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Sunday, November 30, 2014

#selfiesunday: Holiday weekend killed my consistency and I apologize.

I've unofficially diagnosed myself with BBS. Busy Blogger Syndrome. It's been a pretty serious case, but I'm recovering. Slowly.

Like everyone else, I've been caught up in this whirlwind of a holiday and I've yet to put a dent in my homework load. (Yikes.) I celebrated Thanksgiving with my family and my future in-laws, and I celebrated Black Friday by working in it, and it was pretty intense! The store I work in got so much business and as exhausted as I was, I went to a football game.

Also, on Saturday before work I saw one of my best friends who was back from college! I intended to blog that night about it, but since then I've been inflicted with a nasty stomach bug and I've been recovering from that.

So basically I've had an insanely busy past few days and that's why I haven't been blogging as much as normal, and I hate to admit it, but with finals coming up I may not get much better. But bear with me! I'll be back to a normal routine of baby naming soon, and in the mean time I'll do my best to blog as normally as possible.

Again, I do apologize. Forgive me pleaaaaase?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Soft, short, sweet boy names: Kai, Kian, Cove, and more.

I love soft boy names; I'll never be that person that names my son Slade, Gunner, Hunter, or Axel, not because those are bad names, but because they just aren't my style due to their super-macho-masculine vibe style. I much prefer softer, sweeter boy names.

Asa-- Haven't talked about this name in awhile, but I still love it. With Mason, Cason, Jace, and Ace being on the rise, Asa fits right in. I think the -a ending turns people off.

Ian-- This name is in the Top 100, which is strange because I have never once met an Ian. I love the sound of Ian.

Kai-- I LOVE Kai. Always will. It's no wonder it's becoming trendy.

Milo-- I am personally not a fan of Milo, but I think I'm in the minority here. Thanks to celebrities like Liv Tyler and Alyssa Milano using it for their boys, Milo is a rising star too.

Gray-- So many Graysons running around. It'd be refreshing to see more Grays.

Cedar-- Such a sweet nature name.

Reece-- One of my current top boy name contenders. I used to like it only on a girl, and now I like it only on a boy.

Sage-- A forever Name Love of mine. Like Reece, I used to only like this on a girl, and now I only like it for a boy.

Kian-- From my understanding, this name is pronounced Kee-an, like Keegan minus the G. It's really growing on me.

Theodore-- Okay, so this one isn't short. But it's the cuddliest sounding name, I love it. Theo and Teddy are so CUTE as nicknames.
Blaine-- This one is unisex and I like it for both genders, but I think it suits a boy well.
Louis-- Pronounced the French way "Lew-ee." This pronunciation isn't as popular among Americans, but I think it's one to consider.
Hugo-- My best friend has a kitten with this name, which is sweet, but I'd like to see it on a human boy rather than a feline boy!
Palmer-- I imagine palm trees, which gives me a peaceful association with the name. I think this would make a great name for a boy, if you're looking for something that's under-used yet familiar.
Jude-- This name is rising in popularity; it seems like every time I turn around there is a new baby boy named Jude! But it's so sweet and full of meaning.
Cove-- I think this is a nature name that is severely over looked.
 And there you have it! 16 soft boy names that would be great choices for a son.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

#selfiesunday: Most of the remainder of our engagement pictures, *cue the girly squeal*

I told you I'd post the rest of them this weekend, so here they are! A handful have yet to be edited, but you aren't missing out on tooooo much cuteness. ;)

And there is oneeee more picture I have to share, but I think I'm going to use that one to announce our date. So that one will have to wait. :) (unintentional rhyme, I swear.)

Saturday, November 22, 2014

#selfiesaturday: Feminism is NOT a bad word.

I am a Feminist. I am very proud to be one. I come from a very conservative family that was taught to frown upon this label, but over time they have adjusted and they no longer believe that Feminism is a bad word. I'm hoping maybe by the end of this post, some of you won't view it that way any longer either.

Six months ago, if you would have told me that we needed Feminism in the United States in 2014, I would have rolled my eyes. Women can vote and work. There is nothing else left for us to fight for. Furthermore, I've never felt like guys got special treatment over me or anything. So I would have dismissed that notion entirely.

In June, I watched a documentary on Netflix called Miss Representation, just out of curiosity. I cried several times throughout it, because I never realized how much media, and the objectification of women in it has effected my life. I have been unconsciously warped by the representation of women in media, in many ways. This movie changed my life, and changed the core of who I am. It made me a Feminist.

To clear up any misconceptions about Feminism:

  • We do not want to burn our bras.
  • We do not hate men.
  • We do not want to have more power than men.
  • We do not hate men for our struggle.
  • We do not want to entirely eliminate gender roles. Simply loosen them.
  • We do not think that every women should be a executive in order to be empowered.

