April 21, 2017

What's in a name?

I'm going to let you in on a little secret - naming a baby is hard. Who knew, right?

When I had my twelve week ultrasound with Taylor, our technician said she was 99% sure I was having a girl. Andrew and I struggled with a name, but eventually came up with a girl name we both loved. Fast forward to my nineteen week appointment and, lo and behold, there was a baby boy on the ultrasound screen. Our girl name came to us relatively easy, but we could not agree on any boy name. Taylor was a name I always liked, but Andrew wasn't too fond of gender neutral names so I never suggested it in all our deliberation. One night as we were once again debating names that neither of us liked, 'Taylor' popped into my head so I suggested it even though I was sure Andrew wouldn't like it. To my surprise, Andrew was on board. And luck for us, his middle name was easy because Andrew's middle name is James and I had already decided I wanted to use that for our first son's middle name.

When I found out that we were expecting a little girl this time around, everyone thought we would use the name we had previously picked out with the last pregnancy (including Andrew). Surprise! I didn't like the name anymore. Well, it wasn't so much that I disliked the name, more that I disliked the popularity it had gained. I didn't want my child to share her name with 10 other girls in her class. Andrew tried to convince me, but I wouldn't hear it. So back to the drawing board it was. Neither of us liked the names the other would suggest - we couldn't agree on anything.

Over the summer, we visited Pine Valley where Andrew's family has a long pioneer heritage. We learned a lot about Andrew's ancestors and heard lots of interesting stories. I started scrolling through the Snow family tree on familysearch.org and I came across Olive Bleak Snow. I had always loved the name Olive, but Andrew wasn't the biggest fan. When I pointed out that his great great grandma was named Olive and after reading some of her life experiences, Andrew was sold. We had finally picked the name! As for her middle name, we went with Blake. I always told my older brother Blake jokingly that I was going to name one of my daughters after him since his name is gender neutral. When I saw that Andrew's great great grandma was named Olive Bleak (pronounced Blake), I knew it was fate. She would be named after her great great great grandma on Andrew's side and after her uncle on my side.

Me and my older brother Blake.
In Olive's baby blessing, she was told that Heavenly Father had picked this name for her so she could embody the wonderful characteristics of the one who had come before her with the same name. I have found many stories about Olive Bleak Snow that are fascinating and I plan on recording all the history I've found to give to my daughter to hold close. Below is just one small sample of her life: 

Olive Bleak Snow with husband Joseph and son Rex.
Olive Thompson Bleak married Joseph Smith Snow on March 22, 1894 in the St.George Temple. Their first babies were twin girls, Pearl and Ruby, who both contracted polio. Little Ruby died at seven months old, and a month later, Pearl also passed away. Olive was heartbroken. Someone by the name of Sister Kemp told Olive, "Take comfort, Olive, you'll have another set of twins who'll be a great comfort to you." Olive never forgot this. She went on to have a son named Rex and a girl named Inez. Five years after the twins died, Olive had her prophesied twins, Glenn and Grant (the former being Andrew's great grandpa). After the twins, she had one more daughter named Rosemond. 

Left: Olive and Joseph 
Right: Olive and Joseph with their children Grant, Rex, Glenn, and Inez in front of a house that Erastus Snow built.
At 62 years old, she died due to an explosion at a well in Saint George, Utah. A special service was held for Olive the following Sunday where many expressed love and appreciation for her and the wonderful life she lived. Her sister Rose wrote, "She was a wonderful sister, mother, wife, and friend; never too tired to go to help anyone in need or in trouble. I never heard her speak ill of anyone and when others did, she would say, 'If we were in their place we might have done the same, or if we knew them better, we would not judge them'."

I'm so glad that Andrew and I were able to find a name that not only we love, but also means so much. It fits our daughter perfectly and I can't wait to see her carry on the legacy. 

April 3, 2017

A Two-Rannosaurus Rex Birthday Party

On Saturday, we had a quick get-together with family to celebrate Taylor turning two today! I kept it simple and decided to serve cinnamon rolls in-between General Conference sessions. As far as decorations, I slapped a couple of party hats on Taylor's dinosaurs, drew on the chalkboard, and made a garland with pictures of Taylor. It was a fun little party and Taylor seemed to enjoy himself. He loved opening presents and he even blew out his candle to my surprise.

I can't believe that it was only two years ago that I became a mother. The joy I've experienced and life lessons that have happened in just two years doesn't seem possible. Thank you for making me a mom and being my best little buddy. Happy 2nd birthday Mr. T!

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