Saturday, December 10, 2011

What's in a name?

It's here! Delivered to my doorstep today was baby girl's Christmas stocking (I had to order it now so it would match the ones I bought for Brett, Ian, and me last year...I couldn't have mismatched stockings, after all).
Many of you have already heard the name we've chosen for our baby girl, but I thought I would go into a little detail as to the meaning and reason behind it. First, I have to say I am big on the meanings of names - whether they are named after family, or the meaning itself. Ian actually has three names, Hayden Ian Kemper. We chose Hayden because we wanted to honor Brett's maternal grandfather who has had a large influence not only on Brett, but also me. Ian is the name we loved because of it's meaning - God's gracious gift. Kemper is my paternal grandmother's maiden name - chosen because my dad and his mother were very close and I was never able to meet her. My dad's family has always been extremely close and they have had a huge impact on my life.

Baby girl's names aren't quite so family oriented, but we love the meanings of them. Her full name will be Blythe Christine. Blythe means happy and Christine means Christ follower - so we will have a little happy Christ follower!

I have always loved the name Blythe - the first time I heard it was reading Anne of Green Gables. Gilbert's last name was Blythe and I always thought it would be a great girls name. It doesn't hurt that Anne of Green Gables ranks as my second favorite book ever (Pride & Prejudice beat it - but not by much). I think I've probably read the entire series no less than 20 times. And who knows how many times I've watched the movies! I love the fact that Blythe is not popular. There are a few out there (the best known is Blythe Danner), but it's lack of popularity is an added plus for me. I'm not into names that are overused and common. Christine was Brett's pick and his choice comes from the Phantom of the Opera - one of his all time favorite movies and plays. It is classic, and like Blythe, not overly popular.

So there you have it! Our sweet little Blythe will be here before you know it - and we can't wait to meet her!

Monday, December 5, 2011


Santa has become a rather interesting subject around here lately. See, we have decided not to celebrate/believe in "Santa". There are a multitude of reasons, but apparently most people believe that we are depriving our children. For this reason, I feel the need to explain why we feel it is in the best interest of our children not to celebrate Santa.

1. The true meaning of Christmas has nothing to do with Santa. While we will always teach our kids about the real St. Nick, we will not teach them that Santa currently resides at the North Pole and comes down chimney's to bring presents for the children who have been good. See, the true meaning of Christmas has to do with the birth of Jesus. For you historians, yes, I know that Jesus was not born in December (it was probably sometime during the summer), but CHRISTmas is celebrated on December 25th and that's when we choose to celebrate it, too. I want my children to understand the true purpose of Christmas - not the Santa, commercialized, materialistic Christmas. Yes, they will get presents. But we will not go into debt to give them things they do not need, or will only play with a handful of times before they move on to wanting the next greatest and coolest thing. I want them to understand that this is the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus. The one who gave the Ultimate gift for you, for me, for them, for everyone. That is a far more important life lesson.

2. Santa is a lie. I don't want to lie to my kids and I certainly don't want them to think lying is okay. We never celebrated Santa when I was little for that very reason. My dad was devastated when he discovered that Santa wasn't real. Not because Santa was a fake, but because his parents had lied to him.

Think about it this way. We tell our kids that Santa is real. We tell our kids that Jesus is real. What happens when they discover Santa is a lie? Will they jump to the conclusion that Jesus is a lie, too? If I was willing to lie about one, then why wouldn't I have lied about the other? That is not something I want to have to explain to my kids.

Additionally, lying becomes tiresome. Your one little white lie that Santa is real, becomes a complicated web of lies once children are old enough to think logically. More lies are created to cover the initial lie. As parents we try to make our kids understand that lying is bad, yet we set a terrible example by telling them Santa is real.

3. I am appalled at what Christmas has become for most people. It is all about consumerism. I was sickened when I drove down 169 on my way to my parents house on Thanksgiving. It was 4pm and the line at Best Buy was around the building and had been all day. It's Thanksgiving people. Spend the time with your family. No materialist thing could be worth giving up the one commodity you can never get back - time with your family. I don't want to encourage this materialism in my children. I would love it if one day my kids came up to me and told me they would rather give their presents to someone who had nothing than keep them for themselves. Mind you, I would never ask them to do that, but my hope and prayer is that my kids will think of others who have little, more than they think of themselves with much. In a way we can be living Santa's. This is why Brett and I choose not to give gifts to each other - instead, we adopt Angel Tree kids. We have plenty and they have little. Seems only right.

4. Some people have stated that we are depriving our children of the joy and excitement of waking up Christmas morning and finding out what Santa brought them. My response - if they wake up on Christmas morning and see that mom and dad got them what they asked for, how are they going to be any less excited? And, if your child is that excited, wouldn't you rather them be excited because YOU bought them something instead of some fictional character? My kids will know that we love them and we want them to be blessed. As they grow older, we plan on instituting a three present rule modeled after the three wise men: something they want, something they need, and something to read (borrowed from an awesome family with 7 well behaved, respectful, and well-mannered  kids). As I said previously, I want to make CHRISTmas about Christ and His gift, not Santa and his gifts.

Well, there you have it. My two cents on Santa and my rant on materialism. I'm sure I will get a lot of feedback - please keep in mind that I completely understand why parents have Santa presents for their kids and respect their decision to do so.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

It's a...

You didn't think I'd tell you that easy, did you?

With Ian we didn't find out the gender until they day he was born, but this time around we decided (ahem, Brett decided) that we would find out the gender. As much as I enjoyed waiting until delivery to find out with Ian, I must admit, I was more than a little excited to find out the gender with this baby. So excited, that I didn't want to wait until my 20 week appointment (which was actually going to be at 22 weeks) that was scheduled for after Christmas. Thankfully, I have a wonderful friend who does ultrasounds for a living (thanks Mindy!!).

I went in the weekend before Thanksgiving and she was 90% sure of the sex, but since it wasn't 100%, I kept the educated guess to myself. I went back this week and she was 100% sure. Yay!! We know the gender! Oh wait, you want to know, too?

Before we announced it to the world, we wanted to tell our parents. We had them over dinner tonight and then gave them dessert.

The idea was to cut into the cake and see either pink or blue icing to reveal the gender. The only problem is, this is what we saw when we sliced it...

Umm....yeah. The Sam's bakery MESSED up. They used white icing. There goes the big reveal. I was  simultaneously asked by four grandparents, "what is it?!"

It's a GIRL!!!!

Ian is going to have a baby sister! We couldn't be more excited and can't wait to meet her in May!