Name Tag

Disclaimer, I’m not pregnant. But, I love names. I’ve been enjoying alot of baby name tag videos across YouTube, and thought the questions would make for a fun blog post. I’ve left off my top boys & girls names, should we ever have children we’d like to keep them a surprise for the little one whose name it would be. So, these are my other favorites within the uestion perimeters.

1. What is your favorite boy and girl names from the top 100 list? 

I decided to look at the lists from both the U.S. and the U.K. for both 2015 and 2016. If a name was listed on multiple lists, I did not include it a second time.

U.S. 2015

William, James, Wyatt, Oliver, Henry, Owen, Asher, Ezra, Theodore

Emma, Emily, Charlotte, Elizabeth, Evelyn, Chloe, Grace, Victoria, Lily, Nora, Claire, Violet, Sadie, Lucy, Eleanor, Hazel, Caroline, Ruby, Alice, Cora

U.S. 2016

Sebastian, Jack, Levi, Zachary (what my name would have been if I was a boy!)

Audrey, Anna, Luna, Julia 

U.K. 2015:

Harry, George, Oscar, Alfie, Archie, Edward, Hugo, Albert, Frederick, Reggie

Sophie, Matilda, Millie, Rosie, Ivy, Molly, Eliza, Georgia, Maisie, Harriet, Rose, Lottie, Beatrice

U.K. 2016:

Elliott, Alexander, Samuel, Liam

Ruby, Luna, Felicity, Gracie

2. What is your least favorite boy name and girl name for the top 100 list?

Again, I looked at the same lists. These names are just not my style, but I’m sure would be precious on your little one!

U.S.: Jaxon & Nevaeh.

U.K.: Sonny & Maryam.

3. If you had twins, what would you name them?

Boy Boy: James & Henry/Harry

Girl Girl: Sophie & Sadie. I’ve said this since I was little!

Boy Girl: Theodore & Matilda. Teddy & Tilly!

4. If you could change your name to anything, what would it be?

I love Sarah. I love that I grew up with the same initials as my dad. I love that my middle name is after my paternal grandmother. I love that Sarah means princess, and that in the Bible Sarah is the mother of the nation’s alongside her husband Abraham.

However, I would love for my name to be Catherine Elizabeth and honor both of my grandmothers. It’s why I chose Catherine as my confirmation name. 

5. You have four children, any gender. Their names must all start with the same letter. What do you call them?

I thought I would share four girl and four boy names that share the same first letter, since you never know how that would genetically play out. While this naming style is not my preference, it was a fun challenge.

Gertrude, Genevieve, Greta & Grace.

Gideon, Graham, Gregory & Gilbert.

6. What are your favorite animal inspired names?

Fisher & Birdie.

7. What are your favorite color inspired names?

Grey, Tanner & Rose, Violet.

8. What are your top ten favorite boy’s names?

Henry, James, Oliver, Owen, August, Theodore, Franklin, William, John & Alistair.

9. What are your top 10 favorite girl’s names?

Matilda, Philippa, Catherine, Sophie, Elizabeth, Eleanor, Nora, Edith, Beatrice &  Cora.

10. What is your favorite celebrity baby name?

I’m choosing names from babies born in 2017.

Lauren Conrad’s son, Liam James.

Rosie Huntington Whiteley’s son, Jack Oscar.

There are a few others I liked, but didn’t recognize be parent’s name, so did not include it in this category.

11. What are your guilty pleasure names?

Gertrude. Winifred. Gideon. Gilbert. Peregrine. 

12. Choose a baby name based on a food or drink.

Basil (my great uncle’s name!) & Rosemary.

13. Choose a baby name based on a month.

August & June.

14. Choose a baby name from a movie.

My favorite movie is Mary Poppins, so I’m choosing from the character names in that film.

George & Winifred.

15. Choose a baby name from literature.

Oh! There are so many great names in literature!

Harry, James, George, Atticus, Peter, Christopher, Franklin.

Matilda, Alice, Josephine, Caroline, Charlotte, Elizabeth.


16. Choose a baby name based on an author.

John & Beatrix.

17. Choose a baby name from a famous historical figure.

Winston & Elizabeth.


