Monday, June 13, 2011

The name story (as promised)

When I was roughly 17 weeks along in my pregnancy with Marianne, and before we knew if we were having a boy or girl, Mark and I flew across the world and celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary in Hawaii.

We had already decided on a boy's name, but were having a difficult (to put it mildly) time agreeing on a girl's name that we both liked. We decided prior to leaving on our trip, that this task would be one of our vacation to-dos. Mark even packed two baby name books.

After putting it off for nearly the first of our 2 weeks away, Mark brought it up one evening as we were eating Haagen Daz, sitting on the beach, watching the waves roll in. I agreed that we could begin the conversation, thinking that this would be just as fruitless as the last times we'd attempted the same discussion.

So, we sat there in silence and then Mark said, "What about Marianne?"
And I thought about it for a minute and said "I really like that!"
And Mark said "What about Grace for a middle name?"
And I thought about that and said "I think that's beautiful!"
"Marianne Grace"

And we talked about all the reasons we thought it was a beautiful name:
- It's clearly Marian which was something that Mark had particularly wanted but I wasn't sold on "Mary" as a name.
- Ann is my middle name, Mark's mother's middle name, and Mary's mother's name
- Grace seems an obvious and beautiful choice to accompany a Marian first name
- It sounds beautiful and classic

So, we decided that when we returned to our hotel room, we would "google" it and see if there were any St Marianne's, and make sure there weren't any scandalous "Marianne Archibalds" or similar.

What we discovered when doing our search surprised and delighted us! Here we were in Hawaii, having felt quite inspired by this name that seemed to hit us out of the blue, and our internet search revealed that there is indeed a Blessed Marianne. She just so happened to be a Religious sister who spent the later part of her life serving the leper colony on Molokai, Hawaii, with Fr. Damien.

I turned to Mark and said, "I think we're having a girl!"