I hope everyone celebrating found their joy this season. What was planned as a quiet, low-key stretch for our family turned out to be anything but … people got sick, plans got changed, international travelers ended up in our house at the very last minute.
Most of it was wonderful and exciting and memorable (obviously, not the part about people getting sick!) and it was reminder that there are times where you just drop all of your careful plans and hang on.
But there’s always magic and love and grace to be found, even – maybe especially – in the unexpected.
Thanks for being here in 2023, and I’m looking forward to an exciting year ahead! I started working on some ambitious plans for the new year. Fingers crossed the first big thing works out.
Welcome Seven and Souli. I’m always looking for last baby of 2023/first baby of 2024 stories, and this one is especially wild, because they’re twins! Big brother Seven arrived at 11:59 PM on New Year’s Eve, while little sister Souli made her debut at 12:02 AM – a new day, and a whole new year! The names also strike me as so very of-the-moment. Spiritual-not-religious names is one of my stealth trends for 2024, coming up on my Patreon site.
Speaking of wild birth stories, have you heard this one? The girls’ names are Roxi Layla and Rebel Laken. I haven’t seen the girls’ older siblings’ names mentioned anywhere, but I’m so curious … it’s a super rare pregnancy, but it’s also a pretty unusual pair of names that still feels very typical for our moment.
Namespotting: brothers Arthur and Felix. We mostly seem to go to the Smithsonian when we have out-of-town visitors. (Why? We live so close! They’re amazing spaces. They’re FREE, even.) Bonus: when we do, I almost always hear fascinating names called out to kids on the mall outside of the museums, like this duo. Obviously, I can’t stop and ask total strangers what they would’ve named a daughter, but I’m dying to know!
Of course, the museums are chock full of amazing names, too. Here’s one from our most recent outing: Venture, as in Venture Smith. His gravestone sums up his story better than I ever could: Tho the son of a King he was kidnapped and sold as a slave but by his industry he acquired Money to Purchase his Freedom. In 1798, he published a narrative of his life. Venture was a name given to him by the man who purchased him as a slave, signalling a business venture. But hearing about his determination, courage, and many accomplishments, it’s easy to read Venture in another sense: to dare.
Are there Production Babies in Wonka? My daughter and I loved the movie, and the end credits are worth watching for lots of reasons. But here’s something I’m not clear on: are those production babies at the end? The credits read “The Filmmakers Would Like to Thank” and then list fourteen names. That would be short for an animated movie, but Wonka was live action – a much shorter production process. End credits, of course, include lots of shout-outs – that’s what they’re for! – but the names seem very Production Baby-ish: Eloise, Dodie, Simon, Susan, David, Rose, Rosie, Florence, Olive, Harper, Jack, Kit, Johnny, Tiago. I need to do some more digging …
That’s all for this week. As always, thank you for reading. And have a great week!