18. Choose a name already in your family.

My cousin recently named a daugter Cora, and his sister has a son named James.

19. Choose a name from your family tree.

Maternal: Catherine, Sophie, Violet, Rose, Genevieve, Basil, Reginald, Adelaide, Eleanor, Georgianna, Mary, Lafayette, Thelma, Morgan, Gertrude, Effie, Owen.

Paternal: Elizabeth, John, Josephine, Harriet, Franklin, Nora, Mary, Rose, Audrey, Teresinah, Wayne.

Husband’s Maternal: James, Lucy, George, Edna, Alice, Katherine, Emma, John, Mary, Winford.

Husband’s Paternal: Magnus, Mary, Frances, Raymond, Nellie, James, Peter, Albert, Margaret.

20. Choose a name for a place you love.

Germany: When we visited Germany for a conference, we fell in love with the country & can’t wait to go back!

Wilhelm & Adelaide.

Montana: Where I went to college, and the first state I chose as home.

Bridger & Josephine. 

Idaho: Where we got married and began our life together.

Henry & Alice. 

New York: Where we got engaged, and currently live.

George & Angelica.

Colorado: Where I lived often growing up a military kid, where I moved after college, where my family still live, and where we began dating.

Bennett & Isabel.

The Grand Tetons: Where we first knew that each other was our forever.

Owen & Emma Matilda.

Pittsburgh: The city where my grandmothers still are, and my family has generational roots.

Fred or Gene & Sloane.

Alabama: The state my husband’s family is from and the state where we first met.

Martin & Zelda.

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Friday

Happy Friday the 13th! It’s a day I’ve always been rather fond of. Senior year of high school, Friday, October 13th was homecoming. In college, we had fun sisterhood nights every time there was a Friday the 13th. On Friday, February 13th, William and I got engaged. It’s just a fun day to me! 

I thought I’d share a couple things I’ve been playing with this week. First, are the two lipsticks I received from Influenster’s partnership with Maybelline to promote their new Matte Metallics line. While both colors are a bit outside my comfort zone, I think I can make Molten Bronze work, and I think that Smoked Silver could be fun to wear on Halloween. I think these shades would make gorgeous eyeshadows, just a bit different than my usual lipstick choices.

We did make at home pizza one night for dinner this week, and I made one on a Mama Mary’s gluten free crust with an olive oil white sauce,  small bit of mozzerella and parmesan, blue cheese, and pear. Then I drizzled a balsamic glaze on it when it came out of the oven. It was incredible!

My in-laws went back to Alabama this week, and I feel like their visit was much too short over last weekend! I had a wonderful time with them, sharing some local restaurants, going antiquing, and chasing autumnal colors and waterfalls. It was a fun fall weekend!

Our Anniversary

Two years ago William and I were able to celebrate our love for each other and commitment to one another with our dear friends and family. 

We were up early and at the hair salon by 6:00 a.m. so that my sister and I could have our hair and makeup done to be at the country club by 8:00 a.m. for pictures and our first look. We had our ceremony at 10:00 a.m. on an outside patio overlooking the golf course and surrounded by the rolling hills of Pocatello. A local magistrate conducted the ceremony and we had readings by my brother and William’s sister. We had a local cellist play our ceremony music, and a fun local radio dj play our reception music. It was simple and meaningful and the weather was perfect! For our reception, we enjoyed brunch together with our loved ones and I loved eating delicious breakfast food and drinking Cesar’s and mimosas. Breakfast dates are what William and I love, so breakfast food after the ceremony seemed perfect.

That afternoon and evening, we had all our loved ones over for an open house to watch football and spend time together. Wedding days can fly by so quickly, that I really wanted to spend as much time as possible with everyone who made the journey to celebrate with us. It’s why everyone was invited to the rehearsal dinner the night before, and why we organized a group trip to the Grand Tetons the day after.

Family and friends who become family are such encouragement and support as you begin a life together with someone that we wanted to honor them through our wedding weekend. Today, I am so grateful that we have the memories with everyone who made the journey to Idaho, because it gave our marriage a beautiful beginning of love and support.

William, it has been two years since we said I Do in front of our friends and family, and I still say I Do to you every morning when I wake up. Marrying you was the smartest decision I have ever made, and I look forward to seeing what this new year together brings. Hopefully, it’s a bit calmer than the first two years! 

