about me

    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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    For general inquires, contact: EmilyBMalone@gmail.com.

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    A Look Back.

What’s In a Name? Choosing One for Baby Boy.

Is it just me, or is thinking about baby names one of the most fun parts of being pregnant or even THINKING about becoming pregnant?  For most parents-to-be, I imagine it’s also one of the first conversations you have upon finding out that you’re expecting. 

Before getting pregnant, I always had names that I liked, but I wasn’t one of those girls who had a name picked out since age twelve.  I think I always knew that the name would depend on the pregnancy.  And it turns out I was right – once I actually found myself pregnant, the old names I once loved so much didn’t feel so perfect anymore.

After finding out that our baby was a boy, Casey and I made a lot of lists and had a lot of ideas about what we liked, but we couldn’t seem to agree on any one name that felt like the right fit.  We shared our top picks with family and friends, and suddenly we were inundated with advice, strong opinions, and new suggestions.

It was then that I realized that choosing a name was something that needed to be entirely our decision – outside of the influence of family and friends.  I know that the people who love us will love our little guy no matter what his name is, and it was really important to me that our son’s name be something that we both felt was the perfect fit.  So we decided to close the public discussion on names and keep is as a fun secret for just to the two of us until October. 

When thinking about names that we liked, we tried to keep a few factors in mind (just our personal preferences)…

1.  Popularity.  We both agreed we didn’t want to use a name that was overly popular (in any top baby name lists), but we also didn’t want something so obscure that it didn’t even seem like a name. 


2.  Associations.  I think one of the hardest parts of picking (and sharing) names is the constant name association.  “Oh I knew someone with that name and hated it.”  There are a LOT of people in the world, and if we tried to pick a name with zero associations, it would be almost impossible.  So we tried to keep all name associations (and subsequent rejections) reasonable and relevant.

3.  Mutual Agreement.  For us, it was really important that we BOTH were truly in love with whatever name we chose.  For many months we halted our name discussion because we had reached a stalemate where we both had number one name picks that the other didn’t love. 

I was absolutely in LOVE with the name Graham, and was convinced it was the perfect name for our little guy, but Casey wasn’t a huge fan.  The funny thing is, now that we have a different name, he doesn’t feel like a Graham to me anymore.  And while I still absolutely love the name, now it just doesn’t feel right.  Which makes me believe that the name we DID choose was meant to be. 

When my sister was pregnant, she decided to keep the name a secret too, but a few weeks before his arrival she decided to share his initials with us. Just like that the “unnamed baby” became JHC, and with just a few little letters he suddenly felt like a person instead of a belly. Baby J, who I eventually learned would become Baby Jonah (!) felt so much more real and connected to me once I knew a bit more about him.  And at the same time, Rebecca and Sam still got to keep the name to themselves until his official arrival – a win-win!

(Side note – Jonah will be one month old tomorrow (!) and look at how freaking adorable he is. I can’t wait to meet him next month!)


So just last week, Casey and I decided to share the same thing with our families – one letter.  It’s just one little letter, but for some reason I think it makes him feel that much closer to being here.  I’ve used a lot of nicknames for him over the past 26 weeks – Baby Malone, Baby Garnish, Baby G, etc.  But this little guy is actually…

Baby C!

Guesses and speculation will not be entertained.  :)  We call him by name all the time now, so much that I’m worried I’ll let it slip on our upcoming family vacation.  Having a name chosen and settled just brings us one step closer to his arrival in a few short months.

Now if we could only agree on a middle name…

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216 Comments so far
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Beth     at 10:17 am

Jeff and I were exactly the same, we could not agree on a girl name for a while, but when we finally both agreed on Olivia that was it and we love it! I don’t think I could keep the name a secret….you guys are strong! I just love talking about her by name with everyone :)

Can’t wait to see Baby C and meet our Baby Liv! Only a few months left and summer months always go so fast, it will be here before we know it! Enjoy these last months of being pregnant :)


Emily Malone Reply:

Our babies need to be friends!! I love the name Olivia. If we have a girl eventually, Olive is at the top of my girl list!


Liz A Reply:

I LOVE Olive!

(those are anagrams! hah!)


Liz A     at 11:07 am

I just got married last weekend, but my husband and I have already had the baby name discussion a few times since we started dating. We both have a few names we really like but haven’t done any serious consideration, since there is no baby to speak of yet.