That being said, there are SOME "Feminists" out there that do all of those things. But they are the minority among us, and sadly, they are the poster child for us.

Feminism, in it's purest form, is intended to empower women to be what they want to be. It encourages men to see the institutional bias against women, and work WITH women to change it. This is what unadulterated feminism is, and it is what I identify with.
Let me dive into these myths for you guys:
  • The "bra-burning" feminists (or more intelligently put, the Second-wave feminists) were the ones leading the movement in the 60s. They got a little crazy, I'll admit, but they did start the Sexual Revolution, which has been both good and bad. These are the women who fought for oral contraceptives to be legalized, and they are the reason that a lot of you don't already have 14 babies. (Crude? Maybe. But true.)

  • Anyone that hates men specifically needs to stop calling themselves a feminist, and start calling themselves misandrists. This is the proper term for someone that hates men. I'd personally call someone that wants more power than men this term, but there could be a different term for it, I'm not sure. 
  • Let me make this statement loud and clear: Men are not to blame. Yes, back in the day when women weren't allowed to vote, they were to blame. However, I don't blame them. Their mindset was a result of thousands of years of tradition. That's pretty hard to change in a few centuries, but America did it! That's something to be proud of, but we just have to understand that there is more work to do. This "institutional bias" concept is to blame, rather than men, for our struggle in this day and time.
  • I am a Feminist, but I also understand that men and women are distinctively different, for a reason. Gender roles have worked out well for so many people for thousands of years, but it's foolish to think that the model where women stay at home and keep quiet, and men go to work and make all the decisions works out well for everyone and always has. Newsflash: It doesn't. Now, I could go into my beliefs as a Christian feminist, but that is for another post on another day.
  • I roll my eyes when women themselves get offended by Feminism. I hear a lot "What if I want to be a stay-at home mom?" Then BE that. But because of feminism, and the work that hundreds, perhaps thousands of Feminists have done, you are ABLE to choose another option. If you don't want to be a mother, you have the control over your body to keep it from producing a baby. If you don't want to be a stay at home wife, you are free to go into the workforce and be a writer, an engineer, a Secretary of State, a lawyer, an artist AND (get this) you are also able to be a stay at home mom! Wooo! Yay for choices.
Right? I mean, this is something to be celebrated, isn't it? A generation of women of the past coming together to give their daughters and granddaughters in this generation more opportunity than they had. I imagine the women of the 1910s marching down the streets, fighting for a right to vote, and I swell up with pride. I imagine the women of the fifties, who were culturally forced to be stay-at-home moms, dreaming of being something else and never having the chance, and my heart aches for them. I imagine the women of the sixties (the bra-burners) fighting for their rights to not be treated like props in bed, and the right to choose when they have a child, and I feel proud again.

And then I think of this generation. A generation of women see the objectification and trivialization of women in media every single day, and don't see that feminism is necessary in 2014. And my heart aches once more.

 I can't wait for the day in the future when my heart can swell up with pride for us women, and this time I can be involved in the change.
Not-so-radical Feminist rant over.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Birth Announcements 11/19: Etta Fay, Ellison Kay, Ephrem Oliver & more.

I haven't done one of these in a while, but I do love to see what parents come up with for their children. These birth announcements were all found online, on hospital websites.
I tried to pick a whole bunch of different styles of names this time around:

Hazel Jude
Everley Ruth
Camila Rae
Ellison Kay
Kailani Zetta Ann
Collins Elizabeth
Rosalie June
Hattie Mae
Genevieve Anastasia
Penelope Clara
Olive Isabel
Feather Mae
Piper Lily
Malia Essence-Noel
Eleanora Audrey
Polly Helene
Margaret Drew
Violet Aurora
Phoebe Kate
Etta Fay
Gray Eva Dell
Larkin Violet
Korbin Paul
Phoenix Aaron
Boaz McCheyne
Mac Russell
Ephrem Oliver
Spencer Anderson
Graham Andrew
Solomon Thaddeus
Kellen Malcolm
Maximus Cree
Castiel Franklin
Anderson Maxwell
Reid Graham
Paxson Vale
Reece Porter
Ares Cassius
Jake Boone
Hayes Clifford
Roman Valentine
Sutton Wilson
Knox Emmett

I have to say well done to this group of parents! Such eclectic, fun, unique names.

Preppiest names: Anderson Maxwell & Margaret Drew. I can see these two wearing letters in college, for sure.

Manliest names: Solomon Thaddeus & Maximus Cree are destined to be macho men!

Most feminine names: Genevieve Anastasia & Eleanora Audrey. Such sweet, powerful choices for girl names.

Most Unexpected combos: Jake Boone & Gray Eva Dell.

Most unique first names: Ares Cassius & Feather Mae.

