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Blog, kids, Vlog

How We Chose Our Kids’ Names & Our Pregnancy Announcement Vlog

Okay–so funny story. I started typing this blog post 2 days before Clementine was born. That’s right. It’s been sitting in my drafts since October 2016. But I’ve had so, so many people asking me our children’s names and their age gaps that I thought this would be a fun little post to share. And at the bottom of this post, there’s a new vlog where the kids share their thoughts on the new baby!

***This shirt is from Curly Q’s Counter and it’s the perfect shirt for moms of a few or moms of many! However, the stress of getting a decent group shot while wearing the shirt may make you feel a little less proud! (haha kidding…kind of.)

Anyway, on to the names!

First up, Liam Joseph (turning 9 in a few days!)

We didn’t have any names picked out before our ultrasound with Liam. Soon after we found out he was a boy, we were watching our favorite TV show, LOST, and heard the name “Liam.” If you watched the show, you may remember that he was Charlie’s brother (not a main character.) He was also a drug addict so let’s just say that the character himself had nothing to do with our choice. But we loved the name and the only other place we had heard it was the actor Liam Neeson. It’s kind of funny to me now because it’s SUCH a popular name. But 8 years ago, the reaction we got when we told people his name was “I have never heard that name before!” His middle name, Joseph, is Don’s middle name (and also my brother’s middle name!)


Kai Emerson (7)

Kai’s name was actually inspired from an episode of Yo Gabba Gabba. There was a little boy named “Kainoa.” I thought that “Kai” would be such a fun nickname but we couldn’t agree on any lengthened version of his name. So we just went with Kai. Although that got lengthened to Kai-guy…a sweet nickname that I know he will grow out of soon but I’m just enjoying it while it lasts. Emerson is the last name of an actor from LOST, Michael Emerson (aka Ben Linus…aka Henry Gale.)


Kingston Jude (5)

Kingston is the one outcast out of our kids who does not have a name inspired by LOST. Poor guy. If we would have realized this tradition would stick, we would have tried to stick with the theme. Kingston was the name of my brother’s friend (who was maybe 16 at the time.) I had never heard anyone else using the name and I thought it was fun and unique. His middle name, Jude, was inspired by The Beatle’s song, “Hey Jude.”


Evangeline Skye (4)

For many years, I had multiple girl names that I loved. But when we found out we were finally having a girl, I didn’t want to use any of those names! One night my brother suggested the name “Claire” (a LOST character haha) because he knew we had used LOST names in the past. I immediately started trying to think of all the character and actress names on the show. Evangeline Lilly is one of the main characters. I had heard her name (Evangeline) numerous times before without a second thought. But at that moment, I fell in love with it and I still think it’s one of the most beautiful names in the world. One of the names I always loved for a first name was “Skylar” but it just didn’t sound right with her first name. So we shortened it to Skye.


Desmond Reese (2)

Can you guess where we got the name Desmond? That’s right…a character in LOST, Desmond Hume (one of my favorite characters.) I had actually wanted to use it for Kai 5 years earlier, but LOST was still a pretty popular show at that time and it just seemed too obvious. I was excited to use it this time around. Reese was kind of a random choice. I had first heard it many years ago as the lead singer of Five Iron Frenzy but it was also the last name of a character in ANOTHER show we liked (John Reese from Person of Interest.)


And last but not least, our darling Clementine Eloise (10 months old)

We actually had the name Eloise chosen as the first name before we even found out what we were having. Eloise is a character in LOST and after Don mentioned it, we both immediately loved it. But one night I told him that I kind of liked the name Clementine, even though I thought it had nothing to do with LOST. Then he reminded me that Clementine is the name of Sawyer’s daughter on the show! Don didn’t love the name though. I started jokingly referring to our unborn daughter as “Clementine.” After saying it so many times, he actually started really liking it. I’m so glad we went with the name because it suits her so perfectly.


Baby #7 has yet to have any boy or girl names picked out. Although, the kids all have some great suggestions. We had gotten some questions on my Instagram about how the kids felt about adding a new sibling. So we went out for a picnic lunch the other day (disclaimer, we actually only had fries at the picnic haha) and asked the kids a few questions. I love hearing all their answers! If you watch to the end of the video, there’s also a little sneak peek into getting our announcement photo. Don set up the GoPro and captured the photo session in action. It’s pretty hilarious to me. But so many people were asking us how we got the shot so now you can see how 😉 If you have any more questions for the kids (or for us) make sure to leave them in the comments! And go subscribe to our family vlog!

One more thing before I go–is anyone interested in bumpdate videos? I did one last time and it turned out super awkward because I am totally awkward when I’m talking on camera. But Don thinks I should do them again. Any thoughts?

Have a great week!