In two years of marriage, we’ve lived in two homes we’ve owned, called two states home, traveled and had grand adventures both domestically and abroad, said goodbye to people we love, and spent every day with our best friend and partner. I love you, and always will. Happy Anniversary, William! 

St. Francis

Happy Feast of Saint Francis friends!

I have always had an affection for St. Francis, partly because the church my parents were married in is named after him, partly because of the annual animal blessing on his feast day, and mostly because of the below prayer.

This prayer was, and is, one of my favorite songs to sing at church. I remember singing it at my Pappy’s funeral when I was in grade school. This past August, I made sure we said this prayer over William’s Gana. It is just beautiful to me.

In our world and society, filled with so much tragedy and division, I think this prayer is so powerful. When I see tragedy or death, this prayer always jumps to mind right behind the Our Father and Hail Mary. I am making it a goal for the remainder of 2017, and probably all of 2018, to pray these words each day, whether through the song or through speaking. I find so much hope in these words and hope you do too.

A Weekend in the City

This weekend we took a quick trip cross state to spend time in the city where we decided to do life together, hand in hand.

Y’all, their weather was incredible all weekend! Much different than when 17 was the high of the whole time we had been there that February we got engaged.

Friday morning we left our house to take Mavis to boarding before we hit the road to drive across the state. The drive was about four hours, then we caught the train into the city which was about another hour. While it was a long travel day, it was a beautiful and easy drive.When we got to the city, we had a couple hours to kill before my friend, Laura, would be out of work.

Since we arrived at Penn Station, we did some shopping and wandered around the area. At Macy’s I bought a pair of beautiful black booties by Anne Klein and two MAC lipsticks in Relentlessly Red and Russian Red. Relentlessly Red is more pink, while Russian Red is a true red. They’re both beautiful matte shades. I was considering a suede, mustard biker jacket from Zara, but ultimately decided it was just a bit too short in the body despite being a beautiful color. I really enjoyed visiting the Amazon books storefront too and playing with new Kindles for when mine eventually dies.

We met up with Laura at Grand Central Station and headed to Park Tavern in Murray Hill for supper. It was delicious! Laura and I shared a bottle of rose, and I enjoyed a salmon and acorn squash dish for my meal that was divine.

After we finished eating, my cousin, Wyatt, who lives in Murray Hill, joined us for some drinks and to say hello. Then we walked over to the air tram to head to Roosevelt Island, where Laura lives. What a beautiful way to travel at night! Roosevelt Island was so quiet and peaceful – what a treasure in the city!

Saturday we woke up and headed to Sarabeth’s on the south side of Central Park where we connected with Laura’s boyfriend, Dan, for the day. I had the Farmer’s Omlette and William enjoyed his Crab Cake Eggs Benedict. It was delicious and a fun place to enjoy breakfast, since we had also gone to a Sarabeth’s location for breakfast the morning we got engaged.

After breakfast, we walked through Central Park to visit the spot we got engaged and took a picture. I want to eventually get a picture there if us in all four seasons, and if we have kids one day, there with our kids too. I think it’s such a special place, that I want to always have photos in our home!

When we left Central Park, we caught the subway down to The Village to walk around and explore some of the neighborhoods that it had been too cold for me to visit last time. We ended up wandering around The Village, SoHo and Chelsea that day.

One of the best places we stumbled into purposefully, was the Shinola store front; they’re a watch and leather goods company based out of Detroit that William and I love. We both found watches we want sometime soon.

We also walked along the High Line which was beautiful!

For dinner that night we ate at Rosemary’s which was delicious! Laura, Dan, and I split a delicious bottle of red from somewhere in the Puglia region of Italy, which is the region William and I have visited.

William and I ordered two appetizers to share – burrata with olive oil, Basil and sea salt, and a thinly sliced octopus with sun-dried tomato, cauliflower and olive oil. Both were incredible and reminded us of our visit to Italy. For my main course, I ordered the gluten free pasta that was prepared with lemon and chile and tasted so fresh, light and flavorful. It was a delight!

