Today I’m thinking about things I’m grateful for, so I thought I’d tell the world about two of the most amazing people I know.

I have two incredible friends. They are completely different, but the characteristic that they both share is that they are two of the most amazing people in the world. I admire and respect both of them for everything that they are, both good and bad. These two ladies, are the only people who knew about each baby as it was happening. What makes them each so special?

Friend 1 – We met a few years ago at a former job. A job that I left because I was exhausted from working so many hours (I’ve since learned the problem is actually my inability to say no, not the job itself, which is too bad because asides from the hours, it was a pretty decent job and I loved my colleagues). Anyways, she’s a fiery red-head that is a bit older than me, with two grown daughters. She has struggled with an unhappy marriage and after 20 some odd years she left a few months ago. He wouldn’t let her have any of “their” belongs, so she left with a few items from her childhood, her clothes, and her enormous shoe collection. Her life plan fell apart, and she’s now starting over with grace and confidence. She has definitely had some tough times over the last few years. Her situation is completely different from mine, but through all of this we have found a way to be there for each other. I can text her at 4 in the morning when I’m having a panic attack about work, or when I’m devastated about another loss. She has been my most trusted shoulder to cry on, a smile when I’ve needed one, she’s always good for a laugh and she knows when to gives me space. She’s an amazing shopping partner, who knows things like fashion so much better then I (thankfully). She’s also a great person to have glass of wine (or two) with. Every girl needs a good friend like her in the best of times and the worst of times!

Friend 2 – We have known each other since childhood. She stood up for me in our wedding. I asked her because I know no matter what happens in our lives, no matter where we live, or how long we go without seeing each other, we will always be a friends. Today she has an 18 month old, and a second one on the way. Of everyone I know, she has the most positive attitude and outlook on life. She has a huge heart and is also one of the most sympathetic people I know. When all I want to do is cry of feel bad about our situation, sometimes these traits verge on annoying. But, she just won’t let me dwell on it and she always finds the positive.  For someone going through a hard time, a friend like her is a must!

One thing we’ve thought a lot of about over the years is baby names. Picking a baby name is a special occasion for any parent. I believe it’s one the most important first decisions a parent will make for a little child as it sticks with them for the rest of their life. Their name is part of every first impression they will ever make, which in turn will shape their interactions with others for the rest of time. Without always meaning to, we’ve spent a lot of time talking about names throughout the course of our 13 year relationship.

Early on, it was done as a bit of joke, when one of us would hear a name on TV, and might respond with something like “I’ve always loved that name” followed by a puzzled look from the other which said “you like that name?! Have you lost your mind?” We never took this seriously for a number of years, as we knew we were dedicated to advancing our education so having kids would be waiting for quite some time.

So, once we started to get to the part of the plan that involved actually having kids, we got a bit more serious about picking names. We knew from the experience of naming our dog (Sadie) that we would not share or discuss names with anyone. With Sadie people tended to give an opinion when the name is a possibility (and ruined some of our favourite names), but once it’s decided they just accept it.

So, as per normal for two very logical and practical people, we started a list in the notes app on my iPhone – this way no-one else would ever find the list and we’d never lose it. We kept a boys list and a girls list. We had a few general rules about names that made the list:

  • We both had to like the name
  • We could both veto any name
  • There are no limits of the number of veto’s we each get
  • The name could not be in the list of top 10 most popular names
  • The name has to be decently easy to say and spell (according to our definition)

So, after my iPhone died and I changed to my Samsung, the list made the move with me. Of course, the list wasn’t backed up, so I had to re-create it from memory (since clearly we could and did in fact lose the list – lesson learned, technology is now always perfect). But it wasn’t really that hard to re-create as we talked about names often. Through the course of 2 years the list has grown, and shrunk. Every now and again, we review the list and we may add a name or two, or we delete a name or two. Currently, we have 7 girl names and 4 boy names. I often joke that we’d better not have a boy because we don’t like any of the names and he would end up being known as “baby” forever, and that would likely cause some sort of long term damage that would result in a lifetime of expensive psychology bills.

We have middle names picked out for both a boy and a girl. Both of these names are meant to honor someone very special in one of our lives that have passed away. Neither of these names are written down. The significance of the names to us, means we don’t need to write them down. They will always be with us.

Only once have I had a strong feeling about the baby’s gender – baby 3. I knew it was a girl. I absolutely knew. I had the name picked out (which I’m not willing to share with anyone other than my husband – it’s a special memory for us and us alone). The name is still sitting at the top of the girls list and I just cannot bring myself to delete it. I don’t think I could re-use it for another baby girl (should we ever have one), but I still cannot bring myself to delete it. I carry it around with me both literally in my phone and in my heart.

Having 4 unborn babies has given us a lot of time to think about names and probably gives us a unique perspective (good and/or bad). But, somehow, we still enjoy talking about possible names and all the hope that goes along with the conversation.

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