The only thing I think I will absolutely not budge on when the time comes, is the way the name flows. It sort of bugs me when a first name ends on a vowel sound, and then the last name starts with the same vowel sound (for example: Amanda Adams). It just sounds weird to me… like you sort of have to pause in between to make sure you say it right, otherwise it runs together like one word. I guess it’s because I’m a first grade teacher and I spend a lot of time thinking and talking about phonics. :)

Anyway, since our last name starts with the short A sound, I will probably insist that the first name ends with a consonant or a Y.

So there’s my weird hang-up. Something to think about.


Liz A Reply:

oh, and I forgot to add that I have had this one particular girl’s name that I have liked since I was in high school, and I try not to tell many people about it. I’m terrified that one of my good friends or relatives will have a baby and name it that before I have the chance!


Emily Malone Reply:

I think that was actually a big part of what Casey didn’t like about Graham – the way it flows with Malone. He said it sounded too much like Grahamalone, which I can sort of see. But I still loved it. :)


Liz A Reply:

exactly! :)


Emily Malone Reply:

And congrats on your wedding – how exciting!!


Liz A Reply:

thank you! we were engaged for over two years so when it finally came time to actually get married, I couldn’t believe it was really happening. I saw your wedding post not too long before our day and it got me really excited – so thanks! I’ve been reading your blog for a month or so now, and it’s nice to actually “speak” to you, haha.

I also love your posts about Seattle because one of my best friends moved out there for grad school 3 years ago and never looked back (she’s from RI and I’m in NH). I’ve been dying to get out there to visit her!


Emily Malone Reply:

Come visit both of us!


Bethany @ Accidental Intentions     at 4:57 pm

My parents had one heck of a time naming me. My dad had been teaching for years and years before I was born, so he had plenty of names with bad associations that he couldn’t name me haha. I think for me disassociating names with individuals depends on how many people with that name I’ve known. I know too many Isabella’s to associate that name with one particular person, but I only know one Ava, so she’s immediately who I think of when I hear that name. Congrats on reaching a name conclusion, though! So exciting!!


alyssa     at 7:44 am

i hope it’s cavin!


Karen     at 1:16 pm

Pleeease, Not Cameron! Way overdone!


sheila     at 1:33 pm

I am going to guess Charles, just because that is my son’s name.


Catherine     at 9:11 pm

The first name that popped into my head was Charlie, so that’s my guess! :) Re: the middle name – have you considered two? I’m a big fan of British multiple middle names. I know it’s a little much for some people, but I think it’s a great tradition. LOVE your blog!


Melanie @ Trial By Trail     at 12:12 am

We had a great time meeting you, Casey and Sarah tonight! I just had to scroll through the comments to search for the C names. I don’t know why, but Caden keeps coming to my mind. Hmmmmm….


Sarah D.     at 10:47 am

My guess is Connor. :)


Julie     at 9:18 am

i know you’re not entertaining guesses…but i want to guess anyway! i’m going with caleb or chase. :)


Showered With Love. | Daily Garnish     at 8:22 am

[…] for so many years to come.  All of my friends and family went above and beyond to make me and Baby C feel so special and […]

Seattle By Sea. | Daily Garnish     at 6:01 pm

[…] Baby C enjoyed his first boat ride.  He has been hanging out on my right side a lot these days – […]

Raychel     at 6:54 pm

I was going to guess Callum too! But since you’ve never heard it I bet it’s not the name! It’s my favorite boy name. I’m hoping it will still stay unpopular here in the US so when I have kids his name will be unique :)


Early Labor. | Daily Garnish     at 11:27 am

[…] out that Baby C is more like his mom and dad than I ever could have realized.  All it took was getting an […]

Christie F     at 8:21 am

We were going to name our baby Corben, after Korben Dallas- Bruce Willis’ character in Fifth Element. But we decided not to. We still love Corben though, so that’s my guess!


Lara     at 1:39 pm

Just read this post…so funny…we’re not naming our little guy for certain until we meet him, but (I feel ok writing this here since my family and friends are unlikely to read it!), Graham is a top contender, as it is Matthew’s middle name and we both love it :)


Emily Malone Reply:

I still love Graham. :)


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cute unique boy names that start with c | Girl beauty 4 you     at 11:36 am

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