Bev has written a book review on a baby name book, over at 5 Minutes for Mom. I don't know of a mom in the world who doesn't love talking about how she chose the names for her children. When we were expecting our first baby, the name book of choice was "Beyond Jennifer and Jason." For the record, I always wished my name was Jennifer. When my friends and I would play and "pick names" I was either Jennifer or Marie. And when I was Marie, I had beautiful olive-colored skin and flowing black hair. Now, I have my own Marie, but her name is Emily and she prefers a short blunt cut to flowing tresses. But, I digress. When we were waiting for Joey to arrive, I would pour through the BJ&J book, driving my husband crazy, and manipulating every conversation I could to the question, "so what are your kids names? And how did you choose?" I don't recall all the details of the book, but it was organized in chapters, something to the effect of, Classic Names that never go out of style, Celebrity kids names, and names that went the way of avocada refrigerators -- that would be Janet, Pamela, Karen. Well! Our boy name choice for our first was hands down, Joseph, for my father and Dan's grandfather. I think it's a fine name, a strong name, and it follows my mother-in-law's logic in choosing boys' names. That as a little boy he can be Joey, as he grows he'll be Joe, and when he's a doctor, he can be Joseph. His middle name is Daniel, keeping with Dan's tradition of giving the son the father's name for a middle name. It's a good thing Joe was a boy, because we never agreed on a girl's name. My first choice was Samantha. Our other choice was Stephanie, but a family down the street with the same last name as ours had a Stephanie and we dreaded that their mail would be forever mixed up. With our second child, I knew if he was a boy (and he is) I wanted him to be named Luke. Dan liked Lucas. So did his grandmother. I won. But that didn't keep his grandmother from writing Lucas on all of his birthday cards and referring to him as Lucas in her letters, for as long as she lived. She was strong-willed to say the least. Luke's middle name is for my grandfather. It is Masterson, my mother's maiden name, and when you put it all together Luke Masterson (followed by our last name), as my friend said, "Now that's a man I want to meet." We had no idea when we named Emily that it was the most popular girl's name in the country. In fact, she was born on New Year's Eve, and a week later the paper came out and said "Emily" was the most popular name for girls that year. She's always been Emmy to us. Or Em. I wanted us to share something in our names, so her middle name is the same as mine -- Elizabeth. Through all of her years in pre-school through 1st grade, I was asked, Does she have a dog named Clifford? Sorry, Em. If I were lucky enough to have another child, I would name a girl Caroline, for my mother, and if it were a boy, I would name him Benjamin or Matthew. Funny thing, my parents didn't give any of us middle names. I think it had something to do with the fact that my mother was named for her mother and so she went by her middle name, to avoid confusion. (Good thing. Her first name was Edna). But the Edna was forever getting in the way, at the insistence of school teachers, and signing for checks and such. She signed her name E. Caroline. So, from her own experience, my mom decided that having two names was a hassle, and as Catholics we would eventually choose names for confirmation, so that could be our second name if we wanted one. I chose Elizabeth. My brothers decided to go sans middle names, except for my rebel brother who chose Zebulon. But, that's another story.