Names to watch: Boaz & Ellison. Biblical names are on the rise; I recently counted 3 biblical boy names that are in the top 100 currently that were NOT ten years ago in 2003. ( And other biblical boy names, such as Gabriel, Isaac, Isaiah, and Luke have slowly crept up in the top 100 since 2003. I predict that Boaz will pull "an Ezra." Ezra is a biblical boy name that has SKYROCKETED in popularity. Boaz is short and strong, like Ezra, and has a similar "z" sound in it. Now, will Boaz skyrocket too? I can't say. But because of recent trends, I feel confident that it'll soon rise in popularity. As far as Ellison goes, by observations are simple. Emerson is becoming popular (thanks to the "Em" sound that Americans seem to love) and now, we are seeing a rise in "El" names (Ella, Ellie, Elliot, etc.) Ellison fits right in with trends, and even has a famous namesake named Ralph, as does Emerson. (Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ralph Ellison.) It just fits.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Baby Face Tuesday: Mr. Sena and Miss Luna.

Super excited about featuring these cute babes this Tuesday! Meet:
Sena Aiden

"When we found out we were having a boy as our first child, we were very excited! Naming a boy was pretty hard. When deciding names, there's two factors we need to follow: it has to be unique and also can be used in English and Japanese, since my husband is Japanese. We are also a huge Formula 1 racing fans and I wanted to name my son after our favorite race car driver, Ayrton Senna. I knew I can't use "Ayrton" because it'll be difficult to write in Japanese. So, I used the last name, took out one "n" to make it more masculine and that's how "Sena" came about. Then I added his middle name Aiden after."
What his name would have been if he were a she: Hana
Luna Elise

 "Truth be told, the second time we got pregnant, I prayed and hoped it's a girl!  When we found out she is a girl, the name game started all over again. This time, my husband got to choose her first name, and there was only one name he wanted the most- Luna. She was also born on a full moon, which was perfect! Then, I added her middle name "Elise" after one of my favorite cars."
Her "almost" names: Sophia, Suri, or Hana.
Can you guys just take a second and appreciate this cuteness right here??
Thank you to Sena and Luna's mama Michelle for letting Name Loves feature her adorable kiddos!
That wraps up this Tuesday's Baby Face Tuesday feature, hope you guys are having a great week thus far!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

#selfiesunday: What I've been doing + engagement photoshoot sneak peek + wedding deets + more.

Here we are again on another lovely Sunday. I've got my coffee in hand and I'm a happy girl, so I'm ready to get the ball rolling on this blogging thing today.

Well before we talk tying the knot, let me give you a run down on what I've been up to, besides school and work:

This Friday night was a night that I've been waiting for since last December. Seriously, I've been counting down. Anyone wanna take a guess at what I've been waiting for?

.......... Any takers?


Dumb and Dumber is my favorite movie of all time. And last December I found out they were making a sequel, and I was stoked. So I vowed I'd go see it the night of the premiere, and I did and I did NOT regret it! It was so funny that I'm going to see it again tonight! Jeff Daniels and Jim Carey are so hilarious together.

Okay, Dumb and Dumber rave over.

This Saturday, I did something that I've been waiting awhile to do, too. Take engagement photos!

Here are just a few that I snagged from my amazing photographer AKA best friend AKA my maid of honor (which I'll talk about later in this post):






They are mind blowing. They really are. And there are more coming, too! I'll share more when I get them all.

Slightly shifting gears from engagement to weddings, I'll share with you guys all that I can about our wedding.

We still have not set a date. Why? Well, a lot of reasons. It's not like we don't have a clue-- There are two dates in mind, and it's just a matter of which one. The thing is... well... I haven't quite figured out what I want to do with the rest of my life. The only thing I know for sure is that I want Bradley in it. So aside from that, I'm seriously weighing my options. I have several ideas in mind: I'm thinking about speech pathology, teaching middle/high school or being a professor, being an ultrasound technician, and I've even considered a career in women's rights, which would be a true dream come true. All of these careers have serious perks, and serious disadvantages. It gets a little cloudy when I try to sort through them all, and even more so when people try to but in and give me an unsolicited opinion about it. But that's a blog post for another day.
Basically, we can't set a date until I figure out exactly which career path I should take.
But my sweet ginger is so patient about it. He's basically told me: "My job is going to make the money. You do whatever want to, don't worry about money." I can't tell you what a relief it is to hear that from my future husband. I have an amazing support system in him.

However, other decisions have been made.

I chose my maid of honor, who is none other than my best friend Jenni. Any other choice wouldn't have made sense. We have been such good friends for so long, and I couldn't imagine anyone else by my side. I'm kind of holding off on picking other bridesmaids though, for various reasons that I won't disclose here. :P

I've also chosen my colors, which are coral and aqua! I'm super excited about them. They are my favorite colors and have been for years. (Other than pink of course!) Even though my wedding won't be for a little while, I feel good about this choice.
After much discussion, we have decided to open a bank account together to help save for the wedding. Each week we'll contribute to it, and that way, the wedding won't bankrupt us, and we can continue to buy little things along the way.
As far as other big decisions, that's about it. We are between two different places to honeymoon, but I won't get into that. :)

My sweet dog Lacy wanting to get in on the wedding planning too.

