Sunday Summary: 9.19.21This October marks my nineteenth wedding anniversary.


I was thinking about a moment from the planning process, and it reminded me of a dilemma we ALL face when naming children.

Or, really, making LOTS of decisions.

Our florist came recommended by our reception venue. A small, local shop, it’s been in business for ages. I was certainly not the first 20-something bride to show up with ambitious ideas and a limited budget.

For the consultation, I managed to make sensible, pleasing, budget-conscious ideas for everything – ceremony flowers, bouquets, centerpieces. But at the end, I had to ask. There was a screen made of flowers featured in a recent Martha Stewart magazine. Would it be possible?

The florist, in a manner both kind and straightforward, looked at me and said gently, “I thought you wanted to work within your budget?”

He was right.

I’d spent every penny I’d planned, and already made a compromise or two.

So I snapped out of my reverie, thanked him, and moved on. The flowers were perfect, the delivery and service was flawless, and I still really like my wedding bouquet. (As someone who isn’t massively into flowers, this still surprises me a little.)

Here’s the thing: when we’re choosing names, some part of us might long for a gorgeous, creative, showstopper. The kind of name that screams “Instagram influencer baby.”

But that’s (probably) not our real life.

And our real life?

It’s good.

We have family and friends we love, traditions we cherish, memories that matter so, so much.

It’s just tough to look past that one possibility that makes you say “ooh …”

Even though it doesn’t necessarily fit the happy, joyful life we’re currently living.

If you’re currently mourning that name that you love, but know you’ll probably never really use? I see you. It’s tough. But it’s okay to love all the good we actually have, and let go of that one, over-the-top extravagance.

Do you have a name that’s pure guilty pleasure?


Hipster cowboy names. In some alternate reality, I’m sure I have boys named Otis and Wylie.

Equally obsessed with Evanora and Starloe. I’ve never heard Starloe before, but I think it completely works.

Sisters named Persephone, Antigone, and Araminta? If you need me, I’ve just swooned into this corner over here. Be back in a minute.

Ha! Looking forward to seeing birth announcements for babies named Calorie and Quark. Should I tell him that Temperance is already a thing?

Pretty much the worst-case scenario when a couple splits up AND can’t agree on a baby name. At some point, no matter how challenging the circumstances, your child has to have a single name. Different nicknames around different family members are fine. But this AITA thread is beyond belief.

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That’s all for this week. As always, thank you for reading + thinking of you!

Boy Names: 9.19.21 Girl Names: 9.19.21

About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

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What do you think?


  1. That’s a great name! I got the same reaction when I told everyone I was naming my daughter Meadow, but now I get so many compliments! I was unsure all the way up until I had her, but I’m so happy I stuck with it…dont let your family and friends make you second guess.

  2. I’m really struggling with this perfect name VS real life situation right now, but for opposite reasons.
    I’ve been a name nerd my whole life, and now I finally have the chance to name my own baby (a boy, due in December). The process was really fun, my husband and I have similar tastes, we found a name we both loved pretty soon. It has the perfect meaning, and the perfect story for our son. It’s rare but not weird, nothing Instagram-influencer-like, just a traditional name that somehow went out of fashion. (FYI we live in Italy, we are Italian and the name is Saverio – Italian for Javier or Xavier).
    Yet, everyone seems to hate it – especially our relatives – and a lot of people feel the need to tell us how much they dislike it. And now I started having second thoughts: everytime someone asks about the name, I find myself trying to defend my choice before even saying it, or wondering if my son will hate it (and me?).

    Do you think I’m spiraling so bad because deep down I’m not sure enough about my choice? Would I be so uncertain if it REALLY was the perfect name?

  3. Nearly two decades? That’s freaking awesome. I’ve been watching your blog for like a decade (more or less) but never commented until recently. So I’m happy to see that you’re still such a strong & consistent blogger!

    Also, that AITA thread was an extreme situation I’d definitely pass on & wouldn’t want that to be a future problem for any child, either.

    All the best to you & yours!

  4. Congratulations on the upcoming anniversary! I keep meaning to say, I’m always amazed that you manage to come up with so much wisdom every week!