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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!

park, st. louis, Vlog, Whole 30

Whole 30 Results, Kiener Plaza, and a New Van

Are you guys ready for a post that is kind of all over the place? I guess that’s pretty typical for my blog. Instead of dragging it out for 3 posts, I’m wrapping it up all in one. So sit back, relax, and read all about what’s been going on with us (along with our photos from Kiener Plaza–which I’ll share about below.)

kiener plaza

You may or may not know that back in May, I decided to try doing Whole 30. You can read about my first week of Whole 30 here. And you can read my other update here. In that second post, I had laughed at the thought of my friend suggesting I was pregnant. The joke’s on me because I found out I was pregnant about 2 weeks later. Anyway, I said that when I finished the full 30 days, I would come back and report my thoughts. And then I never did. And I know there are definitely hundreds of people checking my blog every single day to see when I’ll report back (and by hundreds, I mean zero. I bet most people forgot I even did it.)kiener plaza splash pad

So at the end of 30 days, how did I feel? The same exact way that I did when I started. No extra energy, only 5 pounds of weight loss, and I felt just as “blah” as I did in the beginning. I didn’t struggle with the limitations (though I was sad to miss out on a few treats during that time) but I did find it annoying to have to always be making a separate meal for myself, along with other inconveniences–like knowing what to eat if I was going to be out and about for a while.

Overall, I don’t think my Whole 30 results are typical. But it just wasn’t for me. Part of me does wonder if it’s because of pregnancy. But the other part doesn’t want to think that because I don’t have any interest in trying again haha. I will say that I’m glad I tried it once and I’m happy to learn that I like sweet potatoes! My favorite Whole 30 meal was pulled pork over diced sweet potatoes with a lot of hot sauce. Now all of the sudden, I’m craving it again!

kiener plaza redesign

So that’s the update you were so eagerly awaiting haha. I don’t want to discourage anyone from trying Whole 30…because, like I said, my results were not typical. But I just wanted to make it known that it’s not always the magical results that people seem to talk about.

So anyway, on to slightly less boring things. Kiener plaza (where these photos were taken.) It’s a little area in downtown St. Louis that just got a little makeover recently. And by little makeover, I mean $$$. They put in a small splash pad and playground so we were really excited about taking the kids one afternoon. We pulled up and saw this tiny little splash pad and I turned to Don and told him not to put too much money in the meter. It looked really wimpy compared to Citygarden (our favorite.) So I thought they would be ready to leave within minutes–just like another recent splash pad visit we had.

kiener plaza reopening

kiener plaza renovation

I was apparently so wrong. They loved it. There was nothing too special about it but they had the best time coming up with games to play together. We let them play for a while before quickly checking out the playground and heading back to the Suburban because our meter ran out. They were begging to go back and play some more but we had already been out for quite a while that day so we ended up heading home. But we will absolutely have to squeeze in one more visit before it gets too chilly.

kids playing in splash pad

Did I mention the fantastic Arch view that we had?

free St. Louis activities

Also–a big breakthrough! Desmond actually touched the water. Every time we visit a splash pad, he’s usually hanging out in the stroller. But he’s been getting braver each time. And he finally touched the water! Maybe this means he won’t be terrified of the beach. We can only hope.

dad and boy playing at kiener plaza

new splash pad at kiener plaza

kids playing

In other news, we bought a van!! Last September we were one month away from having baby #6 and scrambling to find a vehicle big enough to hold everyone. Right away, we found a Suburban and immediately filled it up when Clementine was born. I missed my mini van but was happy to have something to hold all of us.

Then we found out about baby #7 and a new vehicle was one of the first things on my mind. I seriously dreaded purchasing (what I lovingly refer to as) a dorky homeschool van. But I figure that I’m past the stage of looking cool anyway. So a couple weeks ago, a friend sent us a craigslist listing with a 12 passenger van. It wasn’t as “cool” as I hoped it would be–you know, as far as giant vans go. So we decided to wait a week to see if any other listings came up.

things to do with kids in st louis

things to do in st louis with kids

No new listings showed up for the 10 days we looked so we decided to check it out. (**I should note that we like to pay cash for our vehicles and not spend a huge chunk of money on them. So though we did see some other “better” options popping up, we chose not to spend our money in that way.) Our friend, who knows everything there is to know about vehicles, went along with Don to look at it. They agreed that it was a great van and a great deal so we got it!

The down side–it only had 8 seats because the back bench was missing. But pretty much within a couple hours of purchasing the van, our friend found a bench for us on craigslist. He already went and picked it up for us so we are good to go! It was seriously an answer to prayer! So my cool points probably dropped quite a bit. But at least my kids don’t have to climb over seats to get to their spots now haha.

loulou LOLLIPOP cute baby teether

Because Clem didn’t make it into any of the splash pad photos, I give you this gem ^^^

And because I thought this post wasn’t random enough, here’s the newest vlog from Family Funcast! We had planned to work on the video with the kids this past week but life got in the way. But it should definitely work out this week so hopefully we can get that done!

Have a great week!