I'm well aware that this is the fun part; the few weeks before the wedding, the day of, and the marriage after will be stressful at times, but I know I'm up for the challenge. As I've said before, I'm enjoying this stage of the game. I'm in the process of transforming my heart into that of a wife's. In this process, God has revealed to me how selfish I can be, and marriage is strictly the opposite. It's not give and take, but give and give, on both ends.
Sometimes, I doubt our relationship, as everyone does. But then Bradley says or does something that assures me that the God of the universe brought us together, no question. His patience, his forgiving heart, and his selflessness is a direct reflection of the love that Christ has for us. And that's truly what our union is all about.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Place names you probably haven't considered yet: Sumter, Salem, Sahara, and more.

... Or maybe you have. Regardless, this first set of names are city/country names that don't get as much recognition as their more popular cousins Brooklyn, Paris, and London, Savannah, and many more.
Florence-- Remember this town in Italy? Yeah. It's a vibrant, sassy girl name with a vintage charm about it. Flora is a possible nickname, and of course, so is Flo.
Vienna-- I heard this on a Reality TV show a few years back. I think it's so beautiful.
India-- This name has gotten more recognition since Chris Hemsworth and his wife used it on their daughter.
Berlin-- This has the exact same feel as Brooklyn, so I could see it rising within the next ten years.
France-- I've mentioned this name on my blog before, a few times, I think. I adore it.
Juneau-- June and Juno are rising in popularity... Why not Juneau?
Geneva-- This city in Switzerland has such a pretty name. I mean, it doesn't get much prettier than Geneva.
Rome-- Umm... Hello. Rome is quite possibly the most perfect boy name. It's place name with history, and culture, and it has that short, macho vibe that parents seem to be digging. I am really dumbfounded as to why Rome hasn't caught on. *Rome rant over.*
Portland-- It's a few letters away from Porter, and has the same feel as Ryland.
Charleston-- Looking for a fresher alternative to honor a Charles? Here it is. It's also a gorgeous city in South Carolina.
Dresden-- A city in Germany. I didn't like this name when I first heard it, but it's really grown on me.
Brighton-- This was the name of the son on The Nanny. I've always liked it for both genders.
Memphis-- A place name I talked about a few months ago. I adoreeee this on a little boy.
Salem-- A place name that means "peace."
Of course, these are all strictly cities/towns/countries. Place names expand much farther than this:
Caspian, Hudson, Everest, McKinley, Mariana, and Sahara are also all place names that refer to seas, bays, mountains, deserts and a place in the ocean.
The beautiful Caspian Sea
Since we just celebrated Veteran's day, how about some U.S. fort names:
Benning, Sumter, McClary, Knox, MacArthur.
Depiction of the famous battle at Fort Sumter
And let's not forget biblical place names:
Eden, Shiloh, Canaan, Galilee, Jericho, Zion, some of which I blogged about in my Hebrew names post.


I think we can even take this a step further and talk about very broad place names.
River, Canyon, Ocean, Lake, Harbor, Grove, Bay (although Bay has been nearly ruined by pop-culture's new term "bae." Sigh).
This is what came up when I searched "Bae." Perfect.
If you take anything from this round-up, or this blog as a whole, take this: Think outside the box when it comes to names. A place name for you could be the street you grew up on, or the neighborhood you grew up in, or the place you got engaged, or the place you honeymooned. Place names can be the coolest, most creative, and most meaningful names, and if you pick one that's special to you, you'll love it forever. Promise.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Baby Face Tuesday: Miss Kinlee

This week's babe to feature is pretty stinkin' adorable, so there's your warning. Not to mention we share the same initials!

Kinlee Brooke

LOL, those big eyes kill me!

"When we found out she was a girl we were shocked but happy!!! We got her name because me and my sister were going through names, she said Kinlee and I instantly fell in love!! Her middle name was suppose to be Faith, but her initials would have been KFC, and that wasn't happing!! So me and Bradley picked Brooke! We love her and her name so much."
Her name if she had been a boy: "We swore we were having a boy, so we picked the name Braydin Micheal Collins out."
Her "almost" name: "It was gonna be Angelina Isabelle Collins for my mom but we decided it was too long."
Thank you so much to Kinlee's mama Rachele for letting me feature her! She is purely adorable, and her name suits her.
That wraps up another Baby Face Tuesday! Hope you guys had a great Veterans Day, and if you haven't yet, thank a Vet!