Blog, bumpdate, pregnancy

First Trimester Bumpdate and My Thoughts on Going Viral

Wow! This has been one crazy week! I already mentioned it on my Instagram, but last week, after sharing my pregnancy announcement photo, my picture went viral. I’ll talk a little bit more about that (the good and the bad) below, but first I wanted to answer a few questions and share how my first trimester is going so far.

bumpdate at 11 weeks

My due date is February 12th, which puts me just over 11 weeks right now…which is just crazy! I feel like I JUST found out. I’ve been blessed with pretty easy going first trimesters ever since my pregnancy with my Evangeline (my 4 year old.) Minimal/zero sickness, extreme hunger/cravings, and lots of fatigue. That’s about it. I’m really thankful for that because I know a lot of women really struggle in the beginning. My pregnancy with Clementine was my easiest pregnancy from start to finish so I’m hoping for a similar experience this time!

I mentioned in my last post that I had a major scare a few weeks back when we thought we had lost the baby. We discovered it was a subchorionic hemorrhage. I don’t wish that scare on anyone but at least I get to see our baby on the ultrasound quite a bit more!

I went in yesterday to check on the SCH and was relieved to see our little healthy baby and hear his/her heartbeat! The SCH is healing but it’s still there so I will be going back for another ultrasound in a few weeks. Even though I’ll be pretty early, we’re going to try to get a peek to see what we’re having! I’d be completely happy either way but part of me is hoping for another girl because of all the cute stuff we have from Clementine.

One reason I was so anxious to announce is because I was already starting to majorly show! I mean, it’s our 7th baby–my body knows just what to do. I was afraid that we’d announce and people would say “Oh yeah, we noticed you were getting chubby so we kind of figured.” Hahaha. Needless to say, I’m absolutely already back into maternity clothes.

I got this loose, flowy maternity dress from PinkBlush. This style is without a doubt my favorite style for the first trimester, when I feel chubby and don’t want anything clinging to my body. And the best part–it has pockets!! I know you ladies understand how big of a deal that is! I ordered multiple dresses from them last time around so I’m excited to wear them again.

pink blush online dress boutiques

I’m also really excited to order some Rockstar maternity jeans from Old Navy. I’ve never loved any maternity jeans before but I bought a pair for $2 at a local thrift store and they are pretty awesome! I’ll have to size up as soon as I get bigger (so basically in a few days) so I’ll be sure to share my thoughts on them when I try them out. They are pretty pricey (in my frugal mind) but I think they will be worth the investment if they fit well.

Anyway, going back to the craziness of this past week. When I shared our pregnancy announcement, I was afraid we’d have a few rude comments. I was amazed when nearly 24 hours had passed and I was overwhelmed by all the people who were so happy for us. Before long, it was being shared across the internet. We were featured on Popsugar, Babble, and Parents, to name a few.

At first it was really fun and exciting until the hateful comments started rolling in. I tried to avoid reading comments on other pages but I did see quite a few. It amazed me that people could be so hateful about such a joyful moment, forming judgments based on a simple picture.

It was kind of funny to me that some people were saying that it “must be nice to be so rich.” But then there were other people who were saying that we were obviously depending on government assistance (completely opposite judgments…neither are true.) I even saw one person say that my poor kids looked like orphans in their cut off shorts and flip flops hahaha. It just goes to show you that you can’t judge from a photo. It is very possible to have a large family, not be rich, and still have a wonderful life.

A lot of people have asked how we make it financially so I will be sharing a bit in a future post about how we make it work on one income, without feeling like we’re struggling.

The most frequent comment I saw was the famous “the world is already overpopulated.” I’m pretty sure that every person who is saying that doesn’t actually know if it’s even true. They are just repeating what they’ve heard someone else saying, just because they want to be angry about something and we seem like an easy target. I will admit that I don’t know much about the “overpopulation” issue but I did take the time to search the internet and found that it does seem to be a myth.

I was so tempted to respond to these internet trolls, and not in a very kind way, but I realized that would make me no better than them. So I started blocking people and tried to ignore it. Moral of the story: going viral is not fun and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. But in the end, I can tell you who is living a happier life (me!) 
dress boutiques by pink blush maternity

But with the bad also came the overwhelming good. I have received numerous messages, comments, and emails from so many people, filled with encouragement. People from big families, small families, those who are going through miscarriages, infertility, cancer, etc. So many people sharing their stories and thanking me for sharing mine.

It encourages me to keep on sharing, even though part of me wanted to hide for a very long time. No stranger on the internet is going to steal my joy. I would much rather have my family than the approval of those grumpy strangers. But I wanted to thank all of YOU who took the time to write to me with encouraging words! It really helped me get through this past week. I’m still trying to work through getting back to everyone–so please be patient!

One more thing–I shared on my instagram but I never mentioned it here. Before I found out I was pregnant, I was interviewed for a blog post over at Little Miss Dessa for a blog series called “How Does She Do It?” The timing was funny as it went live the day after I made my announcement and had numerous people asking me “How do you do it?” So make sure to go check out that interview if you want to learn more!

I started writing down questions and blog post suggestions so make sure to leave a comment if you have anything specific you would like me to write about. Like I said before, I’ll be sharing about how we manage financially. I also will be sharing more about how I homeschool while taking care of the other little ones. But if there’s anything else you’d like to know, just let me know!

P.S. please be patient with me as I relearn how to not look awkward in front of the camera with no babies/kids haha. And don’t tell my neighbor we were out taking pictures in front of his tree again 😉

Sorry that this post was all over the place and thank you all for reading along!!