What's in a Name?

I love talking to people about baby names. It is so fun to hear why people named their kids certain names. And, it is really fun talking to my pregnant friends about baby names! After we had Claire, I was surprised at how many compliments I got on her name! Many people have asked why we chose the names we chose, so I thought I would post the story here. This is the more "in-depth" reason on our name choices (and not to mention, I really like the way Kate and Claire sound together!)

Ever since Kevin and I were married 6 years ago, we had decided on a girl name and a boy name for when we had kids. I remember sitting in the Borders Cafe in the fall of 2002 and we started talking about what we would name our future kids. Our girl would be named Katelyn & our boy would be named Luke. Kevin and I both like simple, classic names. This conversation was a few weeks after I had an ectopic pregnancy (that is a whole new blog topic, to be written at a later time).

Anyways, we had first names, we just needed to figure out middle names. For Katelyn, we thought Katelyn Kristine Larson would be cute. (My middle name is Kristine, and my mom picked that because her name is Kristina, but she thought Melissa Kristine sounded better). And, Kevin's mom said if he had been a girl, she was going to name him Kristine. But then I started thinking about the initials of Katelyn Kristine Larson...it would be K.K.L. What if she married someone with a last name that started with a "K". ummmm.....those would not be good initials, so we needed to think of a different middle name.

When I finally got pregnant again in May of 2006 (after another miscarriage in October of 2005) and it appeared to be sticking I started really looking into name meanings for the baby. I knew this baby needed a significant name because of everything I went through after 2 miscarriages. My walk with God struggled after my 2nd miscarriage. I was pissed at God for taking 2 babies away from me. I was angry & sad. I didn't understand. It seemed everyone around me was getting pregnant but me. I feared that God would never allow me to have children. That caused a lot of tension between me and God. I did not understand His plan and His timing. All I wanted in life was to be married and be a mommy. Why wasn't MY plan working? It was during the time after my 2nd miscarriage & throughout my pregnancy with Kate where I began to re-discover the love, grace and plan that God had for me (and Kevin). Grace is receiving a positive benefit that one does not deserve to receive. Divine Grace also can be defined as God's empowering presence in ones life enabling them to do and be what they were created to do and be. This hit home to me during my pregnancy with Kate & I knew that if I had a girl her name would be Katelyn Grace.

The name Katelyn means "Pure" and the name Grace means "Grace of God", so Katelyn's full name means Pure Grace of God. Her name is perfect and it exactly describes who she is and how God has used her in our lives. She has shown us God's love and joy. My prayer for her is that she would one day understand and know the love and grace that God has for her and that she would extend God's love and grace to those around her.

This picture was taken 30 seconds after Kate was born and it shows the emotion, awe, amazement and joy I felt because I finally had my baby & once again, although I didn't deserve it, I had received the pure grace of God.

Fast forward a year later and SURPRISE....I was pregnant again. I knew I wanted to name this child something that had as much meaning to me as Kate's name. If it was a boy, we were going to use Luke, since that was the name we still loved. For a middle name, we had decided it would be Luke James. James is my dad's name and since he had 3 girls, Kevin and I wanted to honor my dad in that way by passing on his name. We actually never told anyone we were going to use James as a middle name, we wanted to surprise my dad (aka: Grandpa Jimmy) and tell him the name in the hospital if it was a boy.

For a girl name, we couldn't agree. I had a short list of girl names I liked & Kevin wanted the name to be Sarah if it was a girl. (I said no to Sarah because although Sarah is a beautiful name, the name Sarah Larson is too common. Besides, George Clooney's ex-girlfriend is a model named Sarah Larson). Kevin also likes the name Emma, but it is really popular, in the Top 5.  I also REALLY love the name Charlotte for a girl. If there is ever a 3rd Larson Lady, that is what I want to name her :)

We knew that if we had a girl, we would use Kristine as the middle name (since we didn't use it with Kate). So, I had my short list of about 5 girl names that I like & I went on the internet to research their name meanings.

My top name was Claire, but Kevin wasn't so sure about it. Once I found the meaning of the name Claire, I knew that if we had a girl, Claire HAD to be the name. Claire means "Bright". The middle name would be Kristine, which means "Follower of Christ". It was perfect! And, like every good husband, Kevin gave in and let me use the name I wanted :)

Together, the name Claire Kristine means "Bright Follower of Christ". It was exactly what I would hope & pray for my 2nd daughter, My prayer for Claire is that she would know God and be a bright follower of Christ and live her life for Him. I pray she will be a bright light amidst the darkness, sharing the good news of Jesus Christ to the lost and dying world we live in. May her light shine so that other may know the richness of God's love.

And, because I posted a pic of Kate 30 seconds after she was born, here is Claire seconds after she was born:


  1. Your post totally brought tears to my eyes. Seeing your face after Kate's birth took me in a second to Maddie's. A very, very similar experience after my own struggles with God and wanting so badly to be a mommy. Look at how God has blessed us now! Just makes me so thankful. Lovely post, lovelier names and the loviest of girls! :)

  2. Awww. Thanks Becky. I get teary eyed everytime I look at that picture of me and Kate. I really can't even put into words what that moment was like. Isn't it amazing how God's plan is way better than our plan! Looking back, I would not change any of it. God is so good. And, super excited for you and your little BOY! :)

  3. What a beautiful story! I love that picture of Kate's birth. You can really feel the emotion :)

  4. Hey Mel! I think we may have been twin in an alternate universe! Ha! Not because we look alike but just in my brief glancing around your blog and reading your post...it sounds like me! We were discussing our baby names in a bookstore...have a Kate, a Ruby Kate and I have just started an Etsy shop making digital invitations/announcements! Yours are beautiful by the way! I'm still learning! =) I'll definitely be back!

  5. Wow! That's incredible. I'm literally fighting back tears right now. What a beautiful story! You're a great writer, too!

  6. i was reading over at chelsea's blog and saw that you shared a link to the meanings of your girls' names, and here i am.

    LOVE LOVE LOVE their meanings.
    i pray with you that they will live in and be exactly what their names mean.

    i look forward to heaven when we will get to be with our babies born into heaven. what a day that will be!

    here is a link to the meaning of our kid's names {if you get a moment}.

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