After supper we headed to The Ainsworth bar in Chelsea that is the big Alabama alumni bar in the city to watch the Alabama versus Ole Miss game. It was packed, but a fun time and a great game as an Alabama fan (especially knowing that Ole Miss has been a challenging game in recent years). Several of Laura’s friends joined us for drinks and the game, as did my cousin Wyatt. It was a fun night, but reminded me that packed bars just aren’t my scene anymore.

Sunday morning we headed out early to catch the ferry from Roosevelt Island to Wall Street. It was a beautiful way to travel the city and had great views of the UN, Chrysler Building, Empire State Building, One World, the Manhattan Bridge and the Brooklyn Bridge.

When we got to Wall Street, we found a bagel shop for William to enjoy a New York bagel – they’re just better in the city. We took our coffee and breakfast down to Battery Park to sit by the water looking out at Lady Liberty and Ellis Island to people watch and enjoy the peaceful morning.

We then walked up to Trinity Church and stopped to say hello to Alexander Hamilton, his wife Eliza, and her sister Angelica.

After Trinity, we walked over to see the September 11 memorial which was beautiful, heartbreaking and powerful. The layers of symbolism and simplicity brought me to tears and prayers for those who lost their lives and the families they left behind sixteen years ago. I love that on the deceased’s birthdays, the memorial maintenance staff leaves a flower on their name – what a simple way to honor their life. The way the water moved through the memorial was like endless tears and it sent chills up my body as I thought of that day. I hated that people were taking pictures treating it like a tourist attraction with cheesy grins and thumbs ups – it felt so disrespectful to me.

After leaving the memorial, we walked to TriBeCa so I could grab a quick bite to eat, see another neighborhood and meet up with Laura again. From TriBeCa we caught the subway up to Columbia University which was a beautiful campus that felt so peaceful and collegiate in the middle of the city. It was a very different vibe from NYU that felt so scattered.

We also visited President Grant’s tomb which was right near Columbia. It was a beautiful monument to the General whose strategy and leadership preserved the union of the United States.

After visiting Grant’s tomb, we split with Laura and her friend Mubina who had connected with us at Columbia and William and I headed back to the Murray Hill area to meet Wyatt and his girlfriend, Karli, for supper at Whitman and Bloom. They had happy hour until close, so William enjoyed a couple beers and I had a glass of their blackberry sangria and a glass of prosecco with our meal. For dinner I had their mussels and fries which was quite tasty and William had their seafood trio special. I really enjoyed spending time with my cousin and meeting his girlfriend. I thought she was so sweet! After dinner we went to see Wyatt’s apartment which was so nice – great central location in Murray Hill, a really nice rooftop and a great living space.

Overall it was a really wonderful weekend in the city filled with delicious food, wonderful people, perfect weather and miles of walking and exploring. I find New York City quite magical and love living closer and having loved ones who live in the city to visit.

What’s Up Wednesday

Good Morning and Happy Wednesday! The end of September has arrived and while the leaves are beginning their beautiful show and some are already falling, temperature have been in the high 80s and I’m ready for some cooler temperatures to arrive before winter hits!

What we’re eating this week // Monday night we had leftovers. Tuesday night we made black and red snapper that William’s dad caught this summer alongside coleslaw and fries. Tonight we’ll probably do more leftovers in the fridge. Thursday night will probably be breakfast for dinner. Friday through Sunday we’ll be in the city.

What I’m reminiscing about // So many fun things popped up on my Facebook memories from this week! Highlights include college senior homecoming seven years ago and our trip to Seattle two years ago.

What we’ve been up to // We’ve been enjoying the local river trail and state parks, taking advantage of the ability to bring Mavis to the athletic events at the university, reading great books & watching football on the weekends.

What I’m working on // I’m still working on job applications and finding my place in our new community. I’m also working on deep cleaning the house to include the windows, basement, garage and baseboards on top of my normal cleaning routine.

What I’m watching // Now that fall TV has started, I thought I’d tell y’all which new shows we’ve caught so far. Star Trek: Discovery’s pilot was really intriguing. Young Sheldon is totally my kind of show and I loved the pilot! Me, Myself & I was a cute pilot that surprised me in a good way and I’m excited to see where the show goes.

What I’m reading // One of the best books I read this month was Reading People by Anne Bogel!

