling Rose by her middle name, even though it is unconventional it isn't totally unheard of. Lots of people go by their middle names, actually, including my dad (his name is William Russell but he has always gone by Russ) and Paul's grandma (her name is Gwendolyn Madge but she has always gone by Madge). And we kind of liked the idea of carrying on that tradition in our family (not that it was a tradition but now that we are doing it too and calling it a tradition it can be one, right?). We felt like it might give her a special connection to her grandpa Russ and great-grandma Nash to share that unique thing with them.
4. This is something we only realized after we had already chosen the name Rose, but my sister Jennie named her second daughter Lily and I love that our second daughter was also named for a flower (not that either of them were named for flowers but we just liked the floral names, I guess). I think that it is special that those cousins will have that in common.
Other names that I had on my shortlist are listed below. I like having these for her because I always asked my mom what they would have named me if they hadn't named me Amy (my mom said they had liked the name Carrianne but had chosen my middle name (Elizabeth) first and thought Carianne Elizabeth Casebolt was just too much so they opted for a short first name). Paul didn't approve of all, or even most, of these. Like I said before, the real runners-up were Gwendolyn Grace (Gigi) and Hannah Esther. And some of them I wouldn't actually use - they just tickled my fancy and got me thinking I guess. If it has an asterisk by it that means it was truly a favorite that I really considered:
Hyacinth (another flower name!)
Temperance (a family name)
Abigail** (this was maybe my top standalone second pick although I worried about it getting shortened to Abby)
We are very happy with Rose's name though. We've taken to calling her Baby Rose or sometimes Rosie Posie as nicknames. Clara especially has latched onto Rosie Posie and will coo it at her in loving tones.
It cracks me up that I caught this little smile below. Just gas, I know, but adorable, right?