What I’m listening to // Three podcasts I’m loving right now are Constitutional by The Washington Post, Nourish and Pantsuit Politics.

What I’m doing this weekend // We’re headed to New York City for the weekend to visit my best friend Laura, meet her boyfriend, catch up with my cousin Wyatt, explore some of the neighborhoods and just enjoy a weekend in the city where William asked me to be his wife!

What I’m looking forward to next month // Oh October! The month will hold our anniversary, a visit from my in laws, a nonprofit networking day, a special dinner at the university, and hopefully a visit from my Aunt Michelle & Grandma one weekend! It promises to be busy and full!

Reverse Bucket List

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Its always fun to dream of things I want to do someday, but I also know that I have experienced some incredible adventures already. Today I thought I would some amazing opportunities that I have been fortunate enough to already experience.

Go to Hawaii. My family went to Hawaii for my senior trip in high school. We went in December and left Montana in a snowstorm and returned home in a snowstorm! We spent a week on Oahu and experiencing what the Island has to offer. We visited Pearl Harbor, went shopping at the outdoor market in Honolulu that no longer exists, we visited the Polynesian cultural center, spent lazy days on what felt like a private beach, chased rainbows and had an amazing week as a family.

See a show on Broadway. I adored theater growing up, especially musical theater. Doing theater is actually how I met my husband! For Valentine’s Day 2015, we got tickets to see Cabaret on Broadway with Alan Cumming and Emma Stone. It was a great way to fulfill a lifelong dream to see a show!

Visit Yellowstone, Grand Tetons and Glacier National Parks. I am grouping these three stunning national parks together due partly to geography and because they are the three parks where I have spent the most time.

Go white water rafting. I have been lucky enough to do this three times: once in Buena Vista, Colorado, once near Yellowstone and once near Glacier. This is such a fun way to spend a day and makes you appreciate the incredible power of water.

Visit Italy. Summer of 2015 I was able to accompany William to the Puglia region of Italy for a conference he was attending in Bari. The food was incredible, the architecture was breath-taking and it was a chance to visit a country I may never have the opportunity to see again.

Visit Germany. Last October I was able to accompany William on a business trip to Berlin for a conference he was presenting at. I fell in love with Germany and Berlin and the amazing history and beauty of the city. I pray that we will have the opportunity to travel to Germany again!

Visit New York City. New York was a place I dreamt about as a girl but never knew when I would be able to go. William took me as a birthday gift in February 2015, where we also celebrated our engagement (he proposed in Central Park!) and Valentine’s Day by seeing my first show on Broadway. It was an incredible trip and something I will always remember, and a place I now can’t wait to explore more – like this weekend!

Work on Capitol Hill. I had the privilege of spending a summer getting paid to work on Capitol Hill and attend briefings and hearings about the fate of our country while drafting memos, speeches and e-newsletters on behalf of a member of Congress. It fueled my love of writing, my love of history and my love of politics.

Experience GameDay in Bryant-Denny. Last year William and I went to the Alabama v. Kentucky game and fulfilled a lifelong dream of mine to cheer on the Tide at Bryant-Denny. It was such a fun day for me!

Go deep sea fishing. This past summer when I went to the beach with all of my wonderful in-laws, my father-in-law arranged for us to go deep sea fishing. It is something I have wanted to do for such a long time, but did not know if I’d ever get the opportunity. Not only did we go, but I also actually caught a lot of fish too; some we had to throw back because they were too small, but some we actually kept! This day was one of my favorites from summer 2016.

Adopt a shelter dog. Oh, our sweet and crazy Mavis Jane. I always knew that when I was able to have a dog of my own that they would most likely come from the shelter, and after having adopted one, I know our next dogs will come from there too. There is nothing like having a dog, but knowing that some of her quirks are potentially because of unimaginable trauma she suffered early in her life simultaneously breaks my heart and makes it swell with love for the love and trust she gives freely.

Get married. I still can’t believe some days that I am a wife to the most incredible man and that we are building a life together!

Own a home. William and I were able to purchase a home that we love twice. Once in Idaho and now in New York. Our home in Idaho held such special memories and I’m looking forward to the continuation of memories made in our New York home!

What experiences have you already crossed